Report: People close to LeBron James could see him playing until age 40

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LeBron James spoke about retirement earlier this year. He’s still playing at a high level and expects to remain there for a while. But he also said he misses time with his children.

So, how much longer will LeBron, 33, remain in the NBA?

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

Sources close to James say they can see him playing until he’s 40 years old.

LeBron is in his 15th season. Seven more seasons would give him 22 and break the record for seasons played (21, by Kevin Garnett, Robert Parish and Kevin Willis).

Could LeBron do it? Maybe. His durability has been incredible. He’s physically unlike everyone we’ve seen before.

But there are already signs of slippage, particularly in the regular season. Players become more injury-prone as they get older. Father Time is undefeated.

It’s hard to forecast anyone playing to age 40. Some players do it, but the odds are stacked against it.

There’s also the issue of whether LeBron will actually keep pushing that long, even if his body holds up. People close to LeBron don’t feel those missed moments with his children the same way he does. They just can’t.

But playing until 40 could give LeBron an opportunity to play in the NBA with his son, LeBron James Jr, who’s now 13. Obviously, it’s far from guaranteed LeBron Jr. makes it that far (though he looks promising so far). But that’s be a cool opportunity – with one of the children LeBron is basing his retirement decision on.