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LeBron James’ cryptic comments make his Lakers future seem uncertain

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James cast doubt about his future in the NBA on Monday night after he and the Lakers were swept from the Western Conference finals by the Denver Nuggets. Nearing the end of his postgame session with reporters, he made several cryptic comments about what might be next for him.

However, according to a story on Bleacher Report, James is considering retirement. Citing unnamed league sources, the story by veteran reporter Chris Haynes indicates James will take his time deciding whether to play his 21st season in 2023-24. James, 38, has two years and $97 million left on his contract.

The final year of his deal with the Lakers is a player’s option.

At first, James didn’t wish to reflect on the season, after the Lakers dropped Game 4 to the Nuggets, 113-111, but then he did so, anyway. The four-time league MVP and four-time NBA champion didn’t mention retirement during his postgame press conference, so you had to read between the lines of his closing statements.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I love to play the game. I love to compete. I love to be out there for my guys, my teammates, whoever I have that particular year. I think it was special in the fact that having a first-year coach, first-year coaching staff, to be able to take them to the Western Conference finals, I think that’s dope for Coach Ham and his coaching staff going forward. That’s pretty amazing.”

James, who in February became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, went on to reference the challenges he and the Lakers faced during the season and he said he didn’t “get a kick out of a conference (finals) appearance.” Then he wondered aloud about what might come next for him. He sounded cryptic in his final remarks to reporters before departing.

“But we’ll see,” James said. “We’ll see. We’ll see what happens going forward. I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve got a lot to think about, to be honest. 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.”

James repeated himself for emphasis.

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