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LeBron James hints at retirement after Lakers get swept by Nuggets: "I've got a lot to think about"

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James hinted at retirement shortly after his team got swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals on Monday night. 

James, 38, delivered an impressive 40 points and 10 rebounds in the 113-111 loss in Game 4. Yet the 20-year NBA veteran appeared unsure about his basketball future, telling reporters in a post game news conference, "We'll see what happens going forward."

"I don't know," he said. "I've got a lot to think about to be honest... Just for me, personally going forward with the game of basketball, I've got a lot to think about."

LeBron James ends press conference with this cryptic message 👀 | SportsCenter by ESPN on YouTube

An ESPN reporter followed up with James after the news conference and asked if he would walk away from the game, and James responded, "I got to think about it." 

It was an eventful season for James. He became the NBA's all-time leading scorer, and after a flurry of trades, he helped lead the Lakers to four wins away from the NBA Finals. He also played injured throughout the postseason after he experienced a right foot tendon injury in late February. On Monday, he told ESPN that he has to check in about whether the tendon is healed or not when considering surgery in the offseason. 

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Four
LeBron James reacts to a foul during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at Arena on May 22, 2023 in Los Angeles. / Getty Images

James previously said he would like to play until his eldest son, Bronny Jr., makes it to the NBA. Bronny Jr. would be eligible to be drafted in the 2024-2025 season under the current collective bargaining agreement, according to ESPN. However, he softened some of those expectations of playing until then. 

"I've done what I've had to do in this league, and my son is going to take his journey," he told ESPN on Monday. "And whatever his journey, however his journey lays out, he's going to do what's best for him... So, just because that's my aspiration or my goal, doesn't mean it's his. And I'm absolutely OK with that."

His comments also came on the same day 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony, who was taken in the star-studded 2003 NBA Draft along with James, announced his own retirement from the NBA.

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