LeBron James is only in his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers, but in the 15 seasons prior, he had built a sustained dominance the NBA had rarely seen before him.
This is similar to the way Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have had a stranglehold over the NFL for almost two decades.
James and Brady certainly have similar qualities in them. Not so much as players, but as leaders, they both know how to get the best out of teammates and use that to win games. Brady has won an absurd six Super Bowls in eight appearances. Meanwhile, James has won three NBA Finals in nine appearances, including eight in a row.
James spoke about another thing that makes him and Brady similar: longevity. James says he wants to play until he can’t walk anymore just like Brady, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
With Carmelo Anthony coming back to the NBA, LeBron James was asked if he's thought how the end of his career will look: "Not really. Not the way I feel right now. Me and Tom Brady are one in the same. We’re going to play until we can’t walk no more."
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 15, 2019
Brady responded to this comment by talking about the long-term friendship he and James have, according to Ryan Hannable of WEEI Radio:
“We’ve been friends for a long time,” Brady said Friday. “Yeah, I’ve always admired him. He’s a great athlete, player. I think he loves the sport, he loves basketball, he loves the competition. I feel the same way about football.”
Both Brady and James are defying all the odds this season. Both are playing at a much higher level than their age suggests with both the Lakers and Patriots playing the role of serious championship contenders or even favorites.
In particular, James is continuing to set records each and every game. He had three straight triple-doubles on a 3-0 road trip, and is helping to lead this team to an early 11-2 record. He also currently leads the NBA in assists — even if that wasn’t his goal.
James and Brady really are similar in the way they’ve taken control of their sport and it will be fascinating to see how the two continue to age.