In December, LeBron James will be celebrating his 34th birthday, an age that usually marks the beginning of the end for most professional athletes.
Roles change, skills diminish, and stars slowly begin to deteriorate from prime-time TV must sees, to the subject of late-night basketball memory small talk. That’s just the reality of the game. Father-time takes us all.
Yet, even at nearly 34 years old, LeBron James remains the single best player in the world… somehow.
After eight straight Finals appearances and thousands of NBA minutes logged, the King still plays like he’s got a chip on his shoulder. So much so, in fact, that he doesn’t want to hear talks of a minutes restriction.
“I’m always fresh,” James said to ESPN’s DaveMcMenamin. “All my coaches want to figure out a way of how to lessen my minutes. I keep telling them I’m strong enough to play most minutes, but they won’t listen to me, so, it’s OK. I like it.”
A minutes restriction for James wouldn’t necessarily be a bad idea.
He’s coming off a great season, but a minor dip in minutes might bode well to preserve his body for the long run.
Then again, when you have the best player in the world, and he says he feels fine, maybe it’s wiser to just go ahead and play him.