Paris 2024 Is On The Horizon, But First Lebron James Wants To Spend Time With Family After LA Lakers Crash Out Of Playoffs

James showed no signs of slowing down against Denver. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters via CNN Newsource)

By Sam Joseph, CNN

(CNN) — After being dispatched in five games by the reigning champion Denver NuggetsLeBron James spoke to the media about what’s next for the Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar.

Denver clinched a 4-1 series victory on Monday to send the Purple and Gold packing from the postseason for the second year in a row.

It is the fourth time James has failed to advance beyond the first round in his six years as a Laker, after falling to the Phoenix Suns in 2021 and missing the playoffs entirely in 2019 and 2022 – though LA did win a championship in the pandemic-affected 2020 campaign.

With his season once again coming to a premature end, James is looking forward to spending some time away from basketball.

“I just want to get home to the family, honestly,” James said after the game. “One of my boys is trying to decide if he’s going to enter the draft or go back to school,” added James, referring to his 19-year-old son Bronny.

“I got another kid who’s playing AAU ball right now. My daughter’s playing volleyball and my wife is doing so many great things, so it’s about family right now.”

Despite the lopsided series scoreline, the Nuggets were frequently pushed by the Lakers and relied on the heroics of point guard Jamal Murray in the final seconds of the game on two separate occasions.

James, playing in his 21st season in the league, averaged 27.8 points across the five games along with 6.8 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 2.4 steals and one block.

Despite the silver lining of an extended break from the sport, the summer won’t be one long vacation for James.

He will head to Paris to represent Team USA in the Olympic Games alongside the likes of Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, with the 39-year-old stressing; “I have to rest my body for USA basketball.”

The next couple of months will also provide time for James to consider his future as a Laker. ‘The King’ holds a player option in his contract and is eligible to become a free agent this offseason, but remained coy on his plans for next season.

“I’m not going to answer that,” he responded when asked about his future with the franchise before walking off the podium.

James was equally vague on whether he still held a desire to play with his son Bronny in the NBA and insisted that it is not his decision to make.

“I don’t know, I haven’t given it much thought lately,” James said. “Obviously, I thought about it in the past, but at the end of the day, the kid has to do what he wants to do. I don’t even want to say kid anymore, the young man will decide what to do and how he wants to decide how he wants his career to go.”

Bronny, who returned to the court in December after suffering a cardiac arrest in July last year, recently completed his freshman college season at the University of Southern California and declared for the 2024 NBA Draft in April while retaining his college eligibility.

While it is unclear whether the NBA’s all-time leading scorer will still be donning the Purple and Gold in October or if he will have the chance to share the floor with his son, all signs point towards James returning for a record-equaling 22nd season in the league.

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