LeBron James is still going strong in the NBA, even as he approaches 40 years old. Playing alongside teammates who grew up watching him dominate, James continues to challenge what it means to grow old in a ruthless athletic sport. As the third-oldest active player, he still runs, dunks, blindfolds and competes with the intensity that has kept him on top in 20 NBA seasons.
James’ teammate Anthony Davis admits that “He continues to show us, all of us. It’s not finished, either.” James’ incredible career has seen him named to the third best team in the NBA for the 19th time, even though he’s played in only 56 games this season.
James is now focused on winning his fifth NBA championship, with the Lakers just eight wins away from doing so after a tumultuous season. The team started 2-10 and was 26-32 in mid-February, but after a 27-12 run in the last two months, James’ Lakers beat the Grizzlies and the defending NBA champions to open the conference finals series against first-seeded Denver on Tuesday.
James has been a key facet of the team’s success, especially in the big moments. In the first round, James signed his first postseason game of 20 points and 20 rebounds for the victory in the fourth game against Memphis. In the second round, James rounded off a 30-point, nine rebound and nine assist performance in a Game 6 win over Golden State.
Former NBA player Darvin Ham has called “unreal” the LeBron’s level in his 20th season, especially after an injury near the end. He is the all-time leading scorer and has played in a league-record 278 postseason games, with his 7,912 playoff points nearly 2,000 more than Michael Jordan’s 5,987 for the scoring lead. He is also the fourth-highest rebounder in the postseason, with 2,511 boards — 1,120 more than the next active player, Draymond Green.
James knows that every win counts, but he also appreciates the journey and the little victories along the way. As he continues to challenge what it means to grow old in a ruthless athletic sport, there is no doubt that he has secured his legacy as one of the Top 5 players in the NBA, dead or alive.