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NBA insider reveals when LeBron James is expected to retire

Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has already cemented his legacy as one of the best basketball players ever, even before a historic season of excellence at age 39. However, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer reportedly might finally be nearing that point where he walks away from the game.

James, the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, is closing out his 21st season in the NBA. He is one of just six players in NBA history to play 21 seasons, joining legends like Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki. However, James is far outperforming their production past the 20-year mark in their careers.

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While James is still playing at an All-Star level, injuries and diminished athleticism have taken a toll on him. He’s no longer a high-level defender and lower-body injuries have plagued him in recent years. He’s played nearly 1,500 games with almost 57,000 minutes played in the regular season alone. Now, it appears he’s finally nearing that point of walking off the court for good.

During an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, NBA insider Shams Charania revealed that in conversations with those close to James, the expectation he has is that the NBA legend will play only one or two more years.

“Most people I talk to around LeBron James, about LeBron James, [say] one to two more years is definitely the expectation.”

Shams Charania on when LeBron James is expected to retire

Related: LeBron James provides update on retirement timeline

Winning another championship is largely the motivating factor for James as he nears the end of his age-39 season. He has won four NBA championships, earning NBA Finals MVP all four times, but he is still seeking that elusive fifth ring.

James’ championship aspirations are why the Lakers are expected to pursue a third NBA star this summer. Among those targets is Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, who is now viewed as a realistic superstar who could be traded this offseason.

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While there were once rumors that James might exercise his $51.415 million player opt-out to become a free agent and sign with another team, the expectation now is that he’ll finish his career with the Lakers. As for his aspirations of playing with Bronny James, his son hasn’t declared for the 2024 NBA Draft.

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