LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will unfortunately have to deal with another summer full of questions as they fell short in their title defense.
Injuries derailed what looked to be a talented Lakers roster and they now have to watch as another team takes home the 2021 NBA Championship. For James, this was the first time he was eliminated in the first round and for some people, this may be a sign he is slowing down.
However, Jared Dudley believes the superstar’s dedication to his health and training will allow him to bounce back. When discussing what makes James so great, he pointed to one factor above all the rest.
“Consistency. LeBron is the most consistent athlete I’ve ever been around and I’ve been around a lot of Hall of Famers,” Dudley said. “Steve Nash, Grant Hill, CP will be a first ballot, Shaq, Amar’e Stoudemire. [LeBron] is consistently in the weight room, he is consistently taking care of his body, his preparation is like no other, he’s got a God gift of obviously a body frame and ability to immensely lock in.
“We could all be honest here, he was the leading candidate for MVP before he got hurt with his ankle. It was the first time he’s had a serious ankle injury, about 6-8 weeks, came back a little bit to premature, early, to try to help us out, had to go back and rest a little bit more. And if it wasn’t for the playoffs, we don’t even know if he would’ve been out there at that time. You salute him, people say he’s slowing down and that’s natural to slow down a little bit and that’s where you have Anthony Davis and that’s where he has to take the torch and that’s where he will take the torch next year of big summer taking care of his body, getting into the right point of where we need it for him to lead and be back a First Team All-NBA player and that’s what we expect and that’s what he expects for himself. But yeah, to be honest with you, his consistency is phenomenal.”
Anthony Davis believes James was not healthy in the postseason and it showed as he was not nearly as aggressive getting to the rim as he normally is. A full offseason of rest and rehab should help James get back to 100 percent and that is all the Lakers need to get back up on top.
James primed for another bounce back season
Like his first season with the Lakers, James suffered an injury that forced him to miss a prolonged stretch of games. Now that he has a full offseason to properly recover though, he could be primed to lead the Lakers back to the Finals next season.
Assuming James and Davis are able to take advantage of their extended offseason, the Lakers should be considered a title favorite for the 2021-22 season.
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