LeBron James is running an incredible eight-game streak for the Los Angeles Lakers that has seen him set a new record and put the team back on track this season.
NBA League Pass: Sign Up to Unlock Live Off-Market Games (7-Day Free Trial)
James, whose 37th birthday is nearing the end of the month, recently became the oldest player to record a 30-point triple-double after losing 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds at the Orlando Magic last Sunday. In doing so, James surpassed the late Kobe Bryant as the oldest player to drop a 30-point triple-double.
The most revealing thing wasn’t just that he posted the triple-double, it was the way he did it. Possibly for the first time this season, he looked like before.
It seemed like he was completely healthy again.
LeBron entered the Matrix 😅
(📺: @SpectrumSN) pic.twitter.com/2e6H7EdJ8M
– Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 13, 2023
In his last eight games, James is averaging 29.8 points, 8.0 assists and 7.3 rebounds. The Lakers won five of those eight games to go 15-13 on the season heading into Wednesday’s game against Dallas.
LeBron James in the last 8 games:
39 PTS, 6 AST, 5 REB
30 PTS, 11 AST, 7 REB
33 PTS, 9 AST, 5 REB
23 PTS, 6 AST, 11 REB
30 PTS, 5 AST, 4 REB
20 PTS, 11 AST, 10 REB
33 PTS, 6 AST, 5 REB
30 PTS, 10 AST, 11 REB pic.twitter.com/9CF6YEQbyh
– Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) December 13, 2023
After his triple-double against the Magic, James said his apparent burst of good play was sustainable throughout the season.
“Who me? How am I still playing? I’ve been doing it for 19 years,” he said. “Just do what I’ve been doing. I feel like I’m getting better every day. I’m getting healthier and healthier.”
It’s no secret that James has spent millions trying to maintain his form and athleticism every year. That is why you can maintain your athletic ability and strength as you age; It’s almost as if he gets even better with age, and this season, his 19th in the league, he seems to be pushing Father Time back.
As LeBron is a veteran, he understands his body and what it requires better than anyone. After missing 10 of the Lakers’ first 16 games due to various injuries, it seemed Father Time had caught up with the Lakers forward, but James has improved his game as the season progressed.
“Obviously, my injury played a big part of my loss of form,” he said after the win against Oklahoma City. “The dynamics of how I move, how I play left me a bit hampered at times not to be at full speed and things of that nature. I can see the plays before they happen, but I can’t make them.”
MORE: Bronny inspires LeBron to triple-double
Players James’s age tend to see their minutes decline as they age and their skills decline, but James is averaging the most minutes per game (36.8) since joining the Lakers in 2018, which represents an increase from his 33.4 minutes per game in the past. season.
“On the one hand, I don’t play thinking about injuries. And besides, I feel worse when I play low minutes, “James said in preseason.
After the victory against Orlando, James reiterated that he does not think about these kinds of things.
“That’s just my way of thinking. Don’t get involved in how many minutes I played, how many days off,” James said. “I don’t limit myself to that. I think you have negative thoughts or negative energy, it just creeps into your mind. So, I’m as young as ever.”
When most guys in their 30s can’t even hold a spot on an NBA roster, James’ longevity puts him in a rarefied space.
The fact that he is still performing at such a high level at age 37 makes LeBron’s incredible performances of late all the more impressive.