LeBron James is turning 37 years old Thursday.
The Los Angeles Lakers star suffered a tough loss in Memphis on Wednesday, but it shouldn’t spoil his big day too much.
James is healthy and continuing to dominate the NBA at an age when most players are thinking about retirement or have already been retired for years.
James famously debuted as a teenager with the Cleveland Cavaliers and was one of the most hyped athletes of all time.
But it was not until nearly a decade later in Miami when he won his first title.
James turning 37 puts his 30s into focus.
One series of stats shared by StatMuse shows just how dominant he has been since turning 30.
LeBron James turns 37 today.
If we took only his career after he turned 30, he would still be a first ballot HOF.
— 26/8/8 on 52%
— 30/10/8 on 51% in playoffs
— 4th in total points
— 4th in total assists
— Led NBA in assists
— 2x Champ
— 2x Finals MVP
— 7x All-Star
— 7x All-NBA pic.twitter.com/jwKL4upw1d
— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 30, 2021
Some athletes drastically slow down upon reaching that age.
James was only getting started and has won titles with two separate teams in his 30s.
Could it keep going into his 40s?
Waiting For The Decline
James is like Tom Brady in that both are setting new standards for how long an athlete can be great.
It may come down to both wanting to retire rather than being forced to because of declining abilities.
Happy birthday to @KingJames 👑
—4x Finals MVP
—3x All-Star MVP
—Only player to win Finals MVP on three teams
—10 Finals appearances
—Playoff points leader
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 30, 2021
Just think of the comparison even to Carmelo Anthony.
Both James and Anthony are 37 years old, but the latter has not been All-NBA since 2013.
He was also basically out of the league a few years ago until he found a new role in Portland.
And that is a player who should be headed to the Hall of Fame.
James is breaking all the trends and could even add a fifth MVP award to his trophy case at this rate.
December 30 has become an annual day of reflection when looking back on James’ NBA career.
Thinking he was approaching the end now may look foolish in a few more years given his dominance in his 30s.