Add Patrick Beverley to the growing chorus that believes LeBron James simply loves basketball too much to actually retire from the NBA.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar ignited talk about possibly walking away from the game almost immediately after they were swept in the Western Conference Finals by the Denver Nuggets. Since James made cryptic comments about his future and the status of the league without him in it, most observers have decided that James isn’t all that serious about hanging it up.
That includes Beverley, who was James’ teammate on the Lakers this season before being traded in February.
“I don’t think he’s gon’ retire,” Beverley said at about the 1:18:00 mark. “He chasing some s— too.”
The stuff that James may be chasing likely includes a fifth NBA title. The Lakers’ improvement this season with a healthier Anthony Davis and standout play from Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura in particular may have convinced James that Los Angeles has a championship window.
The Lakers reportedly are looking to add Naz Reid, and Bobby Portis is interested in reuniting with Darvin Ham. Los Angeles seems unlikely to work out a sign-and-trade to add Kyrie Irving, even though James may be the one pushing for that to happen.
James played through a tendon injury in his foot that could require surgery this offseason. Despite that injury, the 38-year-old was still among the best players in the NBA this regular season, averaging 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game.
“I just think that he loves ball,” Beverley said. “The motherf—– love basketball. He loves the preparation that comes with it, the work you have to put in it, the dog days that come with it, the vibes around it. He a real hooper.”
James has also previously stated a desire to play in the NBA with his son Bronny. The younger James has committed to play next season at the University of Southern California, so his dad would have to play two more seasons to make a pairing happen.
Fans can expect talk about what the elder James will or won’t do to dominate much of the NBA offseason in the same way he has dominated on and off the court since his arrival in the league.