LeBron James is having a great season, but could forces other than basketball convince him it is time to retire sooner rather than later?
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.”
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?
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.