Speculation that Father Time may be paying a visit to an aging LeBron James has emerged as the superstar may have accumulated too many minutes over a long career to maintain the level that saw his ascending to all-time great status.
James has been to the NBA Finals for six consecutive years, first as a member of the Miami Heat and the past two with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now that the NBA finals series is best of seven through all rounds, it is just as though the regular season was extended 25 percent.
No one in the history of the NBA has played more playoff games than James has played. He has 125 in the six-year span and at the age of 31, he has played more minutes in playoff series than any other player by a considerable margin.
He has appeared lackluster for long periods in this year’s Finals, often passing the ball where in days past he would have drilled a jumper or thrown down a thunderous dunk.
Last year, James had to carry the Cavaliers on his shoulders as they went into the Final against Golden State without Kevin Love and lost Kylie Irving after the first game. Matthew Dellavedova filled in admirably for Irving, but the toll on James in that series was instantly apparent.