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LeBron James: ‘Playing basketball at this level, not in my DNA’

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Lakers star LeBron James - 'Playing basketball at this level, not in my DNA'
USA Today Network

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is in his 20th season, and the four-time MVP is unsure how much longer he can continue to play at a high level. During the offseason, the forward said he wants to play on an NBA team with his sons, Bronny and Bryce. However, James gets one step closer to retirement with each passing season.

“I’m a winner and I want to win,” James said on Wednesday, following the Lakers’ 112-98 loss to the Miami Heat. “And I want to win and give myself a chance to win and still compete for championships. That has always been my passion, that has always been my goal since I entered the league as an 18-year-old kid out of Akron, Ohio.

Per multiple NBA betting sites, LeBron James has the 18th-best odds to win MVP in 2023. Sportsbooks are giving Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo the greatest odds to win the award this season.

“And I know it takes steps to get there, but once you get there and know how to get there, playing basketball at this level just to be playing basketball is not in my DNA,” added LeBron James. “It’s not in my DNA anymore. So, we’ll see what happens and see how fresh my mind stays over the next couple years.”

Injuries are another factor to take into account. James has missed eight games so far this season. The forward has suffered quite a few groin strains and ankle sprains the last few years.

Lakers superstar LeBron James is unsure how much longer he’ll play in the NBA, playing basketball just to play is not in his DNA

Through 27 starts this season, the 18-time All-Star is averaging 27.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Also, he’s shooting 49.8% from the floor and 29.7% outside the arc. Of course, the forward’s 3-point percentage is the lowest since his rookie season.

On Dec. 11, in the Lakers’ 124-117 win against the Detroit Pistons, LeBron James recorded a season-high 35 points in 37 minutes of action. He finished 14-of-24 (58.3%) shooting from the field and knocked down two 3-pointers.

Additionally, no one will get a straight-forward answer out of James on retirement, because not even he knows at this point. Considering the soon to be 38-year-old has won four championships, Bron is probably playing just to own the records.

Not to mention, he’s waiting on Bronny and Bryce to get drafted. LeBron James (37,813) needs 575 points to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) to become the NBA’s all-time scoring leader.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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