LeBron James has been incredibly impressive to start this season for the Los Angeles Lakers, but what makes his performances even more remarkable is the fact they are happening in his 21st NBA season and at 38 years old.
Former Lakers player Lou Williams along with Chandler Parsons are among the many NBA observers who have taken note, with the two of them calling James the greatest of all time.
"The greatest of all time, give him [LeBron James] his flowers."@TeamLou23 says LeBron is the GOAT and you can't change his mind 🐐
— Run It Back (@RunItBackFDTV) November 2, 2023
No doubt about it 👑 https://t.co/vO1Tj3X2Hp
— Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) November 2, 2023
Parsons made sure to mention where James is at regarding his longevity.
“It’s insane what he’s doing, and we’re all literally just watching greatness every single night,” Parsons said. “And for him to be doing this at this stage of his life and his career, it really is mind-blowing.”
The Lakers have won just three of their first five games, but they might not have any victories if not for James’ play. The latest example came Wednesday night, when he helped his team rally for a 130-125 overtime victory against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Though the Lakers entered the season with a plan to limit the superstar’s minutes, he played 42 minutes against the Clippers. James scored 35 points on 13-of-19 shooting while adding 12 rebounds and seven assists.
The effort was necessary with the Lakers using only eight players because five others were out with injuries, including Rui Hachimura. They are already asking a lot from the aging superstar, who will turn 39 years old in late December.
So far this season, James is averaging 24.6 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game. But the more important statistic might be that he is averaging 35.6 minutes per game.
The Lakers’ reported intention was to monitor his workload and minutes more carefully than they had in the past in order to keep him healthy and fresh for what they hope is another long playoff run.
But circumstances – close games and injured teammates in particular – have seemingly scrapped that plan for now, allowing James to build on his incredible legacy. It’s been two decades since he was the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, and it seems like nothing much has changed on the court since then.
The Lakers needed to rally late last season just to reach the play-in round, so these early-season victories could be needed when playoff seeding comes into play later in the campaign.
They reached the 2023 Western Conference Finals and certainly believe they are capable of going even further and winning the championship this time around.