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.
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.
"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.