The Lakers star could give a masterclass on the techniques he uses to ensure his body is in the best possible shape to compete on a nightly basis. Although no other player from the 2003 NBA draft remains active, James is still going strong. However, the process doesn’t come without blemishes for the four-time NBA champion. Following the Lakers’ 120-117 victory against New Orleans on Wednesday night, James revealed that he has been dealing with foot soreness. He still managed to play 40 minutes in the win, but he wasn’t as efficient as usual, finishing with 20 points off 9-of-23 shooting and failing to convert any of his attempts (0-of-7) from three-point range. Even in what James might consider as a down performance, the 37-year-old hates missing games. He’s found a way to play through injuries over the years and compared himself to Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady in that regard.
“Today was the first day I got out of bed since Sunday night,” James said after the game. “It hurt me to my soul to miss out on the Halloween party with all my guys on Monday … Tom Brady’s been on the injury report for like 20 straight years. Somehow he just plays.” Over the past two seasons, James has missed 53 games due to ankle, abdominal and knee injuries. But he has been remarkably healthy for most of his career, especially considering the extra mileage he has accumulated in 15 postseason appearances. Like James, Brady is a unicorn as well, having missed only 20 games since becoming an NFL starting quarterback in 2001. In those 20 games, 15 of them alone came when the 45-year-old tore his ACL in 2008. James is on pace to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, needing 1,151 points to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. That, in itself, along with trying to put the Lakers in position to compete for another NBA title certainly will keep James motivated.