Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James shuts up naysayers

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

As LeBron James’s longevity and endurance got doubted, he responded in Game 3 with a late-game performance.

Criticism on LeBron James never ends. Even when his team is doing what is supposed to do and he is giving his maximum effort.

"LeBron—approaching 36, in his 16th year in the NBA, and already the record holder for most playoff games—looks like he’s running out of gas. Not in general. But over the course of each bubble playoff game.[…] LeBron just fell down. There was no contact. His legs just gave out. This was around the time Nikola Jokic out-jumped LeBron for a key tip-in, before LeBron was strangely inert for Anthony Davis’s game-winning play.[…] playing as hard as he can the whole game and assuming he’ll still have gas in the tank at crunch time doesn’t look likely to work."

This is what an article by Henry Abbott, recently published on TrueHopp.com, said.

LeBron James is not new to taking exception to criticism with deeds on the floor. He might or might not have read this article, but the fact stands that, one day after it was out, he went on the floor and showed off with a performance that talked by itself, despite the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss.

In Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the resilient Denver Nuggets, LBJ, after an intense, physically demanding first quarter, had 10 points, four rebounds, nine assists and one steal playing 17 minutes out of 24. He would close the game with 30 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, two steals and two blocks.

In the decisive fourth quarter, when the Lakers recovered from a 20 point deficit to get to one possession from the tie, he had 13 points, two assists and one block.

Sure, it was not his greatest performance. He had six turnovers, but five of them happened in the first half, which means that he was at his most focused in the second.

He looked out of breath, fatigued? Of course. He had been running up and down the floor playing a hyper-aggressive defense trying to force turnovers to get easy fastbreak points (which he got) and having big-time blocks. Every player would be, especially at 35 years old. But this does not look like a problem for the Lakers.

LeBron is probably proud of the way he has been treating his body to get at this point of this career in such phenomenal shape and he could take offense from people doubting his condition and late-game impact.

Next. 5 lessons from Game 3 loss. dark

But that is what we want, a James motivated by detractors to show he is the best in the world. He then will rise to the challenge and bring the Lakers to the promised land.