LeBron James is creeping into the top 10 of our ongoing ranking of the top 25 players, a true basketball legend who has been ridiculously dominant over the past 20 years. James’ extraordinary longevity coupled with outstanding skill and physical attributes have allowed him to remain great for a long time.
Top 25 NBA players in 2023-24: No. 11 LeBron James
LeBron James: A superstar of a generation
The term “once-in-a-lifetime player” is one of the most overused terms in sports. However, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities cannot overshadow James’ incredible talent and career. He is, without a doubt, a top-three player and has every reason to be the greatest of all time. His speed, strength, athleticism, elite creation, playmaking and finishing ability make him one of the most unique yet complete skill sets in the sport. At the same time, his continued success and incredible longevity of 21 seasons make him even more special. In addition, James has an incredible resume, including four championships, four MVPs and 19 All-NBA first team selections. As he enters the twilight of his career, don’t take him for granted and appreciate his greatness.
The Los Angeles Lakers are off to a rocky start to their season. They were 13th in the league at the trade deadline and their playoff chances looked slim. However, by the deadline, the Lakers revamped their core with James as the core and eventually clinched the seventh seed. Los Angeles even had an impressive regular season without James due to a foot injury. The Lakers’ defense ranked No. 1 at the trade deadline and has been a major reason for their success. In the end, the Lakers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors to impressively advance to the conference finals.
However, James continued to perform incredibly well throughout the season, averaging just under 30 points per game. On February 7 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, James was 36 points shy of breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s nearly 40-year scoring record. He exploded for 38 points, breaking the record with a fadeaway jumper over Kenrich Williams late in the third quarter. James now holds one of the hardest records to break and has become an extremely important part of history.
The Lakers strengthened their roster in the offseason, re-signing Austin Reeves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura. In addition, they signed Gabe Vincent, Christian Wood, Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish, and drafted Jalen Hood Ski with the 17th overall pick. Fino. These players would all fit right in next to James and Anthony Davis. This provides the Lakers star with the perfect shooting and defense combination.
Therefore, the team is ready to compete for the championship. From James’ perspective, having that kind of support and talent is a huge benefit for him, especially as he gets older. He’s been great for 20 years, but at some point, Father Time is going to have to catch up to him. It’s unclear if we’ll see his first significant decline at age 38 (it’s 39 this year). However, in order to build a contender around James at this stage of his career, having a support system to ease his burden is necessary.
On the surface, No. 11 seems a bit low for James. While he’s still excellent, it’s worth noting that his performance is still declining. His defense and defensive effort have declined over the years. James’ finishing ability has regressed over the past few years, and he can now only shoot more inefficient three-pointers. Combined with his age, this hurts his overall offensive efficiency. Regardless, James remains one of the best players in the league and a basketball legend. He is an anomaly in basketball; we have never seen anyone like him and never will again.