Saturday, January 28 2023

LeBron James has long made it clear that he plans to play in the NBA with his son, Bronny James, when the latter eventually reaches the league. As he will be nearing his 40s when that becomes possible, the widespread assumption has been that LeBron would retire after doing so. But in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard, the Lakers superstar hinted that he might have even bigger plans. He might want to play with both of his sons.

“I’d definitely be looking at who got first-round picks in 2024, 2025, things of that nature; 2026, ’27. I pay attention to that type of stuff,” James said. Bryce James, the second James son, is set to graduate high school in the class of 2025. That would technically make him eligible to be drafted in 2026, two years after Bronny. Ballard asked LeBron Sr. if he might stick around for both of his sons. According to Ballard, James smiled.

“I feel like I could play for quite a while. So 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,” James said.

James, now 37, would turn 43 during Bryce’s rookie season… and that’s if the younger James was a one-and-done collegiate player. As mind-boggling as that might seem, it technically would not make James the oldest player in NBA history. That honor belongs to Nat Hickey, who was the coach of the Providence Steamrollers in 1948 and activated himself for two games. Among traditional players, Kevin Willis played until he was 44. 

It is still far too early to say whether or not James can last that long, or what kind of future his youngest son has as a professional basketball player. But if history has taught us anything where LeBron is concerned, it’s that anything is possible when it comes to his defiance of the aging curve. If he thinks he can stick around long enough to play with both of his sons, who are we to doubt him?



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