In today’s NBA, spacing and shooting is paramount in running an offense while defensive-minded teams value big man tweeners who can guard both the rim and the perimeter.
The Los Angeles Lakers are built like a modern team after signing a bevy of shooters and wings who can toggle between matchups, setting themselves up as one of the 2021-22 season’s contenders. Of course, everything begins and ends with LeBron James, who still has a case for best player in the league despite some preferences for players like Kevin Durant.
James has managed to defy Father Time and remain one of the NBA’s elite despite getting older and some of that can be attributed to how basketball is played today. The game is far less physical than in previous eras, which is why in an appearance on the “The Million Dollaz Worth of Game Show” podcast, former NBA big man Rasheed Wallace went so far to say that James would not have been able to replicate his performance in years past:
“He probably would’ve done good with his physical stature, with him being bigger than the majority of the rest of the players. So he probably would’ve held his own, but I don’t think he would be as successful as he is now. It’s a whole different era back then. I couldn’t necessarily say that he would’ve been a beast but I think he would’ve held his own.”
The Lakers star has the requisite size and athleticism to hang in the previous NBA eras, but to say he would not perform as well is a bit of a stretch. Even though James lives off getting to the rim, he would still be an elite passer in any era which is arguably his best attribute.
Comparing players to different eras is a futile exercise as there is no way to truly know, but it would be a safe assumption that James could remain just as effective in any time period.
He proved that in 2007 when he scored 25 straight points to close out a Detroit Pistons team that included Wallace and other greats of that era.
Perkins pushes back against Lakers championship naysayers
James is going to be 37 years old when the new season begins and the rest of the roster is not helping as far as keeping the roster young as most of it is comprised of older veterans. The Lakers’ collective age has been a talking point throughout the offseason and has given people pause when picking Los Angeles to win the 2022 NBA Championship.
However, media personnel like Kendrick Perkins pushed back on the old narrative and proclaimed Anthony Davis as the best two-way player in the league.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!