LeBron James keeps defeating father time with his good performances in his 19th NBA season. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has exceeded expectations once again, taking over his squad and leading them to the 7th seed in the Western Conference.
It was believed that James would get more help from Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, but The King has been on a solo mission even with both players on the court. After Davis went down with an injury, people hoped Westbrook would step up, but he has regressed, earning plenty of criticism from fans and analysts alike.
On the other hand, James has been on a tear, collecting over 10 30+ point games to help the Lakers enter a good streak while climbing positions in the West. Not all these performances have granted a W for the Lakers, but James has kept them alive in games while Westbrook and the rest of the team struggle to find their shot.
He turned 37 a couple of weeks ago and many people worry if he can carry this heavy load at that age. For James, that's not a problem. He has had this role since his first year in the league and nothing has changed since that moment.
“I only play the game for one reason, it’s to win,” James said. “And no matter what I’ve been doing as far as this season so far, it hasn’t really resulted in as many wins as I would like. So I continue to see ways that I can be better as well. See ways of what I can do both offensively and defensively or for me from a leadership standpoint to help this team get over the hump a little bit more.
“So, for me, I don’t get caught up in usage rates and heavy loads and things of that nature. That’s been me my whole career, since I was an 18-year-old kid taking over a franchise. So, that type of pressure or that type of load is something I’m accustomed to, I’ve been accustomed to for 20 years.”
Bron landed in the league expected to take the Cleveland Cavaliers to the promised land. His first and second seasons in the league were bad. Yet, in the third one, he entered a streak that would put his name among the most consistent and dominant players of all time.
Besides the 2003/04 and 2004/05 seasons, Bron has missed the playoffs only once, which happened during his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018/19. He's not a stranger to this type of situation, but it's weird to see him surrounded by veterans, players who have a pedigree, and yet the Lakers are still struggling to find their rhythm.
As long as James is on the roster, the Purple and Gold will have an opportunity, but it's hard to imagine this team winning if only Bron is carrying the load.