Arnab Bose


LeBron James’ Retirement Threat A Hoax? NBA Analyst Calls It A Tactic To Pressure Lakers Into Trading Kyrie Irving

LeBron James was understandably devasted after Los Angeles Lakers lost in the Western Conference Finals against Denver Nuggets by 0-4. The whole team worked very hard to turn the season around on its head. It was a big surprise since Los Angeles Lakers were 2-10 in the beginning. They had no balance on the roster and too many injury concerns. But the February trades provided some relief and solutions to the team’s problems. After that, the Lakers went on a roller coaster ride with new heroes emerging every game and shocked the NBA community to reach the Western Conference Finals.

But the brilliant turnaround saw an ugly elimination in the hands of the top seed team of the Western Conference. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray’s force was just too much to handle for the Los Angeles Lakers. But what caught the most considerable media attention after Game 4 was what LeBron James hinted at in a cryptic message. After the Lakers got brutally eliminated, in the post-game interview, LeBron James mentioned that “I have a lot to think about regarding where I see myself in the future with the game of basketball.”


NBA Analyst Believe LeBron James’ Retirement Message Might Be A Tactical Play

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Kyrie Irving LeBron James Kevin Love Cavaliers Source: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

There is speculation that James might be faking his retirement plans in the media. According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, “The motivation behind this faking might be to make the Lakers’ front office sign Kyrie Irving as soon as possible.” Moreover, Irving has always been under the radar of the Lakers’ front office. Especially when he decided to move out of Brooklyn Nets. Apparently, the Lakers came close to buying him but lost to Dallas Mavericks eventually. LeBron James has always been a keen supporter of the idea of bringing his 2016 championship-winning Cleveland Cavaliers teammate, Kyrie Irving, to the Los Angles Lakers.

But somehow, the plan has not worked out yet. Irving is a free agent in the offseason. But the Lakers’ front office may have too many options to try to sign Irving. They have an interest in extending the contracts of Austin Reaves and even Rui Hachimura. But D’Angelo Russell maybe not, as he is an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. Nonetheless, he did not perform exceedingly well either in the playoffs. Hence, LeBron James might think it is better if Irving joins instead. However, it will depend on the Lakers’ cost cap space.

Is James Going To Retire Soon?

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Jan 7, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts after being called for an offensive foul against the Sacramento Kings in the fourth quarter at the Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently, James is questioning his plans to play in NBA in the upcoming seasons. And there is a chance that he might be contemplating retirement. Hence, the big question is if the 20th NBA season of King’s career is going to be his last. LeBron James was clearly upset after the humiliating Game 4 loss at the home court, arena. Moreover, his long-time friend Carmelo Anthony announced his retirement on the same day.

Hence, it might have been too much to take for King James in one day. He really wanted to win his 5th championship ring this year. Another important thing is that LeBron James said several times that his goal is to play alongside his son Bronny in the same team before he retires. However, the King won’t mind if his son plays for the opposition someday, either. Bronny James is selected for the next year’s draft. But the loss must have really broken his heart.