Kendrick Perkins 'wishes' LeBron James would make drastic career move
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James. Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Kendrick Perkins 'wishes' LeBron James would make drastic career decision

LeBron James has just completed his 21st season in the NBA. The veteran forward played in 71 regular season games, averaging 25.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists on 54% shooting from the field and 41% shooting from three-point range. Even at this late stage of his career, James is still one of the best players in the NBA.

Despite James' stellar season, the Los Angeles Lakers could not make it out of the opening round of the playoffs. They were defeated in five games by the Denver Nuggets. It's that underwhelming ending to James' season that has led Kendrick Perkins to declare he would like to see James call time on his career.

“I wish LeBron James would retire," Perkins said on Monday's episode of ESPN's First Take. "The more LeBron James continues to play the game of basketball, the more it’s going to hurt his legacy and the more it’s going to continue to hurt his GOAT argument.”

Perkins' comments come after the Lakers fired Darvin Ham. He noted how James' slow decline is putting pressure on the rest of the Lakers roster and that the more coaches he has on his resume, the worse his legacy looks.

James will welcome the 11th head coach of his career if he remains with the Lakers beyond this season.

Nevertheless, James is still a top-10 or top-20 player in the NBA. He can still operate at elite heights. He can still impact games at his current level. Only once he sees himself truly slowing down should we expect him to walk away from the game. 

Until then, James will continue pushing for championship success. Another ring would be the perfect ending to one of the greatest careers in the league's history. Winning a championship as one of the lead guys, aged 39 or 40, would be another feat that is unlikely to be replicated.

Perkins may want James to retire, but when teams are willing to extend $40 or $50 million per season, it makes no sense to walk away. Not yet. Not while he's at this level. Still, James must be careful how his personal coaching carousel impacts his legacy once he steps away from the game. 

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