Purple & Bold: LeBron on retirement: ‘We’re gonna play ’til we can’t walk no more’

first_img“As long as I feel great and as long as I can still play at a high level and mentally I’m sharp and I’m there and I’m giving everything to the game and nothing can distract me from what the main objective is, I’ll probably play this game,” he said. “When I physically can’t play or mentally I’m a little checked out or I’m not approaching the game like I’ve always done in my whole career since I picked up a basketball, then you can start looking at (the end) that way.”While James might not relate to Anthony’s deep consideration that his career might be over, he sympathized with his close friend, who he worked out with over the summer. When he and other NBA stars get together in the offseason, James said, the conversation mostly revolves around wine, family and cigars – not the game.Still, James could see Melo was hurting as he worked out on his own after getting cut by the Houston Rockets last year. At one point last season, James hoped that Anthony would catch on to the Lakers roster, a possibility that raised some eyebrows when the Lakers considered making a playoff push.“His name was brought up with us last year and I hoped that opportunity presented itself as well when we had our injuries,” James said. “I was hoping he was going to be a part of here and it didn’t happen for whatever reason. But I’m happy that he has an opportunity to go back and play the game that he loves to play and do it at this level.”For his own part, James has offered up that he’d like to play with his son, Bronny, who is currently a freshman on the Sierra Canyon High basketball team with Zaire Wade. But it’s hard to envision James coming to terms with aging in, say, the way that Vince Carter has. Once a superstar, always a superstar? Or could James become a role player who gracefully finds a way to contribute into his late 30s or even early 40s?That’s a question James isn’t willing to entertain at the moment. He balked at another question about how athletes come to terms with ending their careers. It’s not for guys like him and Tom Brady to ask themselves yet.“I have no idea,” he said. “I’m not at the end of my story.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Editor’s note: This is the Friday, Nov. 15 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.One would assume, at some point, that LeBron James might start thinking about retirement like the rest of us.Turning 35 next month, James is one of the few left in the esteemed 2003 Draft class. Dwyane Wade is retired. Carmelo Anthony finally got a second chance with Portland after a year out of the NBA – and many thought he might not get back. LeBron played against several coaches he’s had during his career, including Ty Lue, Luke Walton and Jason Kidd.But if James is doing any internal debate about when he hangs up the sneakers for good, it’s going to stay internal. On Friday morning, a reporter asked – in the context of Melo’s return – if he had given much thought to his post-basketball life. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“Not really. Not the way I feel right now,” he said. “Me and Tom Brady are one in the same: We’re gonna play until we can’t walk no more.”It was a little bit of an overstatement (Brady is 42, in case you’re wondering), but James hardly jokes when it comes to measuring his own ability to stand up to time. And so far, he has delivered the goods in his 17th season – and helped cleared away any perception (if it existed) that he’s the “Washed King.”He’s averaging 24 points per game, which is his lowest scoring average since his rookie year, but c’mon, he’s got Anthony Davis. James is also doing something he’s never done before: Leading the league with 11.1 assists per game. He has 20 more assists this season than his nearest competitor, Luka Doncic. And Wednesday’s dominating performance against the Warriors (23 points and 12 assists in 26 minutes) is a reminder that James can turn on the afterburners, even without Davis.This is in part due to relentless training and recovery. James and trainer Mike Mancias recently appeared on the Nike Trained podcast, discussing James’ various methods of recovery, diet and sleep for how he stays at a near-MVP level while his contemporaries have slowly left the stage around him.But even James understands that it’s eventually a losing battle. And he’s done some visualizing of the criteria that will eventually send him out. UP NEXTIt’s a busy weekend for the Lakers, who have the Sacramento Kings on Friday and the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. Luke Walton returns to Staples Center for the first time with Sacramento, who hired him the day after he and the Lakers parted ways.— Kyle GoonEditor’s note: Thanks for reading the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.More readingThe latest on injuries – What to know about Avery Bradley, Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rajon Rondo going into Friday’s game.Living large – The Lakers aren’t afraid to be big in a league that goes small, and it’s helped them succeed.No need for AD – The Lakers didn’t need another star to lay a licking on the Warriors.Nothing Golden can stay – What it’s like when a dynasty collapses.Pro-load management? – Mirjam looked into how a fan might actually want a star to rest.Tales from the sideline – I enjoyed this podcast by Laker Film Room with team podcaster Aaron Larsuel with a look behind the scenes.Green room access – Since I wrote about Danny Green’s podcast last week, it wouldn’t be much for followup if I didn’t share the season’s first episode with Dwight Howard.last_img read more

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