LeBron James won his fourth NBA championship on Sunday night, adding his fourth NBA Finals MVP award with it, as he led the Lakers to a dominant Game 6 win to closeout the Miami Heat.
In the process of winning his fourth title in Year 17, James continued to assert himself as the league’s best postseason finisher, showing an array of abilities that make him nearly impossible to stop on the offensive end. It is that diversity of options to attack you that has been the biggest growth in James’ game, as he’s gone from the most physically dominant force since Shaq to someone who has harnessed that physical skill with the mental understanding of exactly how to pick an opponent apart — and has added the skills needed to attack an opponent from wherever on the floor.
After hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy once again, James talked with Scott Van Pelt and was asked about the biggest difference between 35-year-old LeBron and 27-year-old LeBron when he won his first title. James pointed to that mental side of understanding his game as the biggest difference, and said that his current form would “dominate” his younger self from the Heat days.
LeBron James says 35-year old LeBron would dominate 27-year old LeBron.
"He would dominate him." pic.twitter.com/XLvCqRX3U8
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 12, 2020
Given that 27-year-old LeBron was in his physical prime it’s a bit surprising to hear James say he’d “dominate” him now, but at the same time it’s not as if the current form of James is exactly a slouch in terms of athleticism. He may not be quite as quick or quite as bouncy, but he still has plenty of burst and, coupled with where he’s at mentally with his understanding of both himself and his opponents, LeBron seems to think it wouldn’t be much of a competition.