LOS ANGELES — After a sweep at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, LeBron James told reporters that he was considering retirement for the first time in his NBA career.
Having covered James for the past five seasons in Los Angeles, Locked On Lakers host Andy Kamenetzky joined Wednesday’s Locked On Sports Today podcast to discuss James’ words and how seriously NBA fans should take them.
“I didn’t walk into that postgame presser situation thinking LeBron could float the idea of calling it quits, but when you examine the actual particulars, I don’t think it’s shocking,” Kamenetzky noted.
James became the all-time leading scorer in NBA history this season and has 10 NBA Finals appearance to go along with four championship rings.
“He’s 20 years in, there’s nothing left for him other than titles to accomplish, and titles are extremely difficult to come by,” Kamenetzky said. “He is laboring to get through these games, even if he’s able to, more often than not, at somewhere between a good to a high level.”
So while James has nothing left to prove, he is still an effective basketball player. At the same time, we know that in both Cleveland and Miami at previous points in his career, James also used moments like these to exert pressure on the franchise.
Is he doing the same here?
“LeBron has never been shy over the course of his career … about trying to apply leverage,” Kamenetzky said. “It could be both a leverage play and a sincere thought about retiring.”