At age 37, Lebron James is still one of the five best players in the world.
This season alone he’s putting up some incredible individual numbers that players much younger than him would love to have.
James is one of the rare athletes who has been seemingly able to stave off Father Time for so long. Given that he has just turned 37 (!), in Year 19 (!!) in the league, James is still putting up numbers worthy of MVP consideration. Most recently, he became the oldest player in NBA history to record a 30-point triple-double after dropping 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds on the Orlando Magic.
James, who missed 10 of the Lakers’ first 16 games because of ankle and abdomen injuries, has improved his play as the season has gone on. In James’ first eight games, he averaged 22.8 points on 49 percent shooting with 6.1 assists and 5.0 rebounds.
Currently, within his last six-game stretch, James is averaging 34.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.5 blocks on shooting splits of 57.0 percent from the field, 40.4 percent from beyond the arc and 81.8 percent from the free throw line.
James has scored 36 points or more in three of those six games, and most recently in Memphis on Wednesday night, he knocked down eight 3-pointers, which tied a career-high.
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
Firstly, James is just genetically gifted, that’s plain to see, but he also invests in himself. He reportedly spends $1.5 million per year to take care of his body. That covers costs from his home gym, trainers, massage therapists, chefs, appliances and more.
He played the full 82-game schedule for the first time in his career at age 33 in 2017-18 while with the Cavs.
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It’s that dedication to his craft that has seen him put up some of the more insane numbers of his career after the age of 30.
LeBron James turns 37 today.
If we took only his career after he turned 30, he would still be a first ballot HOF.
— 26/8/8 on 52%
— 30/10/8 on 51% in playoffs
— 4th in total points
— 4th in total assists
— Led NBA in assists
— 2x Champ
— 2x Finals MVP
— 7x All-Star
— 7x All-NBA pic.twitter.com/jwKL4upw1d
— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 30, 2021
James has won half of his total championships since turning 30, along with two Finals MVPs. He’s been an All-Star every year, he’s been All-NBA every year, he’s led the league in assists in that time frame while averaging a cool 26 points (52 percent shooting), 8 rebounds and 8 assists.
For comparison, by the time he turned 30, James had 23,901 career points – the most by an NBA player before his 30th birthday. James won all his regular-season MVP awards before 30, which is more than any of his contemporaries on the GOAT list at that age. He was a 10-time All-Star, 10-time All-NBA member, six-time All-Defensive Team member, two-time NBA champion and two-time Finals MVP.
In the year that he turned 30, James put up averages of 25.4 points per game, 6.9 rebounds and 6.7 assists.
“How do I continue how I’m playing? Been doing it for 19 years,” James has said about his play this season. “Just do what I’ve been doing. I feel like I’m getting better and better each and every day. I’m getting healthier and healthier. I think you think negative thoughts or negative energy, it just creeps into your mind. So, I’m as young as I’ve ever been.”
The stats and accolades appear to back that up, putting together two separate Hall of Fame careers on both sides of the age 30 milestone.