Lakers News: Rich Paul Not Thinking About LeBron James Retiring
Rich Paul, Klutch Sports, Lakers, NBA
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has been a marvel throughout his illustrious career and remains one of the best players in the NBA in Year 21.

Although injuries have slowed him down in recent years, he has still managed to stay on the floor for the majority of the Lakers’ games. Currently, James is dealing with an ankle ailment that he hopes his recent treatment will help him finish the 2023-24 season stronger.

While James looks like he can play at a high level for at least a couple of more years, he knows that his career is winding down. James’ agent and CEO of Klutch Sports Rich Paul admitted he doesn’t like to think about his friend retiring, via Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report:

“Listen, I try not to think about that,” Paul said. “That’s a sad thought for me and I try to keep high energy up. I think there’s rumors out there that I want to go into ownership with him and do all that, which that’s a lie. We know where it’s stemming from and where it’s coming from, that’s what I call discouragement at its finest amongst a competitive arena.

“But I say all that to say, I don’t like to think about that. And not because of anything, I’m fine, I’m straight, he’s straight. You could bring up Steph Curry and I’ll tell you that I don’t want to think about Steph Curry not playing the game no more. I just don’t. I didn’t want to think about it when it was Kobe, when it was AI. You hate to see those guys go. And not even just the stars, a guy like Chauncey Billups, who I loved. So I don’t want to talk about any of our greats going anywhere. I hope they can play forever.”

Paul also added that he believes James will stop playing the day he decides he can’t do it anymore:

“The one thing you got to understand is when God chooses you to do something, you’re on his time. I understand the opinions and all those things, everybody is trying to do their job and feed their family and some people get paid to make opinions, but again, at this point, he’s playing because he loves the game. He’s not playing for money, he’s not playing for fame, he’s not playing for trinkets, he’s got every trinket you can ever imagine, probably too much. But he loves the game.

“So I think when you stop loving the game… he’s fortunate enough that it’s all about his mental. Where a lot of guys have to stop playing because they just can’t get up, you know?… So it’s important for us to just cherish the years that he has left and all these guys have left. One thing I do know is that he’s been in the league 21 years and he won’t play 21 more seasons, that’s for sure. I take it day by day and like I explained to him, for me, if I was in this position, and I talk to him about this all the time, just keep being a great example.”

Paul has been fortunate to see James’ career play out up to this point, though it remains to be seen how many years he has left in the league.

Rich Paul responds to idea that LeBron James ruined Dunk Contest by not participating

For years, people have clamored for James to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest and have even begun to blame him for the event’s decline in popularity. Paul took the time to respond to those critics and revealed that he thinks the 3-Point Contest is more exciting now.

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