"I have been watching him for quite some time now, and just to watch him go out and do the things that he's done in his profession, for him to win another 1 yesterday at the manner that he won, it was fairly cool," James said Monday after putting up 28 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists in L.A.'s 119-112 overtime win within the Oklahoma City Thunder. "It was really inspiring to get a guy like myself. However, two distinct sports, two different positions.
"I really don't know how long I'm going to play the sport. I really don't understand how much more I will be able to give to this game. How I feel at this time, we'll see what happens. But I don't have any timetable on it. I don't have any year of,'OK, do I wish to play 30-this or 40-that?' The game will allow me to know when it's time, and we'll figure it out afterward."
James' response echoes past statements he has made about when he'll retire. After signing a two-year, $85 million contract extension that will keep him signed with the Lakers through the 2022-23 year, when he'll be 38,'' James said he did not know what could happen with his career then.
"In the end of this contract, I'll be in Year 20. The very best thing about it's the year I will be a free agent will be the exact same year my oldest child graduates high school. So I'll have some choices to view, for me , what I want to do ahead, being around my loved ones, being around my son more or continue to play with this game I love with fantastic health and fantastic spirits. We'll see."
Despite goofing around by placing on a video board along the baseline throughout overtime -- as though he were going to get in a fast rest -- James, as the clock neared 11 p.m. local time after the match, claimed he was ready to play even more if there were competition to be needed.
"S--, when we've got more time to perform, I'm prepared to go," he explained. "I will play right now if I want to go. All I need is a warm-up. I am able to go into the weight room, get warmed up, and that I can go at the moment."