In his 18th year in the NBA, LeBron James is putting up yet another MVP-caliber campaign. After winning a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020 and being forced to undergo the shortest offseason in league history, many assumed James would coast at the beginning of the current campaign in order to preserve himself for the playoffs.
However, that simply hasn’t been the case, even if he is still doing some in-game load management. James is averaging a career-low in minutes per game but still putting up numbers that are similar to or better than his statistics from the 2019-20 season.
The most noticeable improvement comes from the 3-point line, where James is currently making shots at a rate of 41%. Not only is this a career-best, this is also more than a 6% improvement from last season.
“I’ve never put a ceiling on my ability to continue to get better,” James recently said. “I’ve always had growth mindset on how I can get better with my game. I wasn’t too fond of the short offseason because I didn’t really get an opportunity to kind of dissect a part of my game where I wanted to get better at.
“I used the time wisely, mostly for my body and mind, but also to come back a better player. I feel like I’m a better player than I was last year. I feel like I can beat the defense at any facet once I cross halfcourt. I think it makes our team that much better when I can improve, and I feel like I’ve improved my game.”
As for what James went into the offseason wanting to improve, he said he didn’t keep a specific list. “For me, for my game, I don’t really put a list together. I kind of break it down after the season, see where I was less efficient, where I can be more efficient,” James explained.
“I’ve said it over and over: I don’t try to put a ceiling on my game and ways I can improve. For me, I feel if I’m the most complete player I can be, then it makes our team even more dynamic. That’s just my thinking.”
LeBron humbled by passing Wilt Chamberlain on field goals made list
In a blowout win against the Denver Nuggets, James moved to third place on the NBA all-time field goals made list, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain. The accomplishment was another that left James feeling grateful and appreciative of his career.
“Defenses have definitely been trying to stop me from putting the ball in the basket throughout my career, and for the majority, I’ve been able to score a few buckets and have my name linked with some of the greats to ever play this game of basketball,” he said.
“Pretty cool feat.”
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