LeBron James quipped he was not too old to put his body on the line for the $500,000 per player cash prize that goes to the NBA's in-season tournament winners.
James' comment came after he played a starring role in the Los Angeles Lakers' 133-89 demolition of the New Orleans Pelicans in Thursday's semi-final.
Just over three weeks away from his 39th birthday, James finished with 30 points, eight assists and five rebounds at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
He also got in the way of a Zion Williamson charge in the first quarter. Asked if he was too old to be risking a serious injury, James smiled: "Listen man, not for that 500, I ain't."
Each player on the winning side of the inaugural final, in which the Lakers will take on the Indiana Pacers, will receive a $500,000 bonus.
James was weighing up retirement after last season, but is thrilled to still be on the court.
"If you decide to retire, or whatever the case may be, you're not a part of it anymore, so it wouldn't be me leaving it on the table because I would have never had the table set," James told ESPN.
"But I'm happy that I'm here; this is a pretty cool moment, and let's see if we can capitalise on it. It's been good. It's been dope.
"We've got to finish our breakfast on Saturday. That's the most important thing."
Night fam pic.twitter.com/yA3F1sveAg— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 8, 2023
Lakers coach Darvin Ham, meanwhile, believes the NBA's in-season tournament has injected fresh life into the early stages of the season.
"This time of the year you tend to, you don't want to admit it, but teams tend to sleepwalk through some of these games," Ham said.
"So for the league to infuse this tournament at this point and time of the year, I thought it was brilliant.
"Now being here in Vegas, it's definitely a really thick electricity that's happening that's reverberating all the way through the arena, through the teams. Everybody is excited to try to give it their best shot.
"We are just trying to build a rhythm and be the best team we can be and put our best foot forward on a daily basis. The tournament just happens to align with what we got going on in general."
It was another tough game for Pelicans talisman Williamson, who finished with only 13 points.
"I got to be better," Williamson said. "I got to be more aggressive in finding my shot. I got to do more things to get my team going. I think I was too laid back tonight."