LeBron James keeps showing his dominance on the court, even at 37, playing his 19th NBA season. The King is now trying to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their second championship in three years, but the job won't be as easy as it was in the infamous Orlando bubble.
Even though the load is too heavy for a player his age, who should be saving energy for the playoffs, LeBron is still going, trying to take the Lakers to the postseason. His longevity is remarkable at many levels, and nobody knows when Father Time will finally catch up to him.
People have been waiting and predicting when that will happen, with James proving them wrong every single time. For instance, in 2016, when Bron was only 31, Colin Cowherd boldly (and wrongly) claimed The King wasn't as impactful as he used to be, pretty much saying we were seeing the beginning of the end for James.
Following the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-77 blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the Finals, Cowherd made a case for LeBron's downfall.
“He is not as impactful as he used to be,” Cowherd said on The Herd. “And it’s not like I’m watching the end of an era — LeBron is going to remain in this league. But he reminds me a little bit now of a pitcher post-Tommy John surgery, or a really great pitcher in the last three years of his career. He can throw 97 (mph) about eight to 12 times. He’s not throwing it 35 times. … You’re not going to get a 45-point night from him. Those days are over. He's not as impactful as he used to be. In the end, we're seeing the LeBron that is 31, he's not gonna chase you down and block you from behind."
Cowherd still praised Bron, saying he was the most valuable player in the league, just not at the superlative level he used to play before that season.
“I still think he’s the most valuable player in the league,” Cowherd said of James. “But the game has changed, and although he’s trying to change around it, he’s no longer an A-plus scorer and an A-plus defender and an A-plus, this, that and everything. He is really A-minus to B-plus at everything. He’s no longer Superman — he’s Batman.”
Oddly, Cowherd said all of this when LeBron was just 31. The Cleveland Cavaliers went down 3-1 against the Golden State Warriors later that series. Bron recorded back-to-back 41-point nights in Games 5 and 6 to send the series to the final match.
He closed out the series with a 27/11/11 triple-double. The Cavs beat the Warriors at home, becoming the first to return from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals. James showed his level once again, getting a clutch chase-down block on Andre Iguodala that changed the course of the game.
LBJ demonstrated he was still the best player in the league at that time. He kept doing it for many years until now, where he's still part of the elite of the game. Bron probably has had the largest prime in NBA history and it's crazy to think that Cowherd was writing him off when he was just 31.