Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James put together an unprecedented showing in a 17th season of his career at age 35. After last season’s groin injuries, many felt it could be the beginning of James’ decline.
But as Lakers head coach Frank Vogel witnessed first hand, that was far from the truth. Instead, James has turned this past season into yet another MVP level campaign. Of course, that wasn’t quite enough to sway MVP votes away from Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who repeated.
Vogel was a staunch supporter of James and recently lauded his ability to remain in top physical form. “I certainly marvel at his sustainability,” Vogel said. “The way he maintains his body, the commitment he has around the clock, around the calendar, has been one of the most impressive things about seeing him up close.
“Obviously, I competed against him for many years, but just seeing that up close has been super impressive. Since he’s been back, no surprise he’s appeared to be in very good shape. All of our players, there’s going to be an element of rhythm and timing coming back after the long layoff, so we’ll see how that plays out.”
Vogel got to witness James’ greatness several years ago, when his Indiana Pacers — led by Paul George — were eliminated by James’ Miami Heat in back-to-back seasons. That was in 2013 and 2014, when James was 28 and 29, respectively.
The difference between then and now is that when James was eliminating Vogel’s Pacers, he was right in the middle of his prime, so it was no surprise to see him be that dominant. It’s amazing to still see him doing that seven years later at age 35.
Antetokounmpo calls 35-year old James amazing
Shortly after the Lakers defeated the Bucks at the beginning of March, Antetokounmpo was in awe of what James was capable of despite his age.
The Bucks superstar thought of 35 as the age where a player is getting ready to retire, but completely disregarded that mindset after seeing James playing at a high level.
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