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Los Angeles Lakers hoping LeBron James does not retire

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LeBron James - Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has considered retiring after losing the Western Conference finals to the Nuggets. | PHOTO: ESPN |
  • Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James said he is thinking of retirement after losing the Western Conference finals
  • The Lakers were swept 4-0 by the Denver Nuggets earlier this week to miss the 2023 NBA finals
  • LA Lakers are hoping LeBron does not retire and come back for what will be his 21st NBA season

Almost all the players on the Los Angeles Lakers attended exit interviews with coach Darvin Ham and vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka on Tuesday, except for LeBron James. James, who recently expressed the possibility of retirement after the Lakers’ elimination from the Western Conference finals, is being given the necessary time by the team to contemplate his future.

Pelinka stated that they will have conversations with James when the timing is appropriate, acknowledging James’ immense contributions to basketball and his right to decide whether he wants to continue playing. The Lakers organization aims to support any player facing a pivotal moment in their career and provide them with the necessary assistance. While they hope for James’ career to continue, they want to grant him the time he needs to make a decision.

READ: LeBron James considering retirement after Denver Nuggets defeat

LeBron James - Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is contemplating retiring from professional basketball after the Lakers were swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. | PHOTO: CNN |

READ: What the Los Angeles Lakers have to do during off-season

Teammates of James, who recently experienced their longest postseason run, expressed a mix of support and disbelief regarding his potential retirement. The Lakers’ season began with five consecutive losses and ended with four straight defeats to the Denver Nuggets in the conference finals. However, Ham believes his first year as a coach has laid the foundation for future success.

If James decides to return for his 21st season, it would greatly contribute to the Lakers’ plans for future success. Despite being 38 years old, James is under contract for the next season and was named to the All-NBA third team. However, the toll of the 2022-23 season has taken its toll on him.

While the Lakers respect James’ need for space, Pelinka emphasized that as long as James remains committed, the franchise will continue to build around him and Anthony Davis. Davis is also under contract for the upcoming season, and the team intends to surround them with young talent. Max Christie is the only other player with a fully guaranteed contract for the 2023-24 season, while Jarred Vanderbilt has a partially guaranteed deal that the Lakers are likely to exercise.

Although James and Davis form the core of the team, the Lakers will need to make crucial decisions regarding the rest of the roster. There is the option to extend Russell’s contract, and the team has decisions to make regarding Malik Beasley, Mo Bamba, Rui Hachimura, and Austin Reaves, who are restricted free agents.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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