When LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, the prevailing notion was that the superstar had picked the city in which he wanted to finish his career. Turns out it might be a bit of a wait.
The future Hall of Famer told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that he has no plans for ending his career anytime soon:
LeBron says of considering retirement: "Me and Tom Brady are one and the same. We're gonna play until we can't walk no more."
He says he wants to play until he physically can't, or until he mentally is checking out. But says LeBron: "I'm not at the end of my story." pic.twitter.com/i00feTicrL
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) November 15, 2019
Brady seemed to welcome the comparison.
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) November 16, 2019
As most sports fans are aware, James and Tom Brady are still active and quite good at their respective sports, with Brady doing his thing at an even older age than James.
What could LeBron James accomplish with that much time?
The New England Patriots quarterback is currently playing in his age-42 season, while James is playing at 35 years old. If James wants to play until Brady’s current age, never mind whatever age Brady decides to retire, that means we’re still less than three quarters of the way through James’ NBA career.
Longevity like that would do a number on the NBA’s all-time leaderboards. It would give James plenty of time to chase down Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time points list, not to mention the records for games played, field goals made and free throws made.
Sticking around like that would also give James a chance to fulfill his dream of playing with his son Bronny, who is only 15 years old and at least five years away from being eligible for the NBA draft, unless eligibility rules change in the near future.
Of course, longevity like that is not a guarantee in any sport, much less one as physically demanding as basketball. One awkward landing or ill-advised lunge could make staying in the game much more difficult.
James already has a massive amount of minutes on his odometer thanks to years of continuous play and extended playoff campaigns. That was definitely a topic of conversation when he had to miss a month of action last year with a groin injury.
However, James has also made a considerable effort to preserve his body, much like Brady. It’s not often you see an athlete with James’ physical workload last multiple years into his 40s, but it’s also hard to not think James has a shot.
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