It’s no secret that Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James wants to play in the NBA one day with his eldest son, LeBron “Bronny” James Jr., who will be eligible for the NBA draft next year.
Given the 38-year-old’s remarkable longevity, most NBA fans just assumed that a James and James pairing would be an inevitability.
But after the Lakers lost 108-103 to the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals? Many fans saw a different kind of inevitability — the fact that, eventually, time and age catch up to every professional athlete.
For James Sr., that inevitability was on display for all to see Thursday night.
Remember, for all of the criticisms often hurled at James, it’s undeniable that he’s an athletic marvel. People that big (6-foot-9, 250 pounds) generally don’t move that fast or jump that high. Even as a teenage rookie in 2003, James was throwing down thunderous dunks against stiff NBA competition with ease.
Fast forward 20 years and it’s evident that all of that ease is gone.
In the second quarter of Thursday’s game, here is James blowing a wide-open dunk:
As uncharacteristic and embarrassing as that botched dunk attempt was for James, it paled in comparison to a crucial missed layup down the stretch of a close game.
With the Lakers down four points with 34 seconds left, James, to his credit, got a positively Michael Jordan-esque steal.
He then proceeded to blow the kind of finish you can see at your local YMCA:
LeBron makes a great steal but Gordon makes him miss the layup! pic.twitter.com/gtguBoKURj
— hoops bot (@hoops_bot) May 19, 2023
But it wasn’t just those two missed shots.
James also had a careless turnover shortly after that botched layup, with the Lakers still clinging to a distant hope of forcing overtime:
— follow @dubs408 (@somedubvids) May 19, 2023
And no, James’ three-point shooting hasn’t come anywhere close to making up for the blown dunks and missed layups. If anything, his late-game shooting has only exacerbated his woes:
LeBron James has missed 19 straight threes in the fourth quarter this postseason. pic.twitter.com/olPhiPsSqH
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 19, 2023
NBA fans across social media called out James’ poor showing, including Lakers fans openly fretting that he may have finally hit the wall that every pro athlete eventually does.
LeBron might be washed omg 😭💔💔
— LakeShowYo (@LakeShowYo) May 19, 2023
James will have the chance to rectify his poor performance when the Western Conference Finals shifts to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4. Game 3 takes place Saturday.
The Lakers trail in the series 2-0.