It is no secret. Aging can be difficult, and some of us are way better than others... Look at the Trish Stratus's, the Clayton Kershaw's... They have found the fountain of youth and they have had a stranglehold on it. But there has been one man that has completely fractured any thought of aging as it would near.
LeBron James's Aging Process
From Phenom to Champ
LeBron was the overall consensus #1 pick and thrust into all-time debates from when he was 17 years old. Say what you want about it too, but for that 17 year old to be at the point of Hollywood mega-star today does not come easy. At 17, many of us were dreaming of drinking Dad's garage beers and partying in basements hoping not to be busted by the cops. LeBron never had any question of controversy, any questionable news stories surrounding him, only a few bad lies and some terrible Instagram stories...
At 22, LeBron was in his first finals. For us normal folk, we were closing bars down and looking for jobs in the real world. Six years later, Bron won his first championship with the Heat, while most of us were still closing down bars and hating on him.
After that, he went back home, and won the Cavaliers first championship in history of ever. Many of us if given the chance to move to Miami and work with the best in their craft, would stay. But not Bron… He went to Cleveland (yuck! sorry Cleveland), to win them a chance, like a true Ohioan.
The Mid-Life Crisis Point?
I thought the moment he went to L.A. that this was the crisis coming on. The one step that will lead to the aging we've all expected. He put himself on a young team in a 'hip' city to explore new options outside of his new career. But after a trade for another star, and some luck, another championship was won by the 'King'.
Enter the 2022-23 season. A year that was riddled with injuries to both Bron and AD. A year where we saw complete roster turnover. A year that felt like it would catapult the 'How much does Bron have left' conversation into every sports outlet Monday morning. But on Sunday, at roughly 4:30 ET, the young role playing Lakers were the ones that would delay any conversation of Bron's aging.
Watching him in Year 20, at 38 years old on Sunday Afternoon against the Grizzlies, I imagined that this would be the year the aging process would take its toll. The midlife crisis would be coming, and basketball may be an afterthought to the health of a father of three, to a potent wine drinker, and to a frequenter of tacos on Tuesdays.
But once again I was wrong. At after a long career traveling the country, many of us would consider slowing down and working close to home. Not LeBron James. The Lakers are still very much in the Championship Picture, and King James is in the center of it, just with a very different Bron team. With breakouts from young talent like Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, who knows what is in store to aid the 'old man' into his quest for his 5th ring.