Basketball superstar LeBron James, 34, released a statement last Friday in response to all the rumours regarding his age and retirement:
Hoopsrumors.com published the text in which King James said:
"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.
He also spoke about the factors that may one day make him start to think about retirement. "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," he concluded. Needless to say, he does not see retirement in the very near future.
In 2003, Lebron debuted in the NBA straight out of high school. It is his 16th season in the NBA. The League has banned drafting players straight out of high school since 2005. James played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, contributing to their championship titles for both teams. It is now his second year with the Los Angeles Lakers.
While James may be advancing in age, his performance isn't degrading as much. In 2017-18, he started all 82 regular-season games with Cleveland. He played almost 37 minutes a game. That means James is on the floor 80% of the time Cleveland has a match. He put up 27.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 9.1 assists per game. That is nowhere near the statistics of someone who should be retiring regardless of his age.
Last year, in his first year as a Laker, he suffered a groin injury and played a career-low of 55 games. That is where the retirement talk began. However, a lot of players get injured during their careers. Vince Carter is still playing for the Atlanta Hawks at the age of 42. Players such as Robert Parish, Dikembe Mutombo, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Stockton, Karl Malone, and Dirk Nowitzki played well into their 40s.
This season, Lebron played all 12 games (so far) with fewer minutes and comparatively same points and rebound ratio per minute with more assists.
King James will turn 35 on December 30.