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“I don't think we're going to see LeBron every game” - Kevin Wildes says father time has finally caught up to LeBron James, as an uphill playoff battle awaits the LA Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers v Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Lakers v Detroit Pistons
ANALYST

LeBron James has missed more than half of the games the Lakers have played this season due to injury and suspension. Kevin Wildes recently posed questions about LeBron's health considering his age and recent injury history.

LeBron has missed ten games due to injury and a game due to suspension this season. That has led to worries about his health and whether he could get back to peak condition prior to the playoffs. LeBron is crucial to Frank Vogel's plans, with the Lakers' championship hopes largely resting on the former's shoulders. He's largely been injury prone during his four-year tenure in Los Angeles. That is something that is highly unusual for LeBron in comparison to his stints in Miami and Cleveland. Despite him still performing at a high level, it's worrisome for L.A. every time he goes down, considering he's 37.

Decorated Television producer Kevin Wildes pointed to LeBron James' recent injury struggles and the fact that he missed most of their games to begin the 2021/22 season as a worry. He added that he did not think LeBron would play in every playoff game and even if he did, he wouldn't be at his peak, considering his age. Here's what he said in an appearance on FS1's First Take:

"How worried should we be about LeBron missing games? The Lakers have played 19 games, LeBron has played in 7.5. He's going to be 37 next month. ... I don't think we're going to see LeBron every playoff game, and certainly not peak LeBron. It's hit my worry meter."
"How worried should we be about LeBron missing games? The Lakers have played 19 games, LeBron has played in 7.5. He's going to be 37 next month. ... I don't think we're going to see LeBron every playoff game, and certainly not peak LeBron. It's hit my worry meter." — @kevinwildes https://t.co/0E5W3iNQg8

LeBron James has averaged 22.8 points, 0.6 blocks, two steals, five rebounds and 6.1 assists in eight games this season. The Lakers have had a disastrous start and have not looked like themselves even with King James on the court. However, they have looked even worse when he's on the bench or he's out due to injury. The Lakers will have to be extremely careful with how they manage his minutes, keeping the playoffs in mind.


Has father time caught up to LeBron James or can he once again prove his doubters wrong and help the Lakers win a championship this season?

Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics

LeBron James has defied the odds and has enjoyed the longest peak any superstar has had in the league. LeBron's 19-year tenure in the league has led to four NBA championships, 17 All-Star appearances, four MVP awards, four Finals MVPs, a scoring title and a Rookie of the Year award among others.

This is the resume of one of the greatest to ever grace the hardwood, the fact that he's still playing at a high level at age 37 is astounding. Having said that, he's missed a lot of games during his latter year, something that is highly unusual considering he has had a relatively injury-free career. Considering the physical demands that come along with playing in the league, it does catch up to you at some point irrespective of how talented you are.

LeBron James has been smart enough to navigate his workload, depending more on jumpshots and his playmaking ability than his athletic capabilities like he did in his previous seasons. However, the 19-year toll his body has taken is starting to show and maybe LeBron has another year or two of elite basketball left. It is truly a now or never scenario with the Lakers considering their head honcho's age and health. However, he could still prove his doubters wrong like Tom Brady did and continue to be elite till his 40's. If he does remain injury free, LeBron still has the capability to be one of the best, if not the best in the league.


Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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