LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers hope LeBron James will decide to continue his career after he recovers from the difficult end to their season.
James didn't meet with the media on the day after the top scorer in NBA history said he needed time to think about his basketball future following the Lakers' elimination from the Western Conference finals.
The 38-year-old James has skipped his team's postseason media exit interviews before, but his decision Tuesday left Lakers fans hanging about his intentions with his enigmatic comments following a four-game sweep by the Denver Nuggets.
General manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Darvin Ham said they'll speak with James soon about his future.
"We all know that (James) speaks for himself, and we'll look forward to those conversations," Pelinka said. "LeBron has given as much to the game of basketball as anyone who has ever played. When you do that, you earn the right to decide if you want to give more. ... Obviously, our hope is that his career continues."
Ham joked: "I think I was ready to retire after last night, too."
Despite James' 40-point performance, including a career playoff-best 31 points in the first half, the seventh-seeded Lakers were swept by the top-seeded Nuggets with a 113-111 defeat on Monday night, ending James' attempt to win his fifth career championship in his 20th NBA season.
Los Angeles made an impressive late-season surge from the trade deadline into the conference finals, knocking off second-seeded Memphis and defending champion Golden State, but ran out of steam against the powerhouse Nuggets.
Pelinka said he hopes to keep much of the Lakers' current core around James and Anthony Davis, calling roster continuity "a high priority" after several years of major annual changes. Los Angeles has been one of the NBA's best teams since making several moves at the trade deadline, even while James missed a month with a foot injury.