On a nightly basis, LeBron James is sure to deliver a highlight to make you question the concept of time.
Selected first overall in the draft 18 years ago, James is now 19 seasons into his illustrious NBA career and entered the 2021-22 NBA season as the league's fourth-oldest player. Even though he'll turn 37 on Dec. 30, LeBron ranked third in NBA.com's preseason ranking of the league's best players.
MORE: Who are the best players entering the 2021-22 NBA season?
That's just not normal.
37 is far from old in the real world, but the NBA world is a much different story. In the league's 75-year history, only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and Karl Malone averaged 20-plus points per game at 37 or older. LeBron, who's averaging 24.8 points through six games this season, stands to add his name to that list by the year's end.
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Scoring is one thing, but where James truly defies logic is with his athleticism, which is still elite despite the fact he's appeared in nearly 1,600 NBA games (regular season and postseason). Logically speaking, no one with that kind of mileage on their body should be able to complete alley-oop finishes like this:
✨ The Lakeshow in the open court! ✨- NBA (@NBA) November 3, 2021
2Q on League Pass: https://t.co/5QqkBhf1W0 pic.twitter.com/EKTtQWRUsU
And this combination of strength and bounce just isn't fair:
BRON BRAWN.- NBA (@NBA) November 3, 2021
Watch on League Pass: https://t.co/5QqkBhf1W0 pic.twitter.com/aTJIzombYV
Just six games into his 19th season, LeBron has already done enough to warrant a two-minute reel of his best above-the-rim finishes.
The best dunks from @KingJames in YEAR 19 thus far!- NBA (@NBA) November 3, 2021
The train keeps rolling. 🚂 pic.twitter.com/LzWmrLmRp5
Each time you would think LeBron might take a step back and fall off, he seemingly bounces back even stronger to distort our sense of time and any related notions surrounding a decline in performance and athleticism.
Call it what you want, but understand we've never seen anything like LeBron before, and we'll probably never see anything like him again. There's definitely more to come.
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