Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is in the 21st year of a historic, all-time great career that will not only land him in the Hall of Fame, but also puts him as perhaps the greatest player in the history of basketball. That type of success — especially being exemplified in Year 21 — is far from a lucky outcome. And Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey got a first-hand look at what success in Year 21 looks like.
In order to have this level of elite play after two decades in the NBA, James has needed to maintain an elite work ethic. Maxey would notice this by when James arrived at the gym when they worked out together.
Maxey told the story of what would happen when he would show up for his 6:00 a.m. workouts and what impresses him the most about James as a player and a person, via the NBA:
“The numbers and everything speak for itself. He’s also someone who’s pretty good at basketball. And his work ethic in Year 21, it hasn’t slowed down, which is the crazy part to me. He’s still trying to get there early, when we worked out at 6 he still tried to beat me to the gym, and he has what? Four MVPs, Finals MVPs, his accolades are through the roof. And for him to still go out there, his want to, his drive to try and beat a 22 year old to the gym who hasn’t done anything, that just shows who he is. Hats off to him.
“The workout was at 6, I get there early like always — 5:30 — to stretch, next time we worked out at 6 he was there at 5:00, and when I walked in he was in a full sweat and I was like ‘what are you doing?’ And he was like ‘I can’t let you beat me to the gym.’ And I was like ‘you’re insane.’”
James’ nearly insane work ethic is no secret at this point in his career. James has had to do a lot to maintain his basketball shape and has done so successfully over 21 years. Even the 22-year-old Maxey who routinely shows up early to everything still can’t beat James to the gym.
James passes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most minutes
During Monday night’s game against the 76ers, James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most minutes in NBA history combining the regular and postseason. James passed him by playing 54,645 regular season minutes and counting with 11,654 playoff minutes.
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