Is LeBron James Closer to Retirement Than We Think?

LeBron James is having a great season, but could forces other than basketball convince him it is time to retire sooner rather than later?
Posted in: Sports News
November 24, 2019 3:00 PM UTC
  • LeBron James is one of the greatest players to ever set foot on a basketball court. Eventually, he is going to do like every great athlete, and retire.
  • He hasn’t talked about it, but as a devoted family man, not being there for his son’s first high school game bothered him.
  • Does he want to risk looking like Carmelo Anthony on his way out? Since there isn’t anything he hasn’t done in the NBA, why is he still playing?

As much as his fans may hate to admit it, LeBron James is human. His body is going to tell him to retire eventually. Of course, whether he listens to it is another matter. But, like every NBA player, his time will come.

At 34 (he turns 35 in December), it could come in the near future even though he is having a great year this season. But with how he takes care of himself, it may not. But something other than his body could be why he walks away sooner rather than later.


Being a good father means a lot to James. He has been open about his family history in the past and credits the absence of a relationship with his father for helping him become who he is.

But he has also made it clear that he is not going to be like his dad. He is going to be a loving and active part of his children’s lives. The cycle is not going to repeat with him.

However, when his son played in his first high school game Thursday night, he wasn’t there. The Lakers were in Oklahoma City. He was able to watch a live stream of the game. But he wasn’t there to see Bronny’s first high school dunk:

“I mean, it’s bittersweet for me,” James said. “Obviously, I would love to be there.”

Time For LeBron James to Hang It Up?

It is not hard to imagine a scenario where he decides to walk away. Eventually, watching games over a live stream is going to get to him. It will go from being bittersweet to something he hates. Why? Because it will serve as a reminder that he is not there.

When that time comes, he is going to realize there isn’t anything left for him to do in the NBA. He already has a Hall of Fame resume; inducting him will be the easiest decision ever.

If he were to stop playing, it isn’t like he is going to get bored. His endorsement deals are not going to go anywhere. Then there is the pizza chain, his budding acting career, and his production company, to name just a few of his off-court interests.

There will be more than enough things to keep him occupied at home. It’s not as if his family needs the money, either. His net worth is an estimated $450 million.

He doesn’t need to play—so, why is he?

It’s All About Playing With Bronny—In The NBA

No one would blame him if he were to retire sooner rather than later so that he could spend more time with his family. It wouldn’t be shocking if he were to call it quits after his contract with the Lakers expires. Then he would be home for Bronny’s senior season.

But he is not going to do that. Yes, it would be great to be there for every game, but he wants to play with his son (or against him)—in the NBA.

To do so and assuming his son has a good enough game, that means LeBron James will need to play for another four or five seasons. If he is going to last that long, he may want to revisit his stance on load management.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das for If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or Rights and Duties of the Editor, or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us and we will look at it as soon as possible.

Last modified: November 25, 2019 11:23 AM UTC

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Travis Pulver @FatManWriting

Travis graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, with a master's in Political Science. Prior to that, he attended IU Purdue in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he earned his bachelor's degree in Political Science and earned his first degree at Texas A & M in Galveston, TX, a BS in Maritime Administration. You can contact him on Twitter at @FatManWriting. Over the last few years, Travis has worked for several news-oriented sites that focused on sports, especially football, baseball, basketball, and to a lesser extent, boxing and MMA. Having grown up in the football-crazed state of Texas, football is his first love. According to his mother, he was more excited to watch NFL and college games as a baby than Sesame Street or Mickey Mouse. His passion for sports quickly spread to baseball (favorite team is the Houston Astros), basketball, and track and field as a kid. It wasn’t until his college years that he discovered the tremendous game of rugby. He currently lives in the United States in Indiana (is a basketball fan but hates going to the Indy 500) with his wife and two adorable kids.