The Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey is one of the NBA’s rising stars, and on Monday, he scored 31 points and dished out eight assists as his team blasted LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers by 44 points.
He relayed a story about going to the gym early to train, only to see that James had already apparently put in a full workout. Maxey called James “insane” for that.
"I get there early like always… when I walked in, [LeBron] was in a full sweat."
"He was like 'I can't let you beat me to the gym" 😆
Tyrese Maxey on the future Hall of Famer's work ethic 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/UpH5E7Bmux
— NBA (@NBA) November 28, 2023
James is about to turn 39 years of age and in his 21st NBA season, but he continues to be about as productive as he ever has. Although he had a quiet 18 points on Monday, he has been putting up his usual brilliant numbers this season while shooting a very high percentage, not just overall, but also from the 3-point line.
Certainly, James’ work ethic is the main reason for his insane longevity. Years ago, it was reported that he spends over $1 million a year to keep his body in optimum shape, and although he picks his spots these days, he doesn’t appear to have lost nearly as much athleticism or explosiveness as someone with the type of mileage he has should’ve lost by now.
He may be as motivated as he ever has been, as he likely knows that his chances of winning his fifth NBA championship seemingly dwindle with each season he adds to the books.
Monday was clearly not the Lakers’ night. They mainly lost the game at the 3-point line, as they shot 7-of-28 from distance, while Philly lit them up by shooting 22-of-46 from deep.
While Maxey led the Sixers in scoring, Joel Embiid had a 30-point triple-double and reminded everyone why he was the MVP last season. In general, they manhandled the Lakers on the boards, which is a problem the Lakers have had at times this season.
Still, they seem to have an elite or near-elite roster when healthy. They’re missing the services of three of their best non-James forwards — Jarred Vanderbilt, Cam Reddish and Rui Hachimura — while Gabe Vincent, a solid defender and hustle player they signed in July, has been out for a few weeks with a knee issue.