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#pounditSunday, December 4, 2022

LeBron James could play for even longer than expected?

LeBron James in a purple Lakers sweater

Dec 9, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) warms-up prior to the game against the Memphis Grizzles at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James may be on his way to becoming the NBA’s Tom Brady.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar James was featured this week in a Sports Illustrated cover story by Chris Ballard. In the story, James hinted that he might like to stick around in the league long enough to play with his son … his younger son Bryce.

“I feel like I could play for quite a while,” said James when asked about possibly playing with Bryce. “It’s all up to my body, but more importantly, my mind. If my mind can stay sharp and fresh and motivated, then the sky’s not even a limit for me. I can go beyond that. But we shall see.”

You can read the full Sports Illustrated feature, which offers a deep dive into the James basketball family, here.

The four-time NBA MVP James is now 37 years old and is entering his 20th season in the league. It is common knowledge by now that James would like to play wth his older son Bronny, who is a 17-year-old high school senior and is NBA draft-eligible in 2024 (when James will be 39 going on 40).

As for Bryce, he is two years behind Bronny as a 15-year-old high school sophomore. It will be 2026 by the time that Bryce is eligible to be drafted into the NBA, at which point James will be 42 and going into his 24th season in the league.

The NBA record for most seasons played belongs to Vince Carter with 22. Meanwhile, the record for oldest NBA player is held by Kevin Willis, who played until the age of 44 (not counting Nat Hickey, a full-time coach who, at 45 years old, activated himself as a player for the Providence Steamrollers for two games back in 1947-48).

Having averaged a near career-high 30.3 points per game last season, James has longevity like none that we have ever seen before in the NBA (though he has missed a combined 53 games with injury over the last two years). When you see some of the hype Bryce has been generating lately, it makes sense that his father might want to stick around if he is physically able to do so.


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