One of the most famous sayings in sports is that Father Time is undefeated but every once in a while, a transcendental player makes fans question that statement. Tom Brady in the NFL is an excellent example and in the NBA, nobody epitomizes the concept like LeBron James. James has been on somewhat of a historic streak lately, returning from some time without playing to put up a stretch of games that have seen his name be mentioned in the MVP conversation.
LeBron's longevity is hard to fathom, but it can be put into perspective when comparing his output to what it was in his rookie season and the 2011-12 season, when he won his first title. LeBron came into the league after dominating at the high-school level and was hyped to be one of the greatest of all time from a very young age, a billing he lived up to from the time he entered the NBA.
In his very first season as a 19-year-old, LeBron averaged 20 points, to go along with 5.9 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game. For a rookie playing against grown men for the first time, these numbers are truly ridiculous. LeBron would go on to average at least 25 points or more for every season in his career following that campaign.
James won a few MVPs in the next years and even led his Cleveland Cavaliers team to the NBA Finals before losing and making the decision to eventually form a Big 3 in Miami. In the 2011-12 season, the year he won his first title, James averaged 27.1 points to go along with 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists. He won his first ring and was undoubtedly the best player in basketball.
Coming to the current season, although the Lakers have struggled, James has put up monster numbers yet again. He is averaging 28.7 points to go along with 7.4 rebounds and 7.4 assists, better numbers than he put up in either of the seasons mentioned before.
The fact that James has been able to perform at this level across 2 decades show just how marvelous his longevity and conditioning is. If LeBron can turn his recent form into another title, it will be even harder to deny his case as the greatest player in the history of the NBA.