LeBron James is rewriting what it means to have longevity in an NBA career through his current play. The last time we saw LeBron play, he was about to win a scoring title at the age of 37 before benching himself at the end of the season when the Lakers failed to make the playoffs. Winning record or no winning record, no 37-year-old player should be as dominant as that.
The incredible thing about LeBron is that he last led the league in scoring in 2007-08, 14 years prior to the 2021-2022 season. He's been one of the best players in the league since 2005 and has been treated as such by NBA 2K. After the launch of NBA 2K23 and confirmation that LeBron James is a 96 overall this year, LeBron officially entered his 18th 2K game as a 94 overall or higher.
LeBron James was once rated 78 and 88 as a rookie and as a sophomore respectively by NBA 2K. But since then, he never fell back below 94.
The King got the 99 rating in NBA 2K9 and 2K14, while he's reportedly back at 96 again in 2K23. (h/t Team LeBron)
Does Any NBA Player Rival LeBron's Longevity?
LeBron is entering his 20th season in the league and staring right at the NBA's all-time scoring record held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. To break the same, LeBron needs to average just 16.2 points next season. He hasn't ever averaged less than 20 points in his career, so that will be a massive challenge.
Kareem won championships late into his career, something LeBron can't say outside the 2020 championship that he won as a 35-year-old. LeBron is also going to match Kareem's All-Star appearance record this season if he gets voted to his 19th All-Star team. James has already broken his All-NBA records, having 18 selections compared to Kareem's 15.
At this rate, we still don't know when LeBron will retire or when we will see a sharp decline in his game. If he can keep this pace up and make the Lakers contend in a meaningful manner again, LeBron will set the example of what it means to have the greatest longevity in the history of the game.