Erik Spoelstra compares LeBron James to Tom Brady: ‘He could play until he’s 50’'
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Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra compared Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James to Tom Brady, saying that the four-time NBA champion could play until he is 50.

“It’s crazy,” Spoelstra said about James. “He’s redefining what’s possible with human performance. The way he looks, it looks like he’s the Tom Brady of the NBA, that he could just keep on going. His athleticism is still there. But if he ever only had to rely on his brain, he could play until he’s 50 and still be effective and move the needle.”

Brady, 45, is still playing in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While he hasn’t put up huge numbers in the 2022 season, Brady still has the Bucs atop the NFC South division heading into Week 17 of the season.

It’s a huge compliment for James to be compared to Brady, but it’s an easy one to make as they are two of the best ever to play their respective sports.

Spoelstra coached James in Miami for four seasons when James came to form the Big 3 with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The team went on to make four straight NBA titles, winning two of them.

While James would leave after his fourth season in Miami to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, there appears to be no love lost between him and Spoelstra.

James is still playing at a high level this season, averaging 27.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game while shooting 49.6 percent from the field and 30.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Despite James’ play, the Lakers have still struggled this season. They currently hold the No. 13 spot in the Western Conference and have lost four straight games heading into their matchup with the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.

The Lakers have a tough back-to-back ahead of them, as Miami awaits James and company on Wednesday.

Since James is still playing to nearly his peak level, it will be interesting to see how much longer he wants to remain in the NBA. He’s accomplished so much already in his career, and he’s on his way to breaking the league’s all-time scoring record.

However, if James wants to catch Michael Jordan (who won six titles in his NBA career), he could continue to play in hopes of leading a team back to the promised land.

With the Lakers struggling to build a winner around James, it will be interesting to see where he continues to play since he is only under contract through the 2023-24 season.

If Spoelstra truly thinks James can compete until he is 50, maybe he will try to lure the superstar back to Miami in the future.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.