At what age should James LeBron retire

LeBron James: The long road to the best of all time


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Posts about LeBron James on Twitter or Facebook often end with a goat emoji. The authors do not make fun of the supposed stubbornness of the basketball superstar. Goat means "goat" in English, in the world of sports the acronym stands for Greatest of all time - the best ever. The debates about which basketball player can claim this title usually boil down to two names: Michael Jordan and that same LeBron James. While one has long been enjoying his sporty retirement and successful Netflix documentaries about himself, the other dribbles, throws and dots for his legendary status.

With the Los Angeles Lakers, James is now in the finals of the current NBA season, which begin on Thursday night. The 35-year-old is playing for his fourth title, Jordan won six. In comparison to who is now the best basketball player of all time, this number is not insignificant. Jordan won all of his championships in the jersey of the Chicago Bulls, for James the Lakers are the third team with whom he can play his way to the top of the NBA. In the summer of 2018, James moved from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the City of Angels. There the grandmaster was supposed to lead the team back to its former glory in the colors gold and purple.

Opponents of the Lakers this year are the Miami Heat, of all things, the Heat with which James himself has already won two titles. The career of LeBron James namely oscillates between loyalty and the urge for titles. For the first seven years he played with the Cleveland Cavaliers, his home and heart club. In 2010 he announced his move to Miami, live in a special TV program called The Decision (The decision). The worry about becoming a great basketball player without a major title was probably too great. The plan worked. Four years and two titles later, James went back to Cleveland and also led the Cavs to the championship in 2016. When the final siren sounded in the decisive game, James burst into tears.


"The title with the Cavs made me the best player ever," said James after joining the Lakers. Nevertheless, every title won helps to ensure that no one doubts this statement as possible. At the older age for basketball superstars, he estimated the chances in L.A. to be higher. After all, the Lakers are among the most successful teams in US basketball: 16 titles - only the Boston Celtics won one more - plus 16 other finals. In the 80s, the team around Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shaped the era of the "Showtime Lakers". In a way, the nickname still fits today. Before the pandemic, Hollywood stars like Jack Nicholson or Leonardo DiCaprio regularly cheered the team on from the edge of the field of the Staples Center. The Lakers are one of the five most valuable sports teams in the world.

In terms of sport, however, the recent past has been extremely unsuccessful. The last championship was ten years ago. Before signing LeBron James, the Lakers missed the playoffs five times in a row. In the 2015/16 season they won only 17 out of 82 games. When the team presented James as a new addition, the hashtag #TheKingIsHere was trending on Twitter.