Did LeBron James play his final game with the Lakers? 'I'm not going to answer that'

Did LeBron James just play his last game with the Lakers? When asked in a postgame news conference following his team’s 108-106 loss to the Denver Nuggets, eliminating Los Angeles from the postseason, the NBA superstar would not address his future with the franchise.

“I’m not going to answer that,” James said Monday night.

James finished with 30 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough against Denver. Nuggets guard Jamal Murray drained a midrange jump shot in the final seconds to send the Lakers home in the opening round.

Murray, who finished with 32 points, said scoring the game-winner over James’ team was a full circle moment because he idolized James as a kid.

“He’s been one of my favorite players for some time. It’s just a pleasure to go against him,” Murray said. “He makes you think during the game. He’s still a physically dominant guy out there, but he makes you think about the game, the reads, the passes. His timing is great. He’s super athletic on top of that. It’s a pleasure to go against him and get the win, too.”

While Murray moves on in hopes of another NBA championship, James heads home with plenty of questions this offseason.

The 39-year-old, who just completed his 21st season, remains among the league’s best players. He averaged 25.7 points, 8.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals a game while shooting a career-high 41% from 3-point range.

James signed a two-year, $99 million contract last summer with the Lakers that includes a player option for next season. If he decides to decline that final year, he will become a free agent and can sign with any team. James is expected to return for at least one more season — he can make $51.4 million in doing so — but it’s not a guarantee, especially after his comments Monday night.

He must decide by the June 29 deadline.

“I just want to get home to the family, honestly,” James said postgame. “One of my boys is trying to decide if he’s going to enter the draft or go back to school. I have another kid that’s playing AAU ball. My daughter is playing volleyball, and my wife is doing so many great things. So it’s about family right now.”

James’ son Bronny declared for the NBA draft earlier this month. He still has college eligibility if he withdraws his name by June 16. A 6-foot-4 guard, Bronny averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists over 19.4 minutes per game as a freshman at USC.

He is not expected to be a first-round selection, but a team could pick him with hopes of luring his legendary father.

“I got to be on the floor with Bronny,” LeBron James told ESPN in 2023. “Either in the same uniform or a matchup against him … I ask him what his aspirations (are) and he says he wants to play in the NBA. So if he wants to do it, he’s got to put in the work. I’m here already, so I’m just waiting on him.”

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