One of the greatest basketball players of all time, LeBron James just keeps doing his thing.
James came into the league out of high school, bringing a ridiculous amount of hype with him. The expectations for LeBron were through the roof, yet somehow, he delivered. Great things were anticipated, but going down as one of the top players of all-time is never a reasonable expectation for any individual.
A one-of-a-kind physical specimen, the league had not seen anything like him since Magic Johnson. For all Johnson's skill, not even he had James' speed and strength.
The ball-handling, passing, athleticism, leadership, defense, basketball I.Q., and improved shooting in a 6-8, 250lb man; his place among the best of all-time is not really up for debate. Where exactly he falls may be, but not his overall basketball greatness.
He isn't done yet
LeBron James entered in the league in 2003, so it feels like he has been around forever. This year is his 15th season. That totals 1,143 regular season games, not to mention 225 playoff contests. How is there still tread on his basketball tires?
The sustained greatness is certainly one of the things that propels the "greatness" conversation. His Cleveland Cavaliers had an up-and-down season, yet are still hanging around in the playoffs. If they go all the way, it will be LeBron's 8th consecutive NBA Finals appearance.
LeBron has owned the Eastern Conference for almost a decade.
Last night, his Cavs, fresh off a seven game series with Indy, beat the 1 seed Raptors in Toronto. It took overtime to do it; 46 minutes and a triple-double from James.
Can he keep it up?
Even with a less-familiar host of teammates than in recent seasons, LeBron is finding a way to get it done. In his age-33 season, he played all 82 games for the first time in his career.
Getting to the Finals will be tougher this year than in any of the previous seven seasons. Once the Eastern team gets there, they will likely earn a date with the Houston Rockets or Golden State Warriors. Maybe not as fun when you think of it that way.
Regardless of how it all shakes out, one thing is certain: LeBron James is a constant, dependable force in the NBA.
He won't be going anywhere for a few years (well, aside from his pending free agency). Appreciate his basketball mastery while you can. He is physically gifted, but there are parts of his game that any player can work to emulate.
Keep a close eye on King James and stay involved with The Basketball Movement to get the most out of your hoops experience.