LeBron James has defied Father Time for years. Focusing on his body and health, James has prolonged what has been one of the greatest careers in all of professional sports, yet injuries have been a problem for him since coming to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. James has played in more than 60 games in just one of the five seasons he has been in Los Angeles, and he had to battle a foot injury late this season that bothered him in the postseason.

After a miraculous run to the Western Conference Finals, the Lakers lost Game 4 of the series to the Denver Nuggets on Monday night, resulting in a 4-0 sweep for the Nuggets and Los Angeles' season coming to an end. Coming up four wins shy of the NBA Finals is definitely an accomplishment for this franchise given the state they were in when the season began, but it was what James said after the game that dominated the spotlight.

“I got a lot to think about, to be honest,” James said. “Just for me personally, going forward with the game of basketball, I’ve got a lot to think about it.”

Is LeBron actually contemplating calling it a career?

At this point, there is very little left for James to achieve. He became the league's all-time leading scorer this season, he's a 19-time All-Star and was recently named an All-NBA talent for the 19th time in his career. Not to mention, he has won four championships with three different organizations, delivering on his promise to each.

Spending over half of his life in the NBA and nearing the end of the line in his career, it makes sense why retirement would be on his mind.

Then again, why would James reveal his inner thoughts of retirement to the world?

LeBron is extremely smart and everything he does is with purpose. He has never been afraid to voice his opinions and give his team direction during press conferences, which is exactly what may be happening here.

The Lakers made several moves at the trade deadline to improve their roster after the brutal start to the season with Russell Westbrook. General manager Rob Pelinka did a fantastic job of changing the trajectory of this organization to get them in this position. However, Los Angeles failed to make the one move James wanted, which was bringing eight-time All-Star Kyrie Irving to the Lakers.

James and Irving have been close friends for quite some time and won a title together with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. Going back to last summer before the start of the 2022-23 season, Irving was a prime trade target for the Lakers. There were discussions throughout Summer League in Las Vegas about whether or not Los Angeles would actually get a deal done for him.

No major trade talks ever materialized. As a result, Irving began this season with the Brooklyn Nets before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks at the trade deadline. Once again wanting his team to trade for the All-Star guard, James' request was not met at the deadline. They instead went out and added talents like D'Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Rui Hachimura, Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba.

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Entering the offseason, Irving is set to become an unrestricted free agent and the Lakers could once again pursue him. James bringing up the topic of retirement in his postgame remarks on Monday night absolutely hold some truth, but the timing is not a coincidence. Wanting to play with Kyrie once more has been on James' mind for quite some time now. With the flexibility the Lakers can create entering the offseason, there is no better time for them to make this kind of move to make their superstar happy.

Potentially getting Irving to Los Angeles is just one reason for bringing up retirement. The other revolves around his son, Bronny James, who has committed to play basketball at the University of Southern California.

Two key things stand out when talking about Bronny and his future pertaining to LeBron's career. The first is that James always supports his son and is always at his games. Retiring and being able to spend time with his son as he embarks on his basketball career would be a dream come true for LeBron, as every father should want to see their kid find success in the same profession they did.

After all the wear and tear he has endured and all the heavy minutes he has logged through the years, it would make sense for James to call it quits in order to spend more time focusing on his son, who will be eligible for the 2024 NBA Draft.

Wait a minute, Bronny will be eligible for the 2024 NBA Draft, right? LeBron has made his intentions to play with his son in the NBA very clear, right?

You could not write a better narrative for James to retire and then come back after a year with a signature Michael Jordan “I'm Back” message in order to play one final season with his son.

James would get to take the year off and refresh in order to potentially make one more run at a championship, he would most likely get to play with his son in the NBA and, most importantly, he would get the proper sendoff he deserves in what would be a monumental farewell tour over the course of the 2024-25 season. It is definitely worth noting too that Los Angeles is expected to host the 2025 NBA All-Star Game, which would turn into a spectacle for James if he made it clear that the 2024-25 season was to be his final year.

At this point, LeBron has options and knows this all too well.

The Lakers knew what they were getting themselves into when they brought the superstar to Los Angeles in 2018. While they are slightly pressed for time, James did bring them a championship in 2020. They would obviously like to contend for more titles before James retires, and becoming the first franchise to 18 championships is at the forefront of the organization's mind.

It is very hard to believe LeBron will go out after being swept in the Western Conference Finals. He could very much retire this offseason, but if he does, following in the footsteps of Michael Jordan and Tom Brady by returning one year later is not as crazy as it may sound.