Lakers’ LeBron James hints at NBA days nearing end after dropping 40 points on Nets

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LeBron James put together an epic 40-point performance in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 116-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday and hinted that his day as an NBA player are numbered.

James is in the midst of his 21st season as he tries to will himself and the Lakers to another championship in the ever-so-difficult Western Conference. While he put on a timeless performance with nine 3-pointers and seven rebounds, the Lakers star acknowledged his playing days are slowly coming to an end.

“Not very long, I’m not going to play another 21 years, that’s for damn sure,” he said of the rest of his basketball career. “I don’t know when that door will close, but I don’t have much time left.”

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LeBron James vs Nets

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James drives against Brooklyn Nets forward Trendon Watford on Sunday, March 31, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/John Munson)

Los Angeles moved to 42-33 as the team fought to stay above the cut line in the Western Conference. The Lakers are two games up on the Golden State Warriors in the ninth spot and a place in the play-in tournament. But they only sit three wins behind the New Orleans Pelicans for sixth.

The Lakers have seven games remaining in the season, and a healthy James will be key to the final push toward this postseason run.

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LeBron James dribbles and drives

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James drives around Brooklyn Nets guard Mikal Bridges on Sunday, March 31, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/John Munson)

“My foot has felt a lot better. I didn’t have much time to really rep a lot last year because I had to make sure I could be on the floor running around or [not] putting much pounding of my foot on the floor,” he said, via ESPN. “I’ve had a lot of opportunity to get on the floor. 

“You probably see me before every game out on the floor, working on my game, working on my craft. So that’s helped out a lot, too. And just trying to stay consistent with my shot, do the same shot every time. And just work. Just work, work, work, work.”

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James’ 3-point mark on Sunday put him in a club with only Michael Jordan, according to ESPN. The two players are the only ones to have multiple 40-point games after turning 39.

LeBron James sinks a jumper

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James makes a 3-point basket over Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton on Sunday, March 31, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/John Munson)

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James has two to his credit while Jordan had three.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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