Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas believes that Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is putting “so much pressure on people” by playing at such a high level at his age.
Anthony Davis did everything the Lakers asked him to do!
Don’t let LeBron’s dominance at his age make you think that AD still not HIM. pic.twitter.com/qZjhE5CFeJ
— Gilbert Arenas (@GilsArenaShow) August 8, 2023
“It just puts so much pressure on people,” Arenas said. “The fact that he’s 39, doing what he’s doing, makes 30 seem like you’re a rookie. Now we have a glimpse of what 38 and 39 is capable of doing, which means when players are looking like they’re slowing down at 31, 32, I don’t know how we accept that anymore.”
While Arenas has James’ age wrong (he’s actually 38), his sentiment still stands. There are other players that have not been able to maintain close to the same level of play for as long as James has in the NBA.
James’ longevity is unheard of, and he’s been relatively healthy for most of his career, especially prior to joining the Lakers. With Los Angeles, it’s been a little bit of a different story.
James has not played more than 67 games in a single season for Los Angeles, and he dealt with a foot injury in the 2022-23 campaign.
Despite that, the 38-year-old showed in the 2022-23 season that he is still one of the best players in the NBA. James averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc.
James also led the charge for the Lakers in the postseason with some strong playoff numbers. He averaged 24.5 points, 9.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game while leading the team to the Western Conference Finals.
It’s hard to hold other players to the standard that James has set, and that’s one of the reasons why he’s one of the greatest players in NBA history.
However, the fact that he’s able to play at such a high level at this age shows that players could be effective into their late 30s if they are willing to take care of their bodies in the way that James does.
The Lakers and their fans are hoping James’ body holds up for at least one more season, as the team has a legit chance to compete for a title after bringing back Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura and D’Angelo Russell this offseason.