LeBron James wants to end his career playing and competing at the same level that has made him legendary.
“I want to kind of try to break the mold for the next generation,” James told ESPN. “So just take the narrative out of, ‘OK, you’re past your prime when you get [to] 31, or you’re past your prime in your 12th year in the league, or whatever the case may be.'”
Just days before his 33rd birthday and arguably playing as well as he ever has, James said he is totally focused on eclipsing the latest goals he’s set for himself.
“This is the mold I’m trying to break,” he said. “It’s not just about me, it’s for the next crew. This is my 15th season, and this is the best I’ve felt in my career. I want it all.”
James posted the 60th triple-double of his career in the team’s recent win over the Utah Jazz, the team’s 17th win in their last 18 games, keeping the Cavs on an early track for a fourth straight Finals appearance and him at the center of all MVP conversations.
James run has left him with little doubt about his all-time standing.
“I know what I’m doing has not been done a lot in the history of the game, even at my age,” he said. “And you look at the minutes I’ve played and the consecutive Finals I’ve been a part of, just the toll on my body, it hasn’t been done. So hopefully if there’s a kid [who] can make a huge impact in this league, and it could be 10 years, 12 years, 15 years, whatever. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to start my journey a lot earlier.”
With his showing against the Jazz, James passed Hall of Famer Larry Bird on the triple-doubles list.
“It’s not even when I pass them. It’s more when I’m just mentioned in the same breath as them,” he said. “I’m a historian of the game. I know who set the standards for this league. I understand who set the standard for me to be here, who traveled the road long before I got here to make it possible for myself, so it’s just humbling anytime I’m mentioned with any of the greats.”