Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James is said to be mulling retirement after leading them to the Western Conference Finals this season.
James seemed to be struggling with his foot in Los Angeles’ Game 4 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
We now have more information on this. Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show Thursday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania broke some news in this regard.
“LeBron James played the last few months of the season with a torn tendon in his foot that could need surgery this summer,” Charania reported.
The NBA insider went on to note that James will take the next couple months to energize himself and is expected to play next season.
There’s a lot going on here. It’s not known when James suffered the injury. But Charania did note that it’s been a couple months. That extends well into the regular season and throughout the Lakers’ surprising playoff run, which included defeating the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals.
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LeBron James injury and 2022-23 performance
Considering how well James played a season ago, it’s crazy that he was doing it on an injured foot for the vast majority of the campaign.
- LeBron James stats (2022-23): 28.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 6.8 APG, 50% shooting
It’s ridiculous for a 38-year-old to put up these numbers, let alone while playing through a foot injury of that ilk.
As for James potentially returning for next season, the tea leaves seem to be blowing in that direction.
“A person familiar with James’ thought process predicted that he will ultimately fulfill the remainder of his two-year, $97.1 million contract with the Lakers that includes a player option for the 2024-25 season,” Sportsnaut’s Mark Medina reported recently.
While a return to the Lakers seems highly likely, there is also an off chance that James seeks out another team. Whispers continue to point in the direction of interest in joining the Golden State Warriors. While that seems like a pipe dream, James had previously broached the topic of suiting up with another all-time great.
“Steph Curry is the one I want to play with, for sure, in today’s game. (He’s) lethal, man. When he gets out his car, you better guard him right from the moment he pulls up to the arena. Soon as he gets out of his car, you better guard his a**. You might want to guard him when he gets out of bed. Swear to God,” LeBron James on Curry back in April of 2022.
Either way, the fact that James played through a torn tendon in his foot for the past couple months just adds to his legend.