Written By: Austin Philippi
LeBron James will be the best player in the world until he retires at about age 41 after playing 23 NBA seasons. I believe LeBron wants to play long enough to play alongside his son for at least one NBA season. LeBron said once in GQ magazine that he’d like to play long enough to play with his son and even went as far to say on the question of him possibly playing aginst his son “I’ll Foul the shit out of him! I’d give him all six fouls. I’d foul the shit out of Bronny man” but then he also noted that he won’t play washed. LeBron, I believe has a game and a body that will translate well as he continues to age, his athletic ability while it will decline some as you can see from an older player like Vince Carter it’s possible to still have bounce late into your career. LeBron is spending over 1.5 million a year on his body for a reason, he doesn’t rise and dunk on people as often as when he was younger, not because he can’t but because he doesn’t want to risk injury. LeBron is not only chasing Jordan in championships (6) which could take the rest of Lebron’s career to accomplish, however the length of his career and overall ability in his game to do some things will allow him to play at high level late into his career.
Once he isn’t the most athletic person on the court 9/10 nights he will still basically be the biggest, can play out of the post more frequently and extend his career longer passing out of double teams and using his athletic ability in spurts and saving himself for the postseason. Between the nostalgia of the number and how by that point in time he will be the clear leader in All-Time career points and it wont even be close. He also has a chance to catch Magic Johnson on the all time assist list if he continues to play at this level this long into his career. Kevin Durant recently said in a report that he “could see himself retiring at age 35”, I think LeBron has some of that sentimental value in him.
The difference is LeBron will play 8 more seasons to a possible KD 5, at about age 41 we will see LeBron hang up his sneakers somewhere north of 43,000 career points, 10,000 assists (5th Magic Johnson, 10,141), and 10,000 Rebounds. After having also went to (assuming he goes to Boston or Philly) what will be 15 straight NBA titles by that point in time, and I also believe he will either eclipse Jordan’s 6 or tie it by the end of his career. LeBron will finish with a finals record around 7 wins and 9 losses, amassing the single greatest career in sports history. These are a lot of the seasons I’ve said for years LeBron was the GOAT because I’ve been predicating his finals streak since back in his Cleveland days the first time around. His longevity and the amount of finals he will go too in the modern era will just never be accomplished again, he will have the grown men playing against him who have never seen an NBA Finals match up without him competing in it.
We’ve already seen glimpses of that this year with players like Lonzo Ball, Ben Simmons, and Jayson Tatum who grew up huge LeBron fans and are now competing against one of their idols. This is just the begging, there will never be another rookie class who enters the NBA that hasn’t spent their lifetime watching basketball seeing the LeBron James show and what might as be called the LeBron James NBA Finals after he retires. (That’s a joke, although I’m sure LeBron will be honored by the NBA somehow) The point however is still valid, LeBron is going to be playing against young men whose eyes will get real wide every time he steps on the court. This will also be one of LeBron’s greatest feats to be able to play at such a high level for so long while grooming his son to be in the NBA as well, getting to play with his son on an NBA team would be one of the greatest stories in sports history. The testament to his longevity and work ethic to his game and his family would be something we haven’t seen from an NBA player. LeBron growing up without a father and having gave his first son his namesake and naming him LeBron James JR. forever giving him major expectations, and now leading that same son to possibly following down his footsteps and following into the family business in one of the hardest leagues in the world to get into.
LeBron hanging up his career in time watch his son begin his career, a son that if he does make it will overcome the expectations that his name carries, a son that will overcome the scrutiny of being a high school phenom as well. LeBron will have a ton of career accomplishments but playing long enough at a high enough level to play with his son must be one of the highest on the list, and I firmly believe LeBron will be able to do this and he will play at a level close to what we are used to until he hangs up his sneakers. He’ll have one of the most superhuman like careers ever witnessed being the sole person in NBA history to have reached career stats of 40,000 points, 10,000 assists, 10,000 rebounds, and the only player in sports history to play the sport with his own son.