LeBron James’ Case for an 18th Straight All-Star Selection

by Matthew Barrero

The 2022 NBA All-Star game is fast approaching and one player making the strongest case to, not only be named to the team, but captain the Western Conference squad happens to be one of the oldest players in the league.

LeBron James in his 19th NBA season but is still playing like that 17-year-old kid from Akron. The longevity of “The King” over the last two decades shows just how impressive he’s been, not just this season, but his entire career.

The 17x NBA All-Star is looking for his 18th-straight appearance in the mid-season showcase and certainly has the numbers to earn more votes. Currently averaging 29.1 points/game, James is second to only Kevin Durant (29.7) in league scoring. While he may not be the current leader, the stat is rare as no player in NBA history has averaged more than 23.4 points in his age 37 season or older (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar set the current mark in the 1985-86 season).

Additionally, LBJ leads the league in 30-point games (19) and fast-break points (4.4), and leads the Lakers in scoring, steals (1.7), minutes (36.9), 3-pointers (2.9), and free throws (4.4).

While Anthony Davis nurses an MCL sprain in his knee, James has stepped up and taken on a new role playing at the five, causing havoc for his opponents both at the perimeter and inside the paint.

His individual play has not only put the league on notice but has inspired his teammates to play a different level of Lakers basketball with their new, smaller identity. The team is 5-2 when he has played the center position and in those seven games, the Lakers are averaging 124.3 points with a +7.7 differential.

Looking back, since AD got hurt on Dec. 17, 2021, James has led L.A. in scoring every single time.

In those 12-straight games, LeBron has scored 25-plus points, making him the oldest player in the league’s history to accomplish the feat passing Michael Jordan, who was 34 years old when he did it (10 consecutive games).

As if the list of reasons why LeBron should be an all-star in year 19 couldn’t get any longer, James has been climbing the ranks in some of the league’s most elite lists of accomplishments and has done so in a span of about three weeks.

The list reads as follows:
- On Christmas Day, James surpassed Kobe Bryant as the NBA’s all-time leader in points scored on the holiday.
- On Dec. 28, James scored career point No. 36,000, joining Karl Malone and Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in NBA history to eclipse 36,000 points in their career. He is currently third on the list and is 689 points from overtaking Malone (36,928) for second.
- On Jan. 2, he jumped Oscar Robertson for fourth on the all-time free throws made list (7,715 and counting).
- On Jan. 7, LeBron recorded four steals in the game against Atlanta and cracked the top-10 in all-time steals (2,113 and counting).
- And in the Lakers most recent game on Jan. 9 against Memphis, LBJ provided seven assists and pushed his name to seventh on the all-time assists list, over the great Oscar Robertson once again (9,894 and counting).

Reason after reason, we see what LeBron has been able to accomplish in just half of the 2021-22 season. After the first round of voting, James led the Western Conference frontcourt in fan voting when he garnered more than 2,000,000 votes.

After the second fan returns were released on Jan. 13, James gained some ground (4,386,392 votes) and is currently second to Golden State Warriors star, Steph Curry (4,463,426 votes), who would be named Western Conference team captain if voting ended today.

Voting has not ended.

The All-Star game is slated for Feb. 20 in the city where LBJ took the NBA by storm: Cleveland, Ohio.

You know what to do, Lakers Nation.

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