Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James will return for his 21st NBA season.
The five-time NBA champion confirmed that he does not intend to retire while accepting the ESPY Award for Best-Record Breaking Performance on Wednesday (July 12) night.
"I don't care how many more points I score, or what I can or cannot do on the floor," James said during his acceptance speech, having won the award for breaking the NBA all-time scoring record previously held by Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar last season via ESPN. "The real question for me is: Can I play without cheating this game? The day I can't give everything on the floor is the day I'll be done. Lucky for you guys, that day is not today."
In May, James hinted that he would consider retirement an option during the offseason after the Lakers' series-clinching 113-111 loss to the eventual NBA champion Denver Nuggets in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.
"Going forward with the game of basketball, I've got a lot to think about," James said at the conclusion of his postgame press conference.
ESPN asked James to elaborate shortly after and the four-time NBA champion confirmed he was referring to "If I want to continue to play" and responded that he had "to think about it" when asked if he would walk away from basketball. James appeared in all 17 of Los Angeles' postseason games despite dealing with a right foot injury that caused him to miss a month's worth of crucial games late in the season as the Lakers battled to secure a playoff berth.
The 38-year-old said he was "going to get an MRI on it and see how the tendon either healed or not healed and go from there" when asked if he planned to undergo surgery this summer. The Akron native concluded his 20th NBA season, which saw him become the league's all-time leading scorer in February, weeks before experiencing the foot injury.