What LeBron James is doing in year 17 is pretty much unprecedented. Yes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and even Tim Duncan were also able to prolong their careers for a very long time, but, from a physical standpoint, it just seems like James could play until his 40s at least.
James has always been a gifted athlete but his work ethic and the way he takes care of his body have made a huge difference. I mean, not many soon-to-be 36 years old can play two-way basketball night and night out for as many minutes as LeBron has done it all year.
That’s why Golden State Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr claims that even though Father Time is undefeated, it seems like LeBron James is winning the fight with him thus far:
“Charles Barkley always says ‘Father Time is undefeated’ but LeBron is putting up a hell of a fight right now. It’s incredible to watch how athletic and powerful he remains. The skill set is better than ever. Coaching against him is a real challenge year after year because he’s also one of the smartest players you’ll ever see,” Kerr said, as quoted by Clutchpoints.
Most people thought LeBron James was done last year when he injured his groin and was forced to sit out for the most time throughout his career. I mean, we’re talking about a 35-year-old guy and you couldn’t blame his body for slowly giving up on him after that many years at an elite level.
Fast-forward to this year and you can see that James is still as fresh as lettuce. He’s running the break and then sprinting back on defense to get a chase-down block.
Even if his critics say that this Lakers team is Anthony Davis’ team – which could be and there would be nothing wrong with that, there’s no denying on the fact that James is perhaps the most durable and athletic player of all time.