The Cleveland Cavaliers star announced his retirement from the NBA on Sunday after suffering a season-ending knee injury during the playoffs.
James said in a statement he was “deeply appreciative of the outpouring of love, support, and prayers from around the world for me and my family during this difficult time.”
James played for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2001-03, winning four NBA titles with the Cleveland franchise.
His retirement was announced just after the Cavaliers defeated the Washington Wizards in Game 5 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs on Sunday.
The NBA has confirmed the injury, which is the second major knee injury in the past two years for James, which has caused a backlash from fans and teammates.
James missed Game 4 of the series because of the knee injury and is expected to miss several games, including Game 6 against the Washington Bullets.
James will be replaced by Cavs forward J.R. Smith, who has scored 17.5 points per game in his last two playoff starts.
The Cavaliers are 7-1 since James left the NBA, and are tied with the New York Knicks for the best record in the NBA.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are tied for first place in the Western Conference.