CLEVELAND — LeBron James has been a scoring machine, still, at the age of 37, and while the Lakers haven’t lived up to their lofty expectations, he is continuing to put on a show.
That’s especially the case against the Cavaliers. He scored 38 in his return to Cleveland, throwing down some massive dunks and creating tons of open shots that the Lakers normally don’t make — but they sure did Monday night. Overall, he finished with a triple-double.
“I’m literally having the time of my life right now,” James told reporters after the Lakers’ 131-120 win. “The game’s such a beautiful thing.”
Even at his advanced basketball age, James is making sure it stays that way. He is now 17-1 lifetime vs. the Cavs, a franchise he has left on two occasions.
Of course, when it comes to the big picture, today’s Cavs (41-31) are better off than today’s Lakers (31-41). You could still make the case that if LeBron were wise, he’d demand a trade back to Cleveland. One team has tons of promise. The other is clearly past its prime.
But James insisted he doesn’t care about any of that.
“I couldn’t care less what the narrative about our team is,” James said. “At my point in my career, I don’t get involved in that stuff. I don’t read about it, I don’t hear it too much. … None of that stuff matters to me. I’m having a blast playing the game of basketball.”
Like so many legends before him, James could go out on a low note. The Lakers don’t have many assets to deal, they have no financial wiggle room to land high-profile free agents, and next year, all they’ll likely be is even older.
For LeBron, though, it’s all still just about playing the game. And when it comes to this season, at the very least, dominating individually.
“I’m going to play with a lot of passion, a lot of energy, give my teammates what they deserve, what they need and like I said for the rest of the season hopefully I can stay somewhat injury-free,” James said.
“Obviously, I’m dealing with a few injuries right now, but I’m working through it and we’re working through it and that’s all that matters. We leave everything on the floor and control what you can control and what you can’t you don’t worry about. Just my mindset.”