LeBron James is certainly no ‘Washed King’
LeBron James continues to prove the haters wrong. In their game against the Chicago Bulls last night, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar notched his third triple-double in as many games. With that, James made history for the Purple and Gold by becoming the first Laker since Magic Johnson to register three consecutive trip-doubles.
James led the Lakers with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists to help Los Angeles take down the Bulls, 118-112, in come-from-behind fashion.
The first of his triple-double triumvirate came in a massive superstar showdown with 20-year old sensation Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks, where he recorded 39 points, 12 rebounds, 16 assists, and four steals. He followed that up with a 21-11-13 performance against the San Antonio Spurs a couple of nights ago.
With a down season last year where he missed the playoffs for the first time in 14 years, many started to rip off the “Best Player in the World” tag off of James. He has had that mantle for over a decade now. But entering year 17 and his age-35 season, people started think that The King is no longer at the top of the NBA food chain.
Part of it is due to the emergence of younger superstars who are entering their prime (Giannis Antetokounmpo) or are in the midst of their best years (Kawhi Leonard), while some of it has to do with perhaps Father Time catching up to him.
However, with how he has looked so far this season, James seems like he is not about to relinquish his throne just yet.
The Lakers currently sit atop the league standings with a 6-1 record. They have rattled off six straight victories after dropping their season opener against the L.A. Clippers.
A lot of the Lakers’ early season success has to do with the leadership of their 34-year old superstar. After hearing all the chatter this off-season, James appears more motivated than ever to prove his haters wrong.
Through the first seven games of the season, James is averaging 26.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 11.1 assists, while shooting 48.1 percent from the field.
LeBron doesn’t appear like he has lost a step, either, and is still as explosive as he was when he first entered the league as an 18-year old. And while James said that the Lakers’ will run their offense through Anthony Davis, the four-time MVP is still primary catalyst on that end and still carries a heavy load of playmaking duties, especially over these past three games.
Moreover, what’s different this season is that James is actually trying on defense. Over the past few years dating back to his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, pundits have knocked him for his declining effort on defense. To begin the season, however, James appears more locked in on that end.
With his 35th birthday coming this December, can James sustain this level of play throughout the 82-game marathon? The Lakers would be smart to put him in some kind of load management program to keep his legs fresh for an eventual postseason run as he hunts for his fourth NBA championship.
Nevertheless, one thing is certain: LeBron James is no “Washed King.”