As the saying goes, Father Time is undefeated. However, he might have met his match when it comes to Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady and James have dominated their respective sports for far longer than anyone could have imagined, finding new ways to reset the bar for greatness. Like everyone else, James watched in awe as Brady put forth an MVP-effort in Super Bowl LV, leading the Bucs to the title — his seventh overall, the previous six coming with the Patriots.
“I’ve been watching him for quite a while now and just to see him go out and do the things that he’s done in his career, for him to win another one yesterday in the fashion that he won, it was pretty cool,” James told reporters on Monday after dropping a triple-double in a win against Oklahoma City. “It was very inspiring for a guy like myself. But two different sports, two different positions.”
James then turned the conversation to speculation about his future.
“I don’t know how long I’m going to play the game. I don’t know how much more I’ll be able to give to the game. The way I feel right now, we’ll see what happens,” he said. “But I have no timetable on it. I have no year of, ‘OK, do I want to play until 30-this or 40-that?’ The game will let me know when it’s time and we’ll figure it out then.”
LeBron James Still Going Strong in 18th Season
That time does not appear to be anytime soon for the 36-year-old James, who is the NBA MVP frontrunner thanks to another massive season. He’s playing 34.2 minutes per game, averaging 25.6 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. He’s also shooting nearly 50% from the field and 39.8% from deep.
James signed a two-year, $85 million contract extension this offseason that will keep him in purple and gold through the 2022-23 season.
“I haven’t [thought about it],” James said back in December. “The bottom line is I’m going to stick around this game. I’ve never taken for granted every time I get an opportunity to play another season. I try to prepare my mind and my body and my spirit for a season, and see where it takes it me.”
LeBron James Interested in Playing With Son in NBA
James hinted after signing the deal that he’d be interested in playing with his son, Bronny James, who will be graduating from high school in 2023. Of course, that’s assuming that Bronny will make it to the NBA. He’s considered one of the top recruits in his class, but still has a lot to do to make that a reality.
“At the end of this contract, I’ll be in year 20. The best thing about it is the year I’ll be a free agent will be the same year my oldest son graduates high school,” James told reporters. “So I’ll have some options to see, for me personally, what I want to do forward, being around my family, being around my son more or continue to play this game I love with great health and great spirits. We’ll see.”
What has helped James stay at the top is his willingness to adapt his game. While he can still throw down a thunderous dunk with the best of them, he’s added a reliable outside shot to his game, making him that much harder to defend.
“You have to change with the times, I guess. You have to continue to evolve,” James told reporters after hitting a season-high seven 3-pointers against the Cavaliers earlier this season. “For me, never putting a cap on my ceiling. I just want to always continue to get better and do things out on the floor that maybe hasn’t been done in other people’s careers.”
James has played 89 minutes in the Lakers’ last two games, which have featured a combined three overtime periods. He and the rest of the Lakers squad get back to work on Wednesday with another matchup against Oklahoma City.
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