Ric Bucher: “LeBron has been trying to manage his energy throughout this season so far. The plan was never for him to play as many minutes, or not to take any games off sooner than he did, it was simply they had no choice – it was by necessity because AD and Dennis Schroder were out, and they had to maintain some sort of rhythm and winning a few games here and there. The All-Star Game, to me, was where LeBron’s age became more evident than ever, just in comparison to everybody else. He hit a couple of dunks, and was shrewd and smart to make it look like he was part of it, but I think one of the reasons why he benched himself was because you got these guys firing threes from everywhere, and then you got Giannis who was crushing everything on the inside, and LeBron was like ‘ehhh, I’m not like that’, and ‘I don’t wanna look like Domantas Sabonis’ who looks completely like a fish out of water in that game… The difference in athleticism between LeBron and the rest of those young guns and the way the game is played now and what makes it exciting – it was as definitive and as stark as I’ve seen. I think he’s done a good job at hiding it, or minimizing up to this point, but the All-Star Game was like ‘Wow, these guys are 6, 7, 8 years younger than he is, and they have a skill set that is more attuned to the way the game is being played right now.'” (Full Segment Above)
Listen to NBA insider Ric Bucher join Colin Cowherd to explain why he thinks the 2021 NBA All-Star Game was a telling revelation into the aging of LeBron James, as Bucher says the game’s emphatic athleticism was a little too overwhelming for a 36-year-old LeBron.