LeBron James is 31 years old and entered this season with 13 NBA seasons—and a number of big post-season runs—under his belt. Even so, his head coach doesn't see him breaking down any time soon.
The Cleveland Cavaliers started the season on Tuesday night with a 117-88 win over the New York Knicks. James had an excellent first game, notching a 19 point, 14 assist, 11 rebound triple double, and soaring to the rim for several big dunks.
After the game, ESPN's Dave McMenamin asked head coach Tyronn Lue about LeBron's status entering the year, considering how good he looked in the opener. Lue said that a medical evaluation showed that LeBron has the "body of a 19-year old," and joked that his superstar might be aging backwards like Benjamin Button.
McMenamin: "LeBron I think ended up with six dunks, his career high is seven. Have you been seeing things behind closed doors that we aren't privy to in the media during training camp in terms of what level LeBron's at entering this season?"
Lue: "I don't know. I know he had a chance to get tested this summer, and they said he had the body of a 19-year old. So maybe he's getting younger. Benjamin Button, I don't know. Who knows? I don't know, they just said he had the body and the bones and structure of a 19-year old kid. Maybe he's going backwards.
LeBron James has played in 1,187 total games in his NBA career, including the playoffs. He has logged, based on my calculations, 46,788 minutes of NBA basketball. That is a ton of time and wear-and-tear on the body, especially with how physical LeBron's game is. And still, he looked as good as ever last night. If he doesn't break down anytime soon, that is a scary proposition for the rest of the NBA.