Five Potential Retirement Destinations for LeBron James
LeBron James' 20th NBA season came to an end on Monday night as the Los Angeles Lakers were swept by the Denver Nuggets. LeBron left it all out on the court, playing all 48 minutes, scoring 31 points in the first half, and finishing an assist short of a 40-point triple-double. It was awesome.
It also seemed like the performance of a player with plenty left in the tank, even if he was understandably exhausted and unable to get his team over the finish line. And that's why it came as such a shock to many people to hear LeBron almost kind of sound like he was considering retirement in his postgame press conference.
"We'll see what happens going forward. I don't know. I got a lot to think about to be honest. I've got a lot to think about to be honest. Just for me personally going forward with the game of basketball, I got a lot to think about."
Ominous! Curious! Is he really considering retirement? Seems crazy. Hasn't the plan always been to play with his son? Didn't the Lakers get close enough this year to think that with a good offseason they could be right back here competing for his 11th trip to the NBA Finals? You would think, but who knows. Circumstances change and maybe he just needs a break. It's not like he's short on options. In fact...
Here are five possible things LeBron James could do next season instead of play in the NBA.
President and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery
David Zaslav, the current President and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, spent the weekend getting jeered in Boston, and if that's a prerequisite for the job, then LeBron is more than qualified. Having made Space Jam: A New Legacy, he also has experience working at Warner. Sure, he would be forgoing a $50 million player option to take this job, but considering Zaslav made an average of $140 million over the last two years, it would actually be a pay increase for LeBron. Plus he definitely wouldn't have to work as hard or face the press after something went wrong.
Travel Show Host
Carmelo Anthony retired yesterday. Dwyane Wade has been retired. Chris Paul is getting very close. Why not get the Banana Boat Crew back together for a travel show? Each guy's production company could shoot it like they were the star and shop it to different networks. Then they could use reviews or IMDB ratings to determine who made the best show. Winner gets to stay retired. Losers have to all sign with the Knicks.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but LeBron James should still have four years of college eligibility remaining since he jumped straight from high school the NBA. So why not follow JR Smith's lead and go to college and play a sport? Since he really wants to play with his son, why not join him at USC for a year or two? The only question is whether 40-year old sophomore LeBron James is the greatest prospect since Victor Wembanyama.
Much like Tom Brady selflessly retired so Gisele could go back to work, LeBron could take over running the James house so that Savannah could finally chase her dreams. Sure, that would mean Taco Tuesday might fall on a Wednesday or Thursday every now and then, but it would also free LeBron up for some more reading during the days while the kids are in school.
Unfortunately, it was always headed here. When Michael Jordan got burned out by those first three championships, he walked away and played baseball. LeBron was never a baseball player and there's just no way he's about to play football, no matter how many well-made photoshops of him in a Browns or Cowboys jersey exist. So that leaves pickleball. LeBron owns a Major League Pickleball team, so he can certainly put himself on the roster and spend the summer riding the bus like Jordan did.
Or, Spring? Winter? Fall? When do they play pickleball? And do they have team buses? Minor details. The important thing is that after a season or two of pickleball, LeBron will be refreshed and ready to return to the NBA. Where we will then patiently await his next retirement. As is tradition.