On Wednesday night, LeBron James lifted the Los Angeles Lakers over the New Orleans Pelicans with a shot that only an absolute superstar can win: a contested fadea and one foot behind the 3-point line.
For many, this reminded that James is still one of the best players in the league and, when he wishes, probably the greatest player in the NBA. However, James knows he can not hold this title forever.
After the Lakers win, James told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes that, like those who preceded him, he will have to pass the torch someday:
If he did not succeed in reaching 14th place, the thorough examination would only intensify, hinting that he might not be the best player in the game. But for the moment, James does not pass the torch – he just passes to teammates.
"[Expletive]it will happen one day, "he told Yahoo Sports. "[Expletive]MJ had to do this thing, did not he? We will see."
By the time Jordan finally retired, the torch had already been removed. Could the same thing happen to James in the near future?
For the first time since his rookie season, James is not in the top 10 VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) statistics, which, according to Basketball Reference, is an estimate of the number of points for every 100 player contributes to a level player. replacement (-2.0).
James has already led the league in the VORP nine times in a 15-year career, including last season.
He is still among the leaders of the league in other eloquent statistics like the plus-minus box ranking and player effectiveness, but there has been a noticeable slip this season. This rapid decline can be attributed to the fact that he missed most of the games he missed with an injury earlier this year, but that's because his body has not lost so much time because that his body did not heal as before.
James could have a 3-1 lead on Father Time, and Father Time would still carry him as James charging ahead of the 2016 Golden State Warriors. Fortunately, James is still an extremely valuable player at age 34, which is more than most other players of his age can not tell.
Do you know how many 34 year old players have an average of a triple-double this season? Just one, and he's playing for the Lakers. Do you know how many players are still in the preliminary class of 2003? Only four, and James is the only one who is a net positive for his team.
Is James getting older? Of course, but it ages like a good wine. He has the right to remain confident in what he brings to the table.
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