By Giovanni Brookshire
(HOLLYWOOD, Calif.) — In sports, we relish our favorite players and love the opportunity to watch them play.
We leave the arena or television set in awe of their talent. For me, no one has done this more than LeBron James.
Dubbed the “Chosen One” coming out of high school at 18, the adversity he faced was tremendous.
It was his job to turn his terrible hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, into contenders. He has Played 17 seasons so far, and has brought home four championships: two in Miami, one in Cleaveland and one in Los Angeles.
James has tons of accolades to go along with the four titles in 10 appearances. He is 16-times all-star, 4-times MVP finals, 4-times regular season MVP, 13-times NBA, all first team, and the list goes on. The Number that truly stands out among his accolades is games played.
LeBron James has played 1,265 regular season games. He is in the Top 50 NBA players for most games played and still has two years on his contract. Just let that sink in for a moment. This man has not only played in each of those games, but he has competed at an elevated level with consistency for years.
Let us not forget, I only counted regular season games and not the playoffs. In the playoffs, LeBron James has played, started, and he competed at a high level in 260 playoff games.
That is equivalent to about three full regular seasons, with 82 games in one full season.
In a game where your body strength, intelligence and stamina are key factors, it seems effortless to LeBron. He has a career games per minute stat line of 38.4 minutes a game. It’s a game that is only played for 48 minutes.
In his last season, which was his 17th, he produced as any star player in their mid to late twenties. The only difference between him and the other guys on the floor is that he is 35 years old and still outplaying most of the league.
No one of any other generation has played at a higher level than he has this year. For the playoffs, he averaged 10 rebounds, 8 assists, and 27 points, this year alone. These are numbers that not everybody can put up on a nightly basis. He has defied “Father Time” and has become a basketball demigod.
I understand, we might not all like LeBron James, or the way he plays sometimes. It is understandable. He did not have that “killer mentality” like Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. He did not always take the last shot, nor has he always been clutch.
But James is the ultimate teammate, and it shows in how many times and teams he took to the finals. He gave them the opportunity to play for something bigger than themselves.
Appreciate the man while he is here, because at 35, he has given us some of the best basketball of this generation.