LeBron James, 39, acknowledges NBA career is nearing its end: ‘I don’t have much time left’

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on March 31, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

For over two decades, LeBron James has been the face of the NBA and after a phenomenal performance on Easter Sunday in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 116-104 win over the Brooklyn Nets, he hinted his days in the league are numbered.

At 39 years old, "King James" is in his 21st season. Sunday night’s timeless 40-point performance also consisted of nine three-pointers and seven rebounds. ESPN reported "King James" joins the legendary Michael Jordan as the only players in league history with multiple games of 40 points or more after turning 39. Jordan did it three times and so far, James has done it twice. 

After the game, he acknowledged his playing days are slowly coming to an end when asked how much longer he plans to play. 

"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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He also provided an update on the foot injury he's been battling throughout the season. 

"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 opportunities to get on the floor."

He continued, "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."

James, now the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, is a 20-time All-Star and 4-time champion. 


The Lakers have had a strong push and have gained momentum since the All-Star break. However, they remain in ninth place in the stacked Western Conference in the weeks leading into the playoffs. If the playoffs were to begin Monday, the Lakers would return to the play-in tournament for a must-win game to advance to the playoff rounds.

FOX News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.