In his NBA-record 282nd career playoff game, Lebron James dropped 21 points in a dynamic first quarter in Game 4. He added 10 more in the second while playing nearly the entire half of a do-or-die game against the top-seeded Nuggets.
James already had the highest scoring average in NBA history in elimination games (33.5 points per game) among all players with at least 10 such appearances.
“It’s all about availability for me and keeping my mind sharp, and things of that nature,” James said. “Being present on the floor, being present in the locker room and bus rides and plane rides, things of that nature. It’s challenging, for sure. It was a very challenging season for me, for our ballclub, and obviously we know whatever went on early on (in the Lakers’ 2-10 start to the season). It was cool, a pretty cool ride.”
After failing to win a title this year, James is clearly thinking about whether he wants to do it all again. One major obstacle to any retirement thoughts is his long-stated desire to play an NBA season alongside his son, Bronny, who will be a freshman at USC this fall and couldn’t join the league until the fall of 2024 at the earliest.
“I guess I’ll reflect on my career when I’m done, but I don’t know,” James said when asked to assess his 20th season. “The only thing I concern myself with is being available to my teammates, and I don’t like the fact that I didn’t play as many games as I would have liked because of injury. That’s the only thing I care about, is being available to my teammates.”