Skip to main content

Eyes on the bigger prize: LeBron James shares why he gave up on the scoring title

LeBron James could have won the scoring title but he decided to sit out the L.A. Lakers' remaining two games. This is good for those who wish to still see him play longer.
LeBron James gives up scoring title for longevity

LeBron James has his eyes on a different prize, which is longevity

LeBron James was on the verge of making history as the oldest player to win the scoring title. He renounced that chance after deciding to rest his ankle and sit out the remaining games of the L.A. Lakers. Many fans were disappointed, but there's a silver lining in LeBron's decision: he wants to play longer.

Meaningless games

Winning the scoring title at 37 years old would have been nice, but not for James. When he decided to wear street clothes for the Lakers' last two games, he effectively gave up winning the scoring title. For a player to become eligible to win it, he must play in at least 58 games in a season. With James only playing in 56 games due to various issues and injuries, he won't make the cut. For James, the decision to rest is more important at this stage of his career.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

"Once we were eliminated from [playoff] contention and knowing my ankle situation, me going out there and playing in games that don't mean anything for myself personally or for this franchise [doesn't make sense]... I'm 19 years in, and going after a scoring title when you're not making the postseason is the most wackest thing ever."

With the L.A. Lakers already out of the play-in tournament, it didn't make sense for James to play to get that scoring title. This meant bad news for those hoping he would win it, but it's also good news to those wishing to see him play for a few more years.

Retirement is out of the picture

The Lakers star proved that he could still play at an elite level with or without a title this season. James would be in the MVP discussion if the Lakers made the playoffs. The numbers he put up this season, 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 2.9 threes, 1.3 steals, and 1.1 blocks on 52.4/35.9/75.6 shooting splits, were simply out of this world. With this, James claimed he was not going away anytime soon.

"I'm trying to squeeze as much juice out of this mothaf***in' orange as I can. And I'm still good. If I was out there on some bullsh*t, like nasty-looking Bron, I'd have been quit. But I'm still nice as f*ck out there!"

Sacrificing the scoring title for a chance to play for a few more years and with Bronny James on the same team is the ultimate goal for LeBron. He isn't about individual trophies anymore. Making history by being teammates with his son is more important than probably winning an MVP or a championship right now. As LeBron James prepares for the inevitable end of his illustrious career, he's making it clear that his focus is on the future rather than the present moment. 

Chicago Bulls head coach Phil Jackson, guard Michael Jordan, forward Toni Kukoc, and center Dennis Rodman

That time Phil Jackson made the Chicago Bulls watch “The Wizard of Oz” in practice to send a message

You gotta respect the Zen Master's innovative methods to get his team's head in the game.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum

“That’s why he gets paid the big bucks” — Jayson Tatum refused to let the Boston Celtics lose Game 6 against the Milwaukee Bucks

Tatum finally stepped up and outdueled Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 to force a winner takes all Game 7

NBA and Hennessy created one-of-kind basketball court in Taiwan

Exclusive Footage: NBA and Hennessy created a one-of-kind basketball court in Taiwan

Hennessy and the NBA are bringing a different kind of experience to basketball fans all over the world by mounting basketball courts in areas least expected.

Kevin Love on why he left Team USA: They threw me under the bus and I didn’t like that

Kevin Love reveals the real reason why he quit Team USA

Kevin Love and Jerry Colangelo's relationship soured after the forward left Team USA. Now, Love airs his side on the matter and what he felt like betrayal from people he trusted.

Nike and Kyrie Irving set to part ways if availability issues continue

Nike and Kyrie Irving are set to part ways if availability issues continue

If Kyrie Irving's vaccination status doesn't change, it looks like Nike will have no choice but to end its partnership with him.

Chris Paul has been historically bad when his teams have taken a 2-0 lead in the playoffs, and it’s happening again against the Dallas Mavericks

Chris Paul has been historically bad when his teams have taken a 2-0 lead in the playoffs, and it’s happening again against the Dallas Mavericks

Chris Paul has squandered four 2-0 series leads throughout his career, and his struggles against Dallas Mavs are a reason why that number may be bumped up to five

The James Harden/Ben Simmons trade has been a failure for both the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers so far

The James Harden/Ben Simmons trade has been a failure for both the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers so far

Simmons never ended up playing for the Nets, which obviously hurt, but while Harden played, he wasn't playing up to his usual caliber, and the Sixers never ultimately recover from that.