Throughout the last few years, Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James has embraced being one of the older players in the league that has been a role model for the next generation of talent after him. James has been quite prominent in that responsibility as he has sought that talent such as Donovan Mitchell, Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, Trae Young, and Luka Doncic to take under his wing. That is also something that a great deal of attention toward him going that route, which he has a strong message for those that find fault with that action.
LeBron James embracing mentor role
As James has progressed in the latter stages of his illustrious career, he has taken the onus towards being one of the guiding lights for the league. Throughout much of his time in the NBA, he has been in the argument as being the best player.
The 35-year-old has taken a different approach with that spotlight over the last few years as he has embraced being more of a mentor role to the younger talent in the league. That has seen him offer words of advice to many players such as Doncic, Young, Morant, and Williamson over the past couple of years.
It’s a role that players like Kobe Bryant took in the latter portions of his career to help push the league forward and carry the torch when he finally departed. It’s something that James has taken full responsibility and has a stern message for anybody that has any criticism towards him.
LeBron James’ message to critics
Following Sunday’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans, James decided to sought Zion Williamson out to give him some keen advice moving forward.
It was the first that the 16-time All-Star had spoken to the Pelicans’ promising rookie despite the two playing against each other about a week earlier at Staples Center. What makes this situation interesting is that Williamson and New Orleans could be a possible first-round matchup in the playoffs, which James made it clear that he doesn’t care what any critics have to say about that.
“Anybody that says that ‘LeBron why would he do that while he’s playing? Is he showing a sign of weakness? He’s buddy-buddy with guys he’s going against. Tell them they can kiss my ass … with a smile too.”
James also went on to praise the next generation talent by stating that the league is excellent hands for the future. He pointed out that he wants to pass on his wisdom to the talent after him to continue to push their way forward towards taking the NBA to great heights.
During his time, James has helped bring the NBA to greater prominence in the sports world. He is the most recognizable face in the league, and anything he does has a significant impact on other players and the many others in the years to come to follow in his footsteps.
LeBron James’ impact on the NBA
James has firmly established himself as being one of the greatest players to play the game. That has earned him great admiration from his peers and the younger generation of talent that has followed.
In many ways, James has become the Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant to the incoming players like Doncic, Williamson, and Morant. He has stepped into that role for those players in many different ways, which has given him a more significant reason to fulfill that responsibility in his mind.
There isn’t a time frame for how much longer James will continue his illustrious career, but it’s quite clear he’s going to make the most of it in his mentor role for the generation of NBA superstars.