For Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, Year 20 is one full of broken records — the most obvious being Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record. LeBron is projected to become the NBA’s all-time leader in points scored in early February. He passed Karl Malone last March and Kobe Bryant in early 2020.
The record is an ode to the King’s scoring ability, but more importantly his longevity as a basketball player. His consistency is unmatched as at age 37, he put up his third-most points per game in an entire season — 30.3 points. The last time he averaged over 30 points in a season was when he was 23.
That level of longevity may never be seen in the NBA. In an interview with Sean Cunningham of Fox Sports after the Sacramento Kings recently defeated the Lakers, De’Aaron Fox shared a similar awe:
“It’s amazing, man. I remember my first time playing him was in Cleveland. I think that’s probably the one surreal moment that I had playing against ‘Bron for the first time. Yeah, it’s amazing what he’s doing at this age, and he’s about to turn, what, 38? That doesn’t happen often and it’s not gonna happen probably again for a long time.”
In their first meeting, James had 32 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. In their most recent matchup, he had 31 points, 6 rebounds and 11 assists — not far off from what he produced six years ago.
Father time is bound to catch up at one point, but so far LeBron looks to have avoided it. The Fountain of Youth must be set in James’ house as he continues to defy the odds. Every year seems to be the one where he finally takes a step back.
It hasn’t happened this season and Fox acknowledged that James’ battle against Father Time is different:
“Some things are given. There are a lot of guys who are extremely athletic and their bodies break down. They can try to maintain it but at the end of the day Father Time wins at some point. But ‘Bron’s battle against it is amazing.”
The Lakers need more of LeBron’s excellence with Anthony Davis out for an extended period of time. He’s averaging 32.5 points and 9.5 assists in the last two games, however, it has not been enough to secure wins. The Lakers desperately need to turn the tide as the New Year approaches.
LeBron points to transition defense and turnovers in loss to Hornets
The Lakers suffered a tough loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday. L.A. went down early in the second half, unable to mount a comeback to secure a win.
With 17 turnovers and 32 points given off them, LeBron felt that was the key difference in the game.
“So we’re OK with some of our attack turnovers, but some of our unforced, careless turnovers are resulting in easy fastbreak points. We’re not matching up in transition, we’re not putting bodies on bodies for rebounds and things of that nature. Self-inflicted wounds that we just don’t have a lot of room for error. We have to be able to control the things that we can control.”
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