LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers

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

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

LeBron James had 20 rebounds last night in the Lakers overtime victory over the 2-seed Memphis Grizzlies. In doing so, he became the oldest player in NBA history to have a 20-point, 20-rebound playoff game

Last time that happened, Wilt Chamberlain was on the court and Richard Nixon was president. 

We’re talking about the definition of a generational accomplishment. 

Of course the series isn’t over, but as the 2023 playoffs press on, LeBron is creeping up on Kareem Abdul Jabbar for 5th all-time in playoff rebounds, and once he passes Kareem, he’ll be top five in almost every playoff category in existence. 

He’s currently third all-time in three pointers made. Second in assists. Second in triple-doubles. First, by far, in steals. First in total wins. And he’s so far out in front in total points scored that the record may never be broken.

And at 38 years old, in his 20th NBA season, he’s averaging 24, 13 and 5. What are we supposed to even compare that to?

Only nine other players in NBA history ever made it to season 20. Only five of those ever played in the playoffs at or after age 38. The only player on that list that wasn’t in serious decline by 38-years old was Kareem, but even so, the Lakers had resorted to having Magic Johnson and Maurice Lucas crash the glass so that Kareem could focus his energy on the offensive end. 

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 be the one to convince you after 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 come to take for granted the idea that he’s always just going to be around. He’s not! Don’t take it for granted. Everything ends. 

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

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

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

Do you mean to tell me that you hate LeBron James so much that you’ve resorted to rooting for the undefeated villain of all villains- father time, while he stands alone as the only basketball great to still be here after two decades, whooping father time’s ass?

Couldn’t be me. Has never been me. Will never be me. 

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

Let that sink in. 

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