LeBron James has been speculating retirement after the Los Angeles Lakers were brutally swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals a week ago. It’s hard to imagine that this will be it for the King. It’s hard to fathom that if he indeed hangs it up, there was no retirement tour or a last hurrah coming from him.
Even some league executives are doubting LeBron’s indecision to play another season.
Make no mistake: LeBron is still better than 80% of players in the league even though he’s 38 years old. But if their recent playoff run is an indication to where his talent is going forward, he can no longer be the first or even the second option on a contending team.
Sure, he can still lit up the scoreboard for 40 points when needed but he can no longer do it consistently with all the mileage he’s had under his legs. Even Steph Curry admitted that while facing LeBron has always been a challenge, the latest version of the King is ‘different’ when compared five years ago.
He isn’t the dominant force he once was due to his age. While he still averaged over 28 points per game this season, he was visibly out of gas in the playoffs, often giving up a shot with a quick pass to his teammates. James doesn’t dominate it like he used to before. Anthony Davis is the Lakers’ future but the unibrow has been inconsistent throughout their postseason run.
It might be time for LeBron to step back and be the third option for the Lakers. It will be unfair if the Lakers will continue to rely on him if Davis plays terribly given his advanced age. Who could the Lakers get as a first option? That would be the million dollar question this upcoming offseason. Father time is still undefeated and even LeBron knows that.