It’s been an impressive 17th season for LeBron James, to say the least. Despite his age, the Los Angeles Lakers star is arguably playing his best all-around basketball yet. He finished second in NBA MVP voting and led the league in assist for the first time in his career.
Not many superstars are able to reinvent themselves this late in their careers but LeBron has figured out a way to stay elite. In fact, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr believes that the star is better than ever.
“Charles Barkley always says ‘Father Time is undefeated’ but LeBron is putting up a hell of a fight right now,” Kerr said recently, per The Athletic. “It’s incredible to watch how athletic and powerful he remains. The skill set is better than ever. Coaching against him is a real challenge year after year because he’s also one of the smartest players you’ll ever see.”
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Hard to Argue With Kerr
It might sound absurd that LeBron is playing at his highest level yet but it’s hard to argue against Kerr. LeBron doesn’t look like he’s lost a single step. He still drives to the basket and powers his way to easy layups seemingly at will.
He probably can’t play as many minutes as he has in the past but he’s always impactful when he’s on the floor. The thing that is notable about LeBron is that it never feels like he’s the team’s only scoring option. Pairing him with Anthony Davis was a brilliant move and has paid off in a big way. Having a consistent elite scoring option to play with should help extend LeBron’s career.
Former Raptors Coach Praises LeBron
LeBron may be one of the most athletically gifted people on the planet but that’s not what makes him great. He’s also got an incredibly high basketball IQ. Former Toronto Raptors head coach and current Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey has faced off against LeBron a lot of times over the years and has gotten a first-hand look at how the star has evolved.
“He’d figured it out and seen everything. Nothing mattered to him as he got older and to watch him, it’s just the growth. He’s a coach, computer and a gifted athlete all at one on the floor. The thing about LeBron, you call out a play, he knows the play probably better than some of your players,” Casey said. “He had conquered that by the time I got to Toronto and he got back to Cleveland. It was just his natural path to being a basketball savant, which is what he is. He’s a savant.”
If LeBron’s body can continue to hold up, it’s feasible that he’s able to be an effective player until he’s 40. That would be unprecedented but not impossible. At a certain point, he’s not going to be a star anymore but if the Lakers can continue to surround with talent, he could play as long as he wants to.