LeBron James explains how he continues to thrive in 18th NBA season
LeBron James has put an unbelievable amount of mileage on his 36-year-old body during his storied career with frequent deep postseason runs that followed grueling regular seasons.
Despite his advanced age, not to mention a historically short offseason for the Los Angeles Lakes, James continues to defy Father Time and is impressively dominating the league once again in his 18th NBA season.
James recently explained the secret behind his uncanny success and remarkable longevity, and the superstar indicated it’s all about not setting limitations on himself.
“I’ve never put a ceiling on my ability to continue to get better,” James said, via Jovan Buha of The Athletic. “And I’ve always had a growth mindset on how I can get better with my game. And I wasn’t too fond of the short offseason because I didn’t really get an opportunity to kind of dissect a part of my game where I wanted to get better at but I used the time wisely. Mostly for my body, mostly for my mind with the short offseason but also just coming back a better player.
“And I feel like I’m a better player than I was last year. I feel like I can beat the defense at any facet once I cross halfcourt. So I think it makes our team that much better when I can improve and I feel like I’ve improved my game.”
James has been a revelation during the 2020-21 campaign. In 23 contests this season, James is averaging 25.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists while shooting 49.6% from the field and 40.9% from three-point range in 33.6 minutes per game. The Lakers are positioned to defend their NBA title as well, sitting at 17-6 and slotted third in the hyper-competitive Western Conference.
What makes James’ performance this season perhaps most impressive, though, is how it’s coming off an incredibly rushed and compacted offseason.
A narrative emerged ahead of the 2020-21 NBA season that the remarkably narrow turnaround between the conclusion of the COVID-19-compromised 2019-20 season to the tipoff of the 2020-21 campaign could especially impact the defending champion Lakers.
The Lakers concluded the 2019-20 season by securing the title with a Game 6 win over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals on Oct. 11 in the Orlando, Fla., bubble. That means the team had only 71 days of offseason recovery/preparation time before ramping things up for another arduous season.
James was no fan of the situation, understandably, and he pushed back just last week when asked whether he’s feeling worn down given the circumstances.
“I don’t get tired,” James said.
Defiant words from someone who somehow remains the greatest basketball player on the planet at age 36.