At 34, LeBron James remains one of the very best basketball players in the world. His second season for the Los Angeles Lakers has been pretty remarkable so far.
Through 11 games, James is averaging 23.9 points, eight rebounds, and a league high 11.1 assists, almost two full dimes more per game than second-place Luka Doncic.
After a tough loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA opener, the Lakers are 9-2, with a game over the rest of the Western Conference for first place. While LeBron’s first year out West fell well short of expectations, year two, with Anthony Davis and a revamped roster, has been excellent so far.
It wouldn’t shock anyone if James played into his 40s—he’s already openly expressed his desire to play with his son Bronny if he can—but no one can go forever.
In a recent press conference, the not-yet-washed King compared himself to 42-year old quarterback Tom Brady, though he did outline the scenarios that would lead him to consider stepping away.
LeBron says of considering retirement: "Me and Tom Brady are one and the same. We're gonna play until we can't walk no more."
He says he wants to play until he physically can't, or until he mentally is checking out. But says LeBron: "I'm not at the end of my story." pic.twitter.com/i00feTicrL
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) November 15, 2019
James has never had a season-ending injury, somewhat miraculously. Last year’s groin injury, which cost him 17-straight games, was probably the most serious of his career, and derailed the Lakers season.
Whether he’ll remain engaged once his physical gifts eventually do diminish, and he has to take a step back as more of a role player, is another question, and that could lead to the “mental check out” that he refers to, but for now he seems to be answering all of the questions that people raised about his future once last season went in the tank.
LeBron James and the Lakers are back in action tonight against the Sacramento Kings.