LeBron James’ competitiveness has brought him four NBA championships, most recently with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019-20.
In the past, James compared his perfectionism and desire to win to Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality.” Both will forever be remembered as some of the most ferocious competitors in NBA history.
But to prove one’s competitiveness, a player’s world doesn’t have to revolve entirely around basketball. James said he can separate his professional career from personal life and enjoy playing basketball — even though the Lakers have played well below expectations in 2021-22 and media narratives have come with that.
“Because I can care less about what the narrative of our team is,” he explained. “At my point in my career, I don’t get involved in stuff. I don’t read about it, I don’t hear it too much. I go home, drink wine or drink tequila every night and if I’m at my house in L.A., I’m watching a movie with the kids or playing Madden. None of that stuff matters to me.
“I’m having a blast playing the game of basketball. And like I told you the other night, yes, I get frustrated, angry from losses, things we could’ve done better, and things of that nature, but once I leave the arena and I get home, I leave it there. I try to leave it there and let’s move on to the next day, how can we get better.
“I’m literally having the time of my life right now, the game is such a beautiful thing and as long as I’m healthy enough to put on a uniform, I’m gonna play with a lot of passion, a lot of energy to give my teammates what they deserve, what they need.”
The Lakers faithful can hardly argue James has not put in enough effort to make L.A. successful after he became the only player to record multiple 50-point performances at the age of 37 or older — and as he leads the NBA in scoring with 30 points per game.
And the All-Star once again ensured he will continue the hard work for as long as his health allows.
“[H]opefully like I said, for the rest of the season, I could just stay somewhat injury-free,” James said. “Obviously I’m dealing with a few injuries right now but I’m working through it and we’re working through it and that’s all that matters. We could leave everything on the floor, control what you can control and what you can’t, you don’t worry about. That’s just my mindset.”
Vogel has ‘no words’ to describe James’ greatness
James has been averaging 35.7 points per game over the last nine games, an unbelievable feat for a player in his late 30s during one of the most competitive NBA seasons in recent history.
Frank Vogel said he’s lost for words to describe the forward’s recent performance. “I’m all out. I don’t have anymore. There’s no words,” Vogel said after James 38 points on 17-from-29 from the field in the win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Just look what he did. He had 38 points on no threes, four free throws. Ridiculous shooting percentage. Making fadeaways. Finding his way as a receiver and also the basket, attacks, rolls to the basket and the fadeaways were the game for him tonight. He was in control. An all-time dunk on his old teammate, which was great for the fans. Great for the game and great for those two old friends.
“What a hell of a night.”
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