Los Angeles Lakers, fearful of when LeBron James decides to call time on his glittering NBA career, as well as indeed basketball fans who are just in awe of what the 38-year-old has brought to the game, can rest easy as the four-time NBA champion has no plans to retire from the game this summer.
LeBron James will return in Lakers colors for what will be his 21st season in the NBA after confirming his intentions during a speech he gave during the ESPYs, where he stated;
“The day I can’t give the game everything on the floor is the day I’ll be done. Lucky for you guys, that day is not today.”
That decision may well lead to fans of the Lakers backing the Crypto.com Arena side to actually achieve something in the coming season, in which case they do well to visit here to get all the key info about the best sportsbook options out there.
James played a key role in helping the Lakers to secure a surprise return to the play-offs after having a very underwhelming regular season that resulted in the need to once again take part in the play-in tournament.
Darvin Ham’s side then went on to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the play-offs and then shocked the Golden State Warriors in the Conference semifinals before finally coming up short in the Conference finals when they were thumped in four games by eventual NBA champions the Denver Nuggets.
After that game four loss, LeBron James made comments that led some to believe he was edging towards retirement, stating;
“I’m simply not sure if I’ll be back in the fall when the season begins,”
Now that LeBron has confirmed he’ll be back for a sixth NBA season, he’s also set to switch numbers from 23 to 6 in honor of the great Bill Russell, who died last summer; the loss of the legend was something that clearly meant a great deal to the Lakers star, who commented at the time;
“For us to lose such icon it was it was heartbreaking for all of us,”
“I mean, no matter if you play the game, watch the game or a part of the game. We all know what Bill Russell meant to the NBA, obviously to the Celtics off the floor as well, as far as his heroism … and what he meant to Black people, being able to speak about issues that are not comfortable… For me to be able to wear No. 6 this season — I’m not sure if I’ll continue to do it, but right now I’m going to wear it in honor of him. It means a lot to me.”
LeBron wore the 23 jersey for the first three seasons at the Lakers, so it’s not a new look for the player; he also wore the number six when he was at the Miami Heat.
Work put in by general manager Rob Pelinka to improve the Lakers roster probably helped LeBron James make up his mind, and the new additions of Taurean Prince, Jaxson Hayes, and Cam Reddish, along with the re-signing of Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell help to fill out an impressive looking set-up for Ham to work with in 2023/24.