Good Morning Dub Nation,
After beating the Golden State Warriors in the second round, the Los Angeles Lakers were swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, 4-0. After the game, Lakers superstar LeBron James stole headlines as he hinted at a potential retirement with this cryptic answer about his basketball future.
LeBron James with a cryptic ending to his press conference: “I got a lot to think about. … Just personally, with me moving forward with the game of basketball, I got a lot to think about.”— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) May 23, 2023
If this was indeed his final game, James ended on a high note. He scored 40 points on 15-of-25 shooting from the field including 9 assists and 10 rebounds. He played the entire 48 minutes of the game, but came up just short of preventing the sweep as the Lakers lost to the Nuggets, 113-111.
It is very possible that James is just mentally exhausted after finishing an injury riddled, roller coaster of a 20th NBA season. The Lakers got off to a bad start as they began the year with a 2-10 record. Despite the team’s early struggles, the 38-year-old James inched closer to history with each passing game, culminating in him becoming the all-time leading scorer in NBA history.
Congrats @KingJames …legendary stuff right there #38388— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) February 8, 2023
After a couple of trade deadline moves revamped the Lakers’ roster, they morphed into a serious title contender. Led by a physical defense, Los Angeles would go on to upset the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, followed by a series victory against the Warriors in the second round. These playoff aspiration came to a screeching halt, however, as they ran into the Western Conference juggernaut known as the Nuggets.
Having said all that, James still has 2 years, $97 million left in his contract with the Lakers. The final year is a player option which coincides perfectly with the year his son, Bronny James, becomes draft eligible. LeBron has made it known he is very interested in playing alongside his son, so it remains to be seen how serious he is about a potential retirement.
Here are the rest of today’s stories:
In case you missed it from Golden State of Mind:
- The Warriors have a dilemma with the No. 19 pick
- Steph Curry named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion
- Movies for Joe Mazzulla to replace ‘The Town’
- Denver Nuggets are the new Western Conference champs
- Postmortem mailbag, Part 2
Other Warriors News:
- Nuggets’ approach, NBA Finals berth send Warriors signal about winning (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Stephen Curry wins 2022-23 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award (NBA)
- LeBron James hints at career change … could he join the Warriors? (95.7 The Game)
- Klay Thompson must evolve in order to win again with Warriors (Mercury News)
- Lakers-Nuggets Game 4 reaction: LeBron’s monster game not enough to beat Jokic (Draymond Green Show)
- LeBron James says he will consider retirement this offseason (ESPN)
- Celtics show ‘poise’ facing elimination, extend series vs. Heat (ESPN)
- NBA playoffs: The rise of Bam Adebayo (Yahoo Sports)
- Thompson: The ridiculousness of Nikola Jokić illustrated in a single shot (The Athletic)
- L.A. will bid to host 2025 NBA All-Star Game (The Sporting News)