LeBron James is playing at a Most Valuable Player-level in his 17th NBA season with the Los Angeles Lakers which has come as a surprise to many.
After a rough first season with the Lakers, James came under a lot of criticism with some suggesting he was finally tailing off in the twilight of his career.
James heard everything that people were saying and has silenced the doubters to start the 2019-20 NBA season. Operating as the team’s point guard, James is leading the league in assists and showing he is still among the world’s best players — if not still at the top. He has also begun using #WashedKing on social media as a jab at his doubters.
Plenty of the greats — including Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant — have made a career out of harnessing motivation from different sources and in a recent interview with Dave McMenamin of ESPN, James admitted the doubters are helping to fuel him this season, via SportsCenter:
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 10, 2019
It was impossible for James not to hear everything that people were saying about him this summer. His first year with the Lakers was underwhelming both individually and as a team and with him being at a point where most players begin to fall off, it was only natural for some to believe he was doing the same.
However, James isn’t the average player. Very few players in the history of the league have taken care of their body the way James has and after having more time in the offseason to rest than he has in nearly a decade, he’s come back with something to prove.
Whether or not this leads to his ultimate goal of a championship remains to be seen, but if James and the Lakers continue at this level, they’ll be very tough to stop.