LeBron James not thinking retirement: ‘Me and Tom Brady are one and the same’
At age 34 — turning 35 next month — LeBron James is having a start to the season that compares with his MVP year in Miami: 23.9 points a game, a league-leading 11.1 assists a night (with him playing more as the team’s point guard), and eight rebounds, plus he’s more active defensively and helping the Lakers to the best defensive rating in the NBA so far. It’s far too early to have an MVP conversation, but if someone did, LeBron would have to be in the middle of it.
With the signing of Carmelo Anthony by the Trail Blazers — and ‘Melo trying to change the perception of the end of his career — LeBron was asked about controlling the story at the end of his career. He was having none of it. Via Kyle Goon of the Los Angeles Daily News.
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."— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) November 15, 2019
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
Brady is like LeBron in this sense: it’s not fair to think of him as the norm. LeBron is the extreme outlier on the NBA’s aging bell curve, he has not followed the normal patters. It’s part genetic gifts, part how hard he works to keep his body and mind sharp, and there’s some luck thrown in. LeBron is not a comp for anyone but LeBron.
He has hinted he wanted to play until his son Bronny — currently a high school freshman — is in the league. That would be four more years, and that probably feels about right. But LeBron is a freak of nature who could probably impact an NBA game at age 45, so any predictions on when he decides to hang them up is a fool’s errand.
We just need to enjoy watching him play while we still can.