LeBron James ends speculation about NBA future with epic ESPY speech

Los Angeles, California - Los Angeles Lakers legend LeBron James isn't going anywhere yet as he made it crystal clear that he still has "a lot left" to give the NBA!

LeBron James used a speech at the ESPY awards in Los Angeles to announce that he will not be retiring from the NBA.
LeBron James used a speech at the ESPY awards in Los Angeles to announce that he will not be retiring from the NBA.  © FRAZER HARRISON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

LeBron responded to losing the Western Conference final to eventual champions Denver in May by saying he had "a lot to think about" amid reports he was considering walking away from the sport.

But in a speech at the ESPY awards ceremony on Wednesday, James settled any fears he may be ready to quit.

"I don't care how many more points I score, or what I can or cannot do on the floor," LeBron said after receiving the award for Best Record-Breaking Performance for passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the league's all-time leading scorer.

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"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," he said.

"In my 20 years playing this game and all the years before, I've never, ever cheated the game and I will never take it for granted," he added.

LeBron inspired by coaching Bronny James

LeBron's son Bronny James could play alongside or against his father in the NBA as early as next season.
LeBron's son Bronny James could play alongside or against his father in the NBA as early as next season.  © ALEX BIERENS DE HAAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

LeBron, who will be 39 in December, clarified he isn't hanging on just to fulfill his dream of playing alongside – or against – one of his sons.

His eldest, Bronny James, who will play college basketball next season at the University of Southern California, could conceivably enter the NBA in time for the 2024-2025 campaign.

But he did admit that coaching his kids has helped to maintain his enthusiasm.

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"You know what brings me back every year? It's watching and coaching my boys and their teammates," he said.

"I see those kids and it brings me right back to why I play. Those kids get me back to where I need to be, just the pure love of this beautiful game."

"So, yeah, I still got something left. A lot left," he added.

LeBron signed a two-year contract extension with the Lakers last August that would keep him at the club through the 2024-2025 season.

Cover photo: Collage: Frazer Harrison / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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