Basketball 2 years ago

LeBron: My kids will decide when I retire

  • LeBron: My kids will decide when I retire

    Photo: Getty Images

LeBron James is still good at basketball, and on Thursday he was asked how long he wanted to continue playing.

"I think later on in my 30s," the 31-year-old James said, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "It's kind of up to my kids, really. I've missed so much of my kids' tournaments and things of that nature when I'm playing. So, it's kind of up to them. They'll let me know when they're tired of seeing me go away."

James and wife Savannah have three children: LeBron Jr., 11, Bryce, 8, and Zhuri, 1. LeBron Jr. has already shown some impressive skills of his own, and could be playing Division I college basketball in seven years.

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The question was prompted by Tim Duncan's future. Duncan, 40, could be playing his final NBA game Thursday night if the San Antonio Spurs are eliminated and the 19-year veteran opts to retire.

James is about to complete his 13th NBA season, and has already played more games than Larry Bird or Magic Johnson logged in their careers. Yet the science of longevity in sport is now more advanced than in their era, and James is known to follow a strict recovery regimen.

"It's not like I go into the season saying, 'OK, I'm going to play into June,'" he said. "I don't have that sense of entitlement, but I do prepare myself for the long haul. And saying, if I am fortunate enough to be a part of it, then it's more of a marathon and not a sprint for me. I've played a lot of basketball over the last few years and I've been fortunate to play at the highest level for a long time now. I have to listen to my body, and my body has done well for me."

Here's a comparison of other superstars and when they decided to call it a career. It must be noted that Johnson and Michael Jordan had hiatuses from their NBA careers that both lasted a total of four-and-a-half seasons each.

Total seasons GP (Reg. + Playoffs) Age at retirement
Kobe Bryant 20 1566 37
Michael Jordan 14.5 1251 40
Magic Johnson 12.5 1096 36
Larry Bird 13 1034 35
LeBron James 13 1173 ?

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