GM Rob Pelinka Explains Why Lakers Gave an Extension to LeBron James Despite His Age

Published 12/04/2020, 10:50 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James reacts after a play during the first quarter against the Miami Heat in game 4 of the 2020 NBA Finals. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


LeBron James recently signed a two-year extension with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now, his contract ends in 2022-23 season, when LeBron will be 39-years-old.

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After LeBron signed his contract extension, Rob Pelinka released a press release saying, “LeBron James is a transcendent basketball player, and human being.

“LeBron put his trust in the Lakers in 2018, and now this contract extension paves the way for LeBron to further solidify his legacy as an all-time Lakers great. We could not be more honored by this commitment.”

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The 4-time MVP has continually proved why he is the best player in the league. One can surely argue whether the King has declined at all with his age. Only some generational players have this capability, and LeBron is surely one of them.

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka recently revealed the reason why the Lakers decided to extend the contract of an aging star like LeBron James. Pelinka said, “The way that LeBron plays is just so rare … his game is not at all just built on athleticism. It’s built on IQ, length, size … experience. Because of those gifts, he’s going to continue to be a dominant player well beyond (what’s typical).”

The way LeBron is playing right now, there is no doubt that he will still be of ample quality at 40 years old.

How has LeBron James changed his game over the years?

LeBron James has always been the explosive, strong and skilled player on the court. Given his skill set, he can score at will and still give nightmares to all NBA defenses.

Over the years, the 16-time All-star has slightly changed his game. As he is aging, Bron has decreased the frequency of the drives to the basket. This has been the case in the chase down blocks too, which are now reserved for the most important moments in a game.

He can score at will and as we saw again in the playoffs, when the Lakers found it difficult to get going, LeBron bailed them out because of his offensive capabilities and it was the same case defensively as well.

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Oct 11, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dribbles while defended by Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) during the second quarter in game six of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron always had impeccable playmaking ability and the ability to find the passes. This can be seen in his career averages too. In the last four years, The King has averaged over 8 assists per game. He has stepped up as the primary point guard for the team given his passing ability.

Despite an increase in assists, his average points and his rebounds have still remained the same. LeBron has become a better player all-together and the stats don’t lie.

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LeBron James has adapted to the game, and this just makes him such a reliable player even at 36-years of age. He will surely remain elite, even by the end of his contract.

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Aditya Mohapatra

860 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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