LeBron James has been proving on the LA Lakers that Father Time is no match for him, as he is an MVP candidate at 36 years old. However, he is getting up there in age, so while fans are enjoying watching him dominate, the thought of his retirement is still probably in the back of their minds. So, what is LeBron James’ retirement window? Lakers owner Jeanie Buss just potentially revealed that answer.
LeBron James is dominating for the Lakers at 36 years old
Last season, at 35 years old, LeBron James proved that he will not be slowing down anytime soon. He averaged 25.3 points per game, 7.8 rebounds, and an NBA-leading 10-2 assists, which was also a career-high. His stellar play also helped the Lakers win a championship, as he ultimately claimed his fourth NBA title.
Now this season, at 36 years old, he is continuing to dominate. James is averaging 25.8 points per game, eight rebounds, 7.8 assists, and is shooting 50.9% from the field. The Lakers are, again, one of the top teams in the Western Conference, too, despite Anthony Davis missing some time due to injury.
It’s truly remarkable to see what LeBron James is doing for the Lakers at 36. In comparison, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant averaged 22.3 points per game at 36 and shot 37.3% from the field, which would have been the worst mark of his career if not for his final season in the league. He then retired after the next season. Michael Jordan was retired at 36 but returned at 38 and averaged 22.9 points per game and shot 41.6% from the field. That was essentially the worst shooting percentage of his career other than the 17 games he played in toward the end of the 1994-95 season when he came back from his baseball stint.
So, yes, James is playing at a level not many players have reached at 36. When is he planning on calling it quits, though?
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss revealed The King’s potential retirement window
“We want him to stay around as long as he wants to stay around,” Buss said on the March 8 episode. “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played until he was 42. LeBron said something the other day about how he probably won’t play when he’s 46. So, maybe somewhere between now and 46, so another 10 years. Whatever he wants to do, we love having him.”
No, this doesn’t give a more definite age range, but we now know that James doesn’t plan to play past his mid-40s. He could, however, still play well into his 40s.
No matter how much longer James plays, though, he is already a future Hall of Famer.
LeBron James has already had a Hall of Fame career
LeBron James has nothing left to prove. All he can do now is win more championships. James is a 17-time All-Star and a four-time league MVP. He is also third in NBA history in career points and eighth in assists.
Championship-wise, James went to a remarkable eight consecutive NBA Finals with the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. He has also been to nine NBA Finals in the last 10 seasons and has played in 10 NBA Finals overall. If he wants to catch up to Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, James is at four championships, while Jordan won six and Bryant won five. So, he is in striking distance, and the Lakers have a great shot at winning him his fifth title this season, too.
Whether LeBron James wins any more championships with the Lakers or not, though, he has already cemented himself as a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest basketball players of all-time.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference