“Most Astounding Thing”: Kenny Smith Explains One Aspect About LeBron James Where Michael Jordan Cannot Come Close

Published 08/06/2021, 8:30 AM EDT


The Los Angeles Lakers have made an astonishing start to the NBA season before it has even begun. To add to the star power, the Lakers have added Russell Westbrook into the mix. After a rough 2020-21 campaign, the principal aim for LeBron James and co. is to bring the crown back home. And in their pursuit of the same, they are in a relentless mood to gain the necessary players.

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How will the Lakers line up this season?

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Star trio of Davis, James and Westbrook have already discussed the plan of action, reports claim. If everything goes to plan, the men in yellow will field a star-studded team on court and on the bench. With Russell Westbrook part of the squad, LeBron James and Anthony Davis will have the comfort of another senior player on the court. In addition, Frank Vogel’s side will feature veterans such as Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Marc Gasol.

Despite possessing such big names, the one thing not on LA’s side is age. According to ESPN, LeBron James will lead a side with at least eight players over the age of 32, and 5 of these players might be over 35 years old. Experience is one thing; but will the Lakers fold when the tenacity and pace of youth is what they desire? A leading NBA commentator, however, believes age is just a number for LeBron James.

LeBron James is more durable than even Michael Jordan, feels Kenny Smith

Former Houston Rockets player and renowned NBA analyst Kenny Smith recently spoke to ESPN about the age factor not favoring the Lakers. Focusing on LeBron James in particular, the two-time NBA winner rubbished claims of the possibility of injuries catching up to James. Smith believed that the 36-year-old’s longevity makes him a touch above the rest.

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“That’s the most astounding thing about LeBron James and the amount of times he’s been to the NBA Finals. It wasn’t the fact that he’s not a great player, it’s the fact that he never got injured. And that, to me, is probably his biggest asset; his durability. To play at such a high level for so long, and not be injured in any capacity you know,” he said.

Smith even went to the extent of comparing LeBron’s fitness to that of Michael Jordan. “Even Michael Jordan sat out for a year, with his foot, early on in his career. People don’t have the durability to last that long and play that high at that level.”

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Irrespective of what Kenny Smith had to say, there is no shadow of a doubt that fitness levels will play a key factor in the strenuous NBA season. If the Los Angeles Lakers are to contend for the ring, a lot will depend on their balance. How far will this Lakers squad go in the new season? Will LeBron James tick another accomplishment off his checklist?

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

241 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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