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LeBron James wants to play 4-5 more years, retire at 45?

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Lakers LeBron James wants to play 4-5 more years, retire at 45?
USA Today Network

On Sunday, an interview with Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder leaked on social media, and the 10-year veteran recalled the time LeBron James told him he wanted to play 4-5 more years and retire at 45.

It’s no secret that James wants to play with his sons, Bronny and Bryce, in the NBA. Of course, the four-time MVP turns 38 on Dec. 30. Bron can still play at a high level, but injuries are an important factor to consider.

Per multiple NBA betting sites, LeBron James has the 17th-best odds to win MVP in 2023. Quite a few sportsbooks show better odds for Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, and Stephen Curry.

Through 19 starts this season, LeBron James is averaging 26.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.2 steals. He’s also shooting 47% from the floor and 31.9% from 3-point range.

Not to mention, James has recorded seven double-doubles a little over a quarter into the 2022-23 season. But the Lakers forward has already missed seven games due to groin and ankle injuries.

And James is struggling to knock down his shots this season. He’s shooting 47% from the field for the first time since the 2006-07 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even then, in 78 starts with Cleveland that season, the forward averaged 27.3 points and 1.6 steals per game.

Lakers star LeBron James wants to play 4-5 more years in the NBA, play with Bronny and Bryce, and retire at the age of 45?

Additionally, the four-time NBA champ is posting 19-year lows of a 21.2 player efficiency rating and a true shooting percentage of 54.9%. Both numbers are James’ lowest since his rookie 2003-04 season.

Nat Hickey holds the all-time record for being the oldest to ever play basketball at the professional level. Hickey played two games in the Basketball Association of America in 1948. He was then 45 years and 363 days old.

Miami Heat forward/center Udonis Haslem is the oldest active player in the NBA right now. The 20-year veteran is 42 years and 186 days old. Haslem went undrafted in 2002. He has spent his entire career with Miami.

Vince Carter, an eight-time All-Star forward/guard, played 22 years in the league. His last game was on March 11, 2020, when he was 43 years and 45 days old. Carter was selected fifth overall by the Golden State Warriors in the 1998 NBA Draft.

Carter was then traded to the Toronto Raptors. The UNC product also played for the New Jersey (Brooklyn) Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, and Atlanta Hawks.

If anyone else can play until at least the age of 43, it has to be LeBron James. Forty-five is probably just pushing it. But with limited minutes, the forward could help a team off the bench years from now. In the end, he’ll retire when his body forces him to.

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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