SportsLeBron James' happy birthday, between the divine and the human

    LeBron James’ happy birthday, between the divine and the human

    With just turned 38, no one has taken the cocktail that associates longevity with excellence to such an extreme. LeBron James, the player with the second most minutes on the court in NBA history (already over 64,000), seems oblivious to the passage of time and maintains a completely extraordinary performance peak considering that he is competing in his twentieth season as professional.

    In fact, to celebrate his last birth anniversary and in the presence of his wife (Savannah) and his mother (Gloria) —both in the stands—, James reached 47 points in Atlanta, where the Lakers came from behind to win ( 121-130). Between the first time James reached 40 points in the NBA and the latter, 18 years and 278 days have elapsed, the longest stretch ever recorded in the American competition for two performances of that nature.

    James exceeds the 28-point average this season, an anomaly considering any record at that point in his career. For contextualization, the next highest scoring average during a twentieth season belongs to Kobe Bryant (2016), below 18 points. The following examples, held by other legends such as Dirk Nowitzki (2018) or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1989), did not even reach 13.

    Ultimately, time, exhibited in the form of physical and mental exhaustion, has used throughout history to relentlessly diminish the athlete, to the point of making even men who carried an aura of divinity seem earthly. James, for his part, continues to escape his effect. As a challenge even to the inevitable.

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    LeBron, who has already surpassed Earvin Magic Johnson in the all-time list of assists – he will surely finish the course in the Top 4 – and is a few weeks away from surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s mark and becoming the always-leading scorer, maintains a pulse with himself in a permanent gallop towards the immortality of sport.

    Within a fascinating career, with countless achievements and milestones, each one more overwhelming, James can boast of being the only player in history to have won the championship, being chosen as the best player in the series for the title with three different franchises ( Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers). Yet at the same time in the everlasting pursuit of him behind the towering, endless shadow of Michael Jordan, nothing seems to be enough.

    At this point, James remains active under the spell of two dreams. One, on an emotional level, is built under the option of coinciding with his son Bronny in the NBA, an unprecedented event in the history of the league. His eldest son, born in October 2004, could be chosen in the 2024 Draft and LeBron has studied that scenario perfectly, including in his last contract signed with the Lakers a clause by which he could be a free agent that same summer, that of 2024. The reason would be to link his future to that of his eldest son and, in that idyllic context, share a team.

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    The other dream, more focused on professional ambition, is still matching Jordan’s six rings. However, with four in his power the scenario seems complex. And given the current situation of the Lakers, a franchise at a competitive crossroads, even unlikely.

    The Angelenos were last proclaimed champions just over two years ago, in October 2020, but too much has changed since then. The cast that surrounded James completely disappeared, except for his main track partner, Anthony Davis, a giant with feet of clay. And it is that Davis, the ideal internal reference to complement the Akron wonder, has lost half of the Lakers’ games since then.

    Management, led by Rob Pelinka, has been making and undoing blocks, also without Frank Vogel, the coach who led the Angelenos to the title in 2020. And James, with his share of responsibility, did not know how to manage the power of decision that was granted from the offices. A power that, being common among players of his size, ended up putting the project at a point of difficult return.

    His conviction to bet on the figure of Russell Westbrook, prioritizing his arrival in the summer of 2021, left the franchise with no room for maneuver to reformulate the project. James understood, with Pelinka’s approval, that a thoroughbred like Westbrook could free him from the ball and act as the third vertex of the triangle formed by Davis and himself. Reality, however, came punctually to dismantle any hope. His sportsmanship has been a puzzle and his very high contract has made any transfer around his figure utopian.

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    That is why James, who often during his career has only needed two ingredients to qualify for the championship, a good defensive collective environment and triple support to punish the rival double brands that he has always received, finds that the current Lakers they lack both. Thus making it a gigantic challenge to translate his words from a few days ago into action, in which he insisted that he wants to “compete” and not spend his last career efforts on a project without title aspirations.

    Thus his path to legend —to which he agrees on his own merits— contrasts, these days, with the disoriented project that he himself leads. He proves, at the same time, the divine side of him and the human side of him.

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    Source: EL PAIS

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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