If this is it for LeBron James, it’s been a privilege to watch hit after hit

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers had a pretty nice run in the NBA Playoffs, considering the windy road that group has had this season.

Now, though, is the end of the road for that squad, as the Denver Nuggets swept the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, behind the brilliance of Nikola Jokic, an insane heater from Jamal Murray and Denver hitting countless big shots. For a series sweep, it was an entertaining batch of games, but ultimately, the Nuggets made tons of crucial plays down the stretch in each game, and they’ll be moving on to the NBA Finals.

Having said that, perhaps the biggest takeaway from postgame was what transpired in James’ media availability, where he expressed how he might not be back next season. James reportedly mentioned the following about how he’s “not sure,” if he’ll be back next season, per Chris Haynes of TNT and Bleacher Report.

Haynes in the aforementioned report emphasized how James has “LeBron has discussed a strong desire to play in the league with Bronny, his oldest son, who is a projected member of the 2024 NBA Draft class.”

James is signed through the next two seasons with LA, but the 2024-25 campaign is a player option season, so theoretically, the possibility could be there for him to play with Bronny.

For now, though, it seems like a legit chance this could be it for LeBron James, who has played 20 seasons in the Association. If this is it, it’s been an honor and a privilege to watch him for so long, and it’s something we should never have taken for granted.

If this is it for LeBron, it’s been a privilege to watch hit after hit.

The accomplishments speak for themselves with LeBron, who is the best player in Cavaliers history by a thousand miles. He passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time scoring leader earlier this season, and is the all-time postseason leader in almost every relevant category.

James is also a four-time NBA champ, with consisting of him doing so with three teams, with two of those coming with the Miami Heat, one for the history books with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and the last being with the Lakers in 2020. Wherever James has played, he’s had tons of success, and has uplifted those around him.

Over the years, it’s been a true pleasure to watch him play, and have hit after hit over this 20-year run.

From the jump, James has made a lasting impression on the NBA game, including in his very first game in the league. From the early days in his first stint with the Cavaliers, to the Heatles, to the Return Tour and with The Lake Show recently, there’s been countless highlights, and what’s been the common theme is how his squads have always been relevant over his time with them.

It didn’t take long, especially as a Cavs and Cleveland sports fan, to know that LeBron was beyond special. His legendary Game 5 in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons will always stick with me, along with the buzzer-beating shot in Game 2 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals versus the Orlando Magic.

It was somewhat disheartening to watch James win his first two titles with the Heat, given the circumstances with his departure the worst time, but the moments with them were breathtaking at various points, too. And of course from there, LeBron’s return to Cleveland led to four consecutive runs to the NBA Finals, of which the ultimate highlight was the 2016 3-1 comeback over the Golden State Warriors.

Whether it was “The Block,” “The Shot,” the magical Game 5 for James and Kyrie Irving, that series had a bit of everything en route to the Cavs pulling off the only 3-1 comeback in NBA Finals history. Heck, there could be a documentary at some point just on that series in itself.

Anyways, while time will tell what transpires with LeBron, and if he does end up retiring before next season, watching him over the years has been nothing short of amazing. From his athletic rim-rattling plays, to his chasedown blocks, to his passing wizardry, to his ever-evolving post strides over his career, being a spectator of him has been so fulfilling for us as basketball fans.

I’m with our own Josh Cornelissen in believing James is the NBA’s GOAT, from an achievement/longevity standpoint, but even more so from a basketball skill set perspective, with him being the Swiss Army Knife of Swiss Army Knives.

Talk about somebody who changed the game of basketball? My goodness, he’s been as versatile as they come and has altered his game so often to adapt to the ever-changing basketball landscape.

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If this is it for The King, I salute him on a job so well done, on and off the floor. He’s been an inspiration for so many, a true student of the game, and has been truly one of one.