LeBron James says he hopes to end career as member of Lakers

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Sunday, before his record-setting 20th NBA All-Star Game appearance, LeBron James acknowledged he's closer to the end of his remarkable career than the beginning.   

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James, 39, said he doesn't have a specific plan for his last years as a player, but he does want to play for the Lakers.   

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"I am a Laker and I'm happy and been very happy being a Laker the last six years and hopefully it stays that way," he said. "But I don't know how long or what uniform I'll wear. Hope it's with the Lakers. A terrific organization with many greats. We'll see."   

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James attended All-Star Weekend on Sunday instead of Saturday because he was getting treatment for his left ankle, which kept him out of L.A.'s final game before the break, a 138-122 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.   

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"Trying to get my ankle as strong and as back to where I feel confident that I can finish off this last third of the season," he stated. "Definitely won't play the whole game tonight. I can run with the young boys for a while and then stop to rest my body and ankle."   

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James indicated he would leave Indianapolis to get more treatment on his left ankle before L.A.'s Thursday game against the Golden State Warriors.   

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"The most important thing for me is definitely my health, where I'm at right now, where our team is leaning," he stated. "We're improving. "Our Laker squad has focused on health all year. Trying to help the team by doing my best."  

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The squad has won six of its last seven, and James' endorsement was vital. A few weeks ago, he posted a mysterious hourglass emoji to social media at night and said he didn't know what to do with his player option for the 2024-25 season, his 22nd in the league.   

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According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, Draymond Green encouraged Warriors owner Joe Lacob to phone Lakers owner Jeanie Buss about dealing for James due to his apparent dissatisfaction.   

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Buss told Lacob to talk to James' agent, Klutch Sports' Rich Paul, about his trade request, according to ESPN. The article says Buss values her star players' franchise satisfaction. Paul told Lacob his client wasn't interested in trading.   

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