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Thursday, June 13, 2024

A LeBron James Retirement Would Make Huge Financial Waves

  • Latest comments reverse those the Lakers superstar made in January about playing for “at least a few more years”
  • NBA’s all-time leading scorer remains a massive force in league business
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer and biggest star since Michael Jordan is openly musing about retirement — a move that would render a sizable economic blow across multiple revenue lines. 

After Lebron James’ Los Angeles Lakers were swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, the 38-year-old James said, “personally, going forward with the game of basketball, I’ve got a lot to think about.” 

Despite his advancing age and increasing injury concerns — not to mention the Lakers’ mere two playoff series wins since the team’s 2020 title — the superstar remains a massive force in league business. 

In addition to the Lakers ranking among league leaders in home and away attendance and local television ratings, James boasts a Twitter following of nearly 53 million, the most of any American athlete. He also led all NBA players again this year in All-Star Game fan voting and topped the league’s jersey sales for the second half of the 2022-23 season.

Blowing Off Steam?

There are multiple reasons why James would not retire. 

James remains under contract with the Lakers for the 2023-24 season at $46.9 million and has a player option for the following year at $50.7 million. He has also openly spoken of his desire to ultimately play with his son, Bronny James, who has committed to playing at USC next season.

The Lakers are also bidding to host the 2025 All-Star Game at their Crypto.com Arena.

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