LeBron James, The One Who Doesn't Lose

The Lakers star increases his record in the first round of the playoffs to 14-0 with individual numbers never seen before at his age.

LeBron-James-The-One-Who-Doesn't-Lose

When at the end of May and the beginning of June it was discussed within the NBA, especially among the players, whether to play again or to continue on the street accompanying the demonstrations against racism and police abuse after the murder of Geroge Floyd, LeBron James he bet from the first moment to return. Many saw in this position a particular interest, sporting in this case, of the King of the NBA, who at 35 has fewer and fewer opportunities to compete to win another ring. Four days ago, on the other hand, he was one of the voices that most strongly opted to go home and leave the competition half-way after Jacob Blake was shot by a policeman. An attitude that completely refutes the theory that LeBron thought more about his own success than about the common struggle of African Americans.

The game has finally continued and the Lakers have reached the conference semifinals for the first time in eight years. And they have done it with a spectacular LeBron James (36 + 10 + 10 last night), who has played the series against the Blazers at a stratospheric level. Something that we are used to in the playoffs but that is still striking for a player of his age. LeBron has averaged in this series 27.4 points with 59.9% in field goals, 41.4% in triples and 80.5% in free throws, 10.2 rebounds, 10.2 assists and 1, 2 steals in 32.8 minutes per game. In his 17th year in the league, he is about 36. By comparison, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the oldest among the greats, averaged 20.3 points and 8.5 rebounds in 35 minutes of play in the first round of the playoffs. of 1982 before the Phoenis Suns with 35 years just turned.

With tonight's, LeBron has 13 triple-doubles of more than 30 points in the playoffs, the most in history by far. They are behind Oscar Robertson with 8 and Russell Westbrook with 6. But what is most striking about the victory against the Blazers and, at the same time, does not come as a surprise, is that a LeBron team has won a first round of playoffs. There are already 14 in 14 attempts. Not with the first Cavs, who were not yet a power force in the league, nor with the last ones, with whom he had to do a legendary series in his last season to reach the Finals (4-3 included in the first round against Pacers), has fallen in the first echelon in the title fight.

You don't always play in the Big Three's Heat, Kyrie and Love's Cavs or these conference leading Lakers and with Anthony Davis by your side. But LeBron, a competitive animal as there have been few, remains in line to reach an incredible record held by Robert Horry and Dereck Fisher: 16 ratings without failure in the first round. As much as you have always played in winning franchises, it is very difficult not to have a single stumble. All legends have them. For example, the two that LeBron is most compared to. It took Michael Jordan four years to get through a first round, not least because they were one of the best Celtics in history. And Kobe Bryant had a couple of years to forget between the threepeat with Shaquille and the other two titles with Gasol, two years in the middle of the first decade of this century in which the Nash Suns swept them off the track. And like them so many others in history. That is why the feat of number 23 has so much merit, even if it is only in the first rounds. And more if we take into account that it is still as important in the classification of his team as it was in the first, 14 years ago.

Photos from as.com
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