Even LeBron James’ biggest haters should be rooting for him in his battle with father time

We need to talk about what LeBron James is up to right now.

Because it won’t be long before we only talk about him in the past tense.

LeBron James had 20 rebounds last night to lead the Lakers to an overtime win over the No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies. In doing so, he became the oldest player in NBA history to record a 20-point, 20-rebound playoff game.

The last time it happened, Wilt Chamberlain was on the court and Richard Nixon was president.

It’s about defining generational fulfillment.

Of course, the streak isn’t over yet, but as far as the 2023 playoffs go, LeBron is beating Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the 5th time in the playoffs, and once he gets past Kareem, he’ll be a top five pick in almost every playoff. existing category.

He is now third all-time in three-pointers. The second with assists. The second in the triple-double. First, far away, in thefts. The first in total victories. And he is so far ahead in points total that the record will never be broken.

And at age 38, in his 20th NBA season, he’s averaging 24, 13 and 5. What should we compare it to?

Only nine other players in NBA history have reached the 20th season. Only five of them have ever played in the playoffs at age 38 or later. The only player on that list who didn’t seriously decline before age 38 was Kareem. But even so, the Lakers turned to Magic Johnson and Maurice Lucas to crash the glass so Kareem could focus his energy on the rim.

I don’t care if you don’t like LeBron James. If you don’t like him now, for whatever reason, I’m not going to convince you in two decades that you’re wrong.

But if you can’t appreciate what he’s doing right now, you *are* wrong.

Even if you love LeBron, maybe you’ve accepted the idea that he’ll always be there for you. He is not! Don’t take it for granted. Everything ends.

LeBron James is stealing time right now. He defies the laws of nature. The same laws that had the great Kobe Bryant playing in his last playoff series at age 33. The same laws that saw Charles Barkley and Larry Bird win a combined 3 playoff streaks after age 31.

Even Michael Jordan, after three years off, felt the effects of father time at age 38. In his first year with the Wizards, he had 8 double-doubles in 53 starts.

At age 38, LeBron started 54 regular season games, had 18 double-doubles and is averaging a double-double in the playoffs.

You mean to tell me you hate LeBron James so much that you started rooting for the undefeated villain of all villains, Father Time, while he stands alone as the only basketball player still around two decades later? time donkey?

I couldn’t be. I’ve never been. I never will be.

The window to enjoy something we’ve never seen and may never see is closing fast. But it is not closed yet. So enjoy the breeze while you can.

Let that sink in.

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