It’s difficult to envision a day when LeBron James is not ruling the NBA, especially with the King in the midst of one of his best seasons at 33 years old.
Though the end is not in sight — not even close, really — James gave the first hints as to why he’ll eventually walk away from the game he has dominated for so long.
“The only thing is with my kids getting older, that’s the only thing that kind of stops me from going as long as I’d like to,” he told USA Today on Thursday morning, ahead of the Cavaliers-Raptors game in Toronto. “I’ve got a 13-year-old son now [LeBron Jr.]. He’s in the seventh grade. He’s a damn good basket player, too. On this road trip, I’ve already missed four of his games. That’s the thing that kind of sucks.”
“I’ve got a 10-year-old boy [Bryce], 3-year-old girl [Zhuri]. Daddy side-kicks in sometimes. That will be a deciding factor in how long I want to play.”
For now, the 15-year veteran is performing at an MVP level, averaging 27.2 points, 9.0 assists, 8.2 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per contest, shooting 56 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3.
“Right now, I feel great. I don’t feel 33,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’ve been to [seven] straight Finals in a row. I don’t feel like I came in at 18 and I’ve played 79-80 percent of games. Just keep it going.”
James cannot quite picture his future retirement, saying that when the end comes, he’ll just “know.”
“I don’t know until you make that decision. The game will let you know when it’s over with,” James explained. “Retirement for me is like getting engaged. I didn’t know if I was ready or not. I just felt it was the time. Timing was right. The vibe was right. Did I know I was ready for marriage? I don’t know. I never had nobody in my family get married before. I never experienced it. I definitely never had nobody in my family play in the NBA and retire. So, we’ll see. We’ll see.”
In the meantime, we should sit back and enjoy the King’s remaining reign.
“I’ve already went further than I thought I would go. Every thing after this point is extra credit,” said James, a three-time NBA champion and four-time MVP. “Fifteen years. I don’t know, I’ve been in this spotlight for half of my years. I’m 33 now. This thing started when I was 15. Eighteen years I’ve been in this light. I’ve already exceeded everything I’ve dreamed about. At this point, I’m just adding crazy toppings on the cake like my daughter would do. Throw all kinds of stuff on the cake and whatever happens, happens.”