LeBron James Rob Pelinka Lakers

Arnab Bose

NBA

REPORTS: LeBron James Set To Return Next Year With A Major Condition To Fulfil His Contract With Lakers

Recently, LeBron James hinted at his retirement plan after Game 4 in the Western Conference Finals. The Los Angeles Lakers lost the series by 0-4 to Denver Nuggets. However, James had been waiting for his 5th championship ring for a long time. He won his fourth with the Lakers back in the 2019-20 season during the pandemic, beating Miami Heat. But since then, the LA side has had a tough few seasons.

The Lakers had a 2-10 start to the current season. It was nothing short of a miracle for this team to reach the conference finals from a 2-10 start. But the loss in the WCF perhaps was a wake-up call as in the post-game interview, LeBron James expressed his thoughts. He hinted towards retirement when he stated, “I need to think about my career in the game of basketball. I need to think a lot.” On the same day, his long-time friend, Carmelo Anthony, announced his retirement. Perhaps that was also a reason to start thinking things over. However, as the recent reports surface, it is expected that LeBron will likely return to fulfill his contract with the Los Angeles lakers. But there is a twist.

   

LeBron James Might Actually Play For The Lakers In The Next Season

Rob Pelinka LeBron James Lakers
Rob Pelinka LeBron James Lakers Source: SBNation

This sudden hint of retirement from James took the NBA community by storm. Now the Los Angeles Lakers franchise has to come up with a possible replacement option for LeBron James if he announces his retirement soon. Perhaps Kyrie Irving is a viable option for the budget of the Lakers’ front office. However, as things stand suggest, James has one more year in his contract with the Lakers. And according to ESPN, some sources close to LeBron indicate that he will fulfill his contract no matter what. However, it is true that winning championships is what drives King James, and the humiliating loss in WCF was a significant blow.

But Dave McMenamin of ESPN mentioned, “After talking to close sources, I feel that he will be back for the next season wearing Purple and Gold.” Moreover, the following season might be the final chance for LeBron James to win his coveted 5th ring and the 18th title for Los Angeles Lakers. He was in top form in the WCF and became the first to reach 8,000 career points in playoffs. James also became the oldest person to score 40+ points in conference finals. But it just was not good enough for his team to beat Denver Nuggets, the top seed of the Western Conference. 

James Is Desperate To Win His 5th Ring

LeBron James Lakers
LeBron James Lakers Source: Irish Mirror Getty Images

Albeit, at 38, LeBron James has been waiting dearly for the 5th ring. But perhaps it just was not meant to be this year. King James is obviously at the twilight of his career. But fans have been watching him with awe as to how can someone at 38 in the 20th season of his career keep playing at his peak.

However, King James always mentioned that winning is the motivation that drives him to play at the highest level year after year. Moreover, King James had said initially the plan was to wait for his son Bronny James to make his NBA debut, and the King would like to play alongside his son.