LeBron James Says He’s ‘Happy’ in Los Angeles and Hopes to Retire with the Lakers: ‘We’ll See’

The 20-time NBA All-Star says there’s “not many” seasons left in his career

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during play against the Houston Rockets in the second half at Crypto.com Arena on January 16, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

LeBron James. PHOTO: RONALD MARTINEZ/GETTY

LeBron James wants to give a Hollywood ending to his professional basketball career.

The 39-year-old NBA star told reporters at the All-Star Game this weekend that he hopes to end his career in Los Angeles, retiring as a Laker.

“I am a Laker and I’m happy and been very happy being a Laker the last six years and hopefully it stays that way,” LeBron said, according to ESPN. “But I don’t have the answer to how long it is or which uniform I’ll be in. Hopefully [it] is with the Lakers. It’s a great organization, so many greats. But we’ll see.”

LeBron’s revelation about where he wants to wind down his career comes two weeks after the Golden State Warriors reportedly reached out to the Lakers about making a trade for the 20-time NBA All-Star forward at the league’s trade deadline on Feb. 8.

In the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, LeBron had indicated he was unhappy with his team’s performance so far this season. In late January, LeBron tweeted out an hourglass emoji in the middle of the night following the team’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

When reporters then asked him if he knew what he would decide this offseason about returning to Los Angeles, LeBron said “no” he did not.

All of that raised questions throughout the NBA about whether he was looking to be traded to another team and led to the Warriors reportedly seeking a trade for the four-time NBA champion.

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers poses for a portrait during 2023-24 NBA Media day at UCLA Health Training Center on October 02, 2023 in El Segundo, California.


LeBron James. Photo: ADAM PANTOZZI/NBAE/GETTY

LeBron won one of his four NBA titles with the Lakers in 2020, but the chances of Los Angeles winning another this season are looking increasingly slim.

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Despite winning the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament in December, the Lakers are currently in ninth place in the Western Conference with a 30-26 record.

That’s good enough to get Los Angeles into the NBA’s play-in tournament for the playoffs, but it’s not a record that invokes much confidence in the team’s chances for another title run. The lowest-seeded NBA team to ever win the championship was the No. 6-seed Houston Rockets in 1996.

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers holds the Larry O'Brien Trophy and The Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award after winning Game Six of the NBA Finals on October 11, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida.
LeBron James. Photo : NATHANIEL S. BUTLER/NBAE/GETTY

LeBron also told reporters on Sunday that there’s “not many” seasons left in his NBA career as he plots out the end of his career. “I don’t know how it’s going to end, but it’s coming,” LeBron said. “It’s coming, for sure.”

The four-time NBA MVP has been open about his dream of playing alongside his eldest son Bronny James, who is currently a freshman at the University of Southern California. It’s uncertain whether Bronny will join the NBA Draft this upcoming offseason.

LeBron also said this weekend that he’s “50-50” on whether he’ll make an announcement that he’s playing his final season, whenever that may be, ahead of time.

“I’m going to be honest, because there’s times when I feel like I guess I owe it to my fans that have been along this journey with me for two decades plus, to be able to give them that moment where it’s every city and whatever the case may be and they give you your flowers or whatever the case may be,” he said.

“That seems cool. But the other side of that, I’ve never been that great with accepting like praise. It’s a weird feeling for me.”

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