Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James is moving through his 19th campaign at a historic pace. His stellar play has him on track to surpass Karl Malone as the second all-time leading scorer before the 2021-22 regular season ends.
An underlying storyline has been James dealing with a nagging left knee swelling that forced him to miss some time. However, Dr. Rami Hashish, Body Performance And Injury Expert, recently spoke to Sportscasting, where he dispelled much of that lingering concern.
LeBron James is proving he remains an ageless wonder
LeBron James quickly dispelled any notion that Father Time would catch him in his 19th season.
Instead, he’s putting together one of his best individual campaigns. James is coming off a 50-point performance in the win over the Washington Wizards. That stellar outing was preceded a few days earlier by a season-high and his Lakers’ career-high 56 points in the victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Those combined feats have made him the first player age 35 or older to record multiple 50-point games in a single season. It also marked the first time that he has posted 50-point outings in the same week. On top of that, his latest performance pushed him to lead the league with 29.7 points per contest.
James also became the oldest player to notch seven straight 30-point games while being the first Lakers player to reach that feat in a decade since Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant. James set the league mark for the oldest player to post at least 25 points in 23 consecutive games and tied Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor for the franchise record.
Recent concerns have arisen as he moves through the season due to his lingering knee problems. However, those issues shouldn’t cause any reason for doubt.
Medical expert highlights LeBron James injury awareness, which could bode well for Lakers
As LeBron James moves through his remarkable 19th campaign, he has dealt with ongoing left knee issues.
Due to consistent swelling, the 37-year-old missed five straight contests before the All-Star break. He also sat out a game after his 56-point performance against the Warriors.
Last month, James perked up Lakers fans’ ears after comparing his knee issues to the high right ankle sprain he suffered last season that forced him to miss six weeks. However, Dr. Rami Hashish, told Sportscasting that the 18-time All-Star’s comments instead show a strong understanding of his body.
“It tells you that he has a good understanding of his body,” said Hashish, who is the founder of the National Biomechanics Institute and the Chief Technological Officer of pareIT. “That pain and injury to your foot, ankle, or knee affects the rest of your body. So if you have an injury to your knee, how you’re going to use your foot is going to be different.
“How you’re going to have the forces at your hip are going to be different and how you walk is going to be different. How you run is going to be different. How the forces on your other leg are going to be different. I think he just recognizes that.”
Moreover, Hashish, who has worked with the U.S. Airforce as well as NBA and NFL teams, believes James’ keen approach of pacing himself through a season has played a pivotal part in maintaining his health.
“Once you have an injury in your legs, It’s going to affect everything you do,” Hashish said. “You are going to have to pace yourself and control forward. One of the reasons he’s been so successful is that he’s been known for pacing himself and adjusting accordingly. He just has a really good understanding of his body and how different types of injuries linger and how this could affect him long term.”
James has reached a point where he understands what he needs to do daily to keep himself in the right physical shape to withstand the wear and tear of playing in the NBA for nearly two decades.
LeBron will continue to lead the Lakers
James’ health will remain the focal point through the rest of his illustrious career.
The 37-year-old has voiced no desire to walk away from the game anytime soon, especially how well he’s playing. The only factor that could change things would be health issues.
Although James is managing more minor ailments, Dr. Hashish doesn’t see any reason for the Lakers to hold any long-term concerns.
“Is it something they should worry about without having all the facts, I would say not really, Hashish told Sportscasting. “It’s not something that you should necessarily worry about because it’s a natural progressive change with aging. As amazing of an athlete he is, but nobody defies Father Time.
“His body is going to age and he’s going to have this type of swelling and degenerative changes over time and that’s just going to happen. I don’t think it’s something they should get worried about unless he did an MRI or an x-ray and see something crazy, but I’m sure that didn’t happen because he wouldn’t be out there on the court right now.”
In essence, if James stays on track with his health, he will have plenty of high-level basketball ahead.