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Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry marvels at LeBron James’ ability to continue playing at the elite level on his way into his 19th season.
In a speech to reporters on Friday, Curry said the Los Angeles Lakers superstar has “set the standard” for players to extend their prime.
“Let’s keep it real – what is he in his 18th year? Nine straight finals, all the things he has achieved. You have a vision to maintain your prime for as long as you can, in a way to imagine how it “So you know the work that goes into it, the intentionality, especially in the offseasons, especially how you take care of your body, your mind. Balance on the court, off the court.”
James turns 37 on December 30th. He ranks sixth in NBA history with 50,055 minutes played in the base game.
If you add in the 11,035 minutes James has played in the off-season, his career jumps up to a total of 61,090.
Despite mileage on James’ body, he has shown no signs of slowing down. The 17-time All-Star was in the middle of the MVP race last season before getting a sprained ankle on March 20 that kept him out of 26 of the Lakers’ last 30 games.
James ended the year with an average of 25.0 points, 7.8 assists and 7.7 rebounds.
Curry is not quite as old as James, but it seems to be closer to the end of his prime than the middle of it. The 33-year-old plays a demanding basketball style that often requires him to constantly move at a fast pace to create open shots.
Of course, Curry also has the option of just pulling up from anywhere inside the halfway point. He shot 42.1 percent from the three-point range on a career-high 12.7 attempts per game. Match last season.
Getting a healthy Klay Thompson back on the field would also go a long way toward taking some of the burden off of Curry. But the Warriors will go as far as their two-time MVP can take them.