LeBron James in Paris 2024, health permitting. GETTY IMAGES

The NBA star isn't sure how many seasons he has left in his career, but he wants to enjoy them. He's part of the USA Olympic team as a consultant and assistant, but he wants to be on the court. He hasn't decided whether he's going to retire.

LeBron James, the 39-year-old superstar and four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, reflected on the end of his career in Indianapolis ahead of the 73rd NBA All-Star Game. He was selected to play in the game for the 20th time, a record. LeBron James has surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in terms of appearances in the NBA All-Star Game. 

"I haven't figured out how many seasons I have left. I know it's not many," James, who is in his 21st NBA season, told AFP. "I'm a Laker and I've been very happy being a Laker for the last six years and hopefully it's going to stay that way. But I don't have an answer for how long I'm going to be a Laker or what uniform I'm going to wear," said the player who has his sights set on gold in Paris.  James has helped organise the players who will represent the defending Olympic champions in Paris this year. But he plans to be in France himself if he is healthy and fit.

LeBron James has played 20 seasons in the NBA. GETTY IMAGES
LeBron James has played 20 seasons in the NBA. GETTY IMAGES

"I said that to myself before the season when I committed to being part of the Olympic team. Obviously, it all depended on my health," James said. "As it stands right now, I'm healthy enough to be on the team and perform at the level I knew I was capable of."  As a result, the basketball star is already thinking ahead to the fight for gold in Paris in 2024, but without the pressure. "I don't know what the future holds in terms of the post-season. 

It's 11 more games and another five weeks and a change of competition, more mileage on these tyres," James joked. He's not worried about having to lead the team, as he did at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 when he was younger.

"I'm going to put my mind, body and soul into being out there for Team USA, representing our country with the utmost respect and going out there and playing," added James, who has full confidence in the rest of his teammates for the Olympic event. 

"But the one thing I know for sure is that I don't have to carry the load. I've never had to carry the load on any of the three teams I've been on. I just try to do the best I can and try to be as great as I can be on the floor in the minutes that I'm out there.

"I'm not sure what the full team is going to look like right now, but I know from some of the names that I don't have to feel any pressure to go out there and carry the team." For James, the team will be good enough to go for gold. "It's going to be a full 12-man squad that's going to be able to do it both offensively and defensively on any given night against any country in the world.

LeBron James became the player with the most All-Star appearances with 20. GETTY IMAGES
LeBron James became the player with the most All-Star appearances with 20. GETTY IMAGES

He is currently in good shape and performing at a high level in his 20th NBA season. Last Sunday, he had to be treated for a sore left ankle before the All-Star Game. He will receive further treatment during the All-Star break. All precautionary. 

"The most important thing for me is definitely my health". The NBA's all-time leading scorer also hasn't decided whether he will play a "farewell tour" season, as legends such as Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan have done. Or if he will simply retire.

"I'm 50-50," he said. "There are times when I feel like I owe it to my fans who have been on this journey with me for over two decades to give them that moment where it's every city and whatever it is and they give you your flowers or whatever it is. That seems cool. But on the other hand, I've never been very good at taking praise. It's a weird feeling for me.