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LeBron James: 'I truly hope that I can finish my career with the Lakers'

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LeBron James’ impressive NBA career is nearing its end, 18 seasons after it got started with the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2003.

Though he’s unsure about how much longer he will play, James does know one thing.

He wants to finish with the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I truly hope that I can finish my career with the Lakers," James said on the SmartLess podcast while promoting the new “Space Jam” movie. "And how many years that is, if it's four, five, six, whatever, seven, I hope I can continue to play the game. I love being in L.A., my family loves being in L.A.

"Being with a historical franchise like the Lakers is something like, it's like me being in 'Space Jam' now. I never thought it'd be possible."

For a lot of reasons, that makes perfect sense.

James signed a two-year, $85 million extension with the Lakers in December, which will keep him in Los Angeles through the 2022-23 season. That will mark 20 years competing in the NBA, just two shy of Vince Carter’s record of 22.

He has played in 1,310 games, too, the most among any active player in the league — though he's 20th on the all-time list and 301 games shy of Robert Parish’s record.

When James’ contract extension ends, he will be 38. While he can certainly play longer than that, depending on his health — he struggled to stay on the court for the Lakers at times this season, and said that he doesn’t think he’ll ever be 100% healthy ever again — it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that James would ever consider playing for a fourth team before calling it quits.

And, with both his family settling into Los Angeles and James branching out into the entertainment industry more and more, he seems more than content to stick it out in Southern California.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James
LeBron James' current contract with the Lakers is set to expire after the 2022-23 season, which will be his 20th in the league. (AP/Ashley Landis)

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