38 revolutions around the sun.
20 years manipulating a burnt orange sphere in the NBA.
4 NBA titles.
LeBron James, at 38 years of age, has passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time NBA scorer in history. The Captain, who has held the record since 1984, was there to share in the moment, and pass the torch.
LeBron has often been compared to some sort of super-human because of the way he has mastered his mind in order to discipline his body. Ice baths, stretching, isometric exercises, massages, yoga and pilates… You name it. Although he didn’t start his career that way, incorporating those changes – starting with the mental discipline – has been the backbone of the process of turning talent into skill.
Speaking with ESPN, Tyronn Lue stated that “[LeBron] got caught at an early age with people that were teaching him the right things about how to take care of his body and what it means to have longevity in this league. He followed the guidelines, and look where he’s at today.”
Besides their legendary scoring feats, James and Abdul-Jabbar also share that commitment to discipline that made them the best in their eras. Both Jerry West and Pat Riley made comparisons when speaking about them.
“When [Abdul-Jabbar] played, he looked ageless,” former Lakers general manager Jerry West told ESPN. “I watch LeBron play and he looks like he can play another 5-6 years. He looks younger to me this year than he did last year. That’s what they both have: longevity and performance.”
“What happens with great, great, great players is their amount of intellect and experience and all of that stuff and just knowing the game, that sort of eventually surpasses maybe your physical ability,” Riley told ESPN.
Amidst the arguments over who is the GOAT, one thing is for sure. LeBron will play until he decides to stop. He’s humble. He’s gracious. He’s appreciative. He’s hungry. Says the King, “I knew when I got drafted as an 18-year-old kid that I could play the game of basketball and play it at a high level even against grown men…I worked my tail off for the success… And it’s just been a very humbling and gratifying journey. And I hope people have enjoyed it with me.”