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“My A** Doing Interviews”: Dirk Nowitzki’s Former Teammate Left in Disbelief Over LeBron James’ Longevity

Sourav Bose

"My A** Doing Interviews": Dirk Nowitzki's Former Teammate Left in Disbelief Over LeBron James' Longevity

Recently, Charlie Villanueva appeared on Run Your Race to talk about a plethora of NBA topics. During the conversation, the former teammate of Dirk Nowitzki brought up the longevity of LeBron James while reflecting on his career. Soon, it became a key area of discussion before the 39-year-old expressed his disbelief on the matter.

It spurred from a conversation surrounding Villanueva’s high school basketball career. While reminiscing about his teenage years, the 6ft 11″ man suddenly came to the realization that he was of the same age as James. It led to him jokingly comparing his current condition with that of the 4x champion, something that he couldn’t help erupting in laughter while reacting to.

“Obviously, I’m at the same age as LeBron which is crazy to even think that. He is still going at a high level, still breaking records and s**t. Well, my a** doing interviews right now,” he mentioned.

His (rather justified) disbelief provides a little glimpse into the difficulty of sustaining an NBA career for two decades. As per Gintuxa basketball player lasts a mere four and a half years in the league, while only 6% of the stars can keep it going for a decade. The adversities only become more apparent from there, as beyond that point, only about 2% of the players enjoy 15+ years of journey.

Interstingly, Villanueva fell under the 6% bracket for spending 11 years in the NBA. Hence, his distrust over the sustained brilliance of the Akron-born added volume to the hardships around the league. After all, James’ longevity turned his legacy into an outlier, making his career even more remarkable.

LeBron James is among the handful of NBA stars

Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

As per StatMuse, only six players in the NBA history have played for more than 20 years. Robert Parish was the first to achieve this feat before Kevin Willis, Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter, Nowitzki, and James joined him on the list. However, none of these names played a high level at this stage of their careers.

Parish, for instance, became a benchwarmer at the Chicago Bulls before retiring. Willis, Carter, and Nowitzki faced a similar fate toward the end of their careers. Despite Garnett remaining in the starting lineup around this stage of his career, the 2008 champion was well beyond his productive years.

In comparison, James continues to operate as a leading figure in the NBA. Averaging 25.7 points, 8.3 assists, and 7.3 rebounds per game as per StatMuse, the 4x MVP even took his gameplay to a new height this season. His current 3-point percentage of 41% marked his career-high efficiency from the deep, while his 54% field goal percentage marked the fifth-highest shooting efficiency of his NBA career.

On top of that, the 4x Finals MVP led his team to an In-Season Tournament triumph in December last year. Following that, the 20x All-Star received the opportunity to lead the West in the All-Star game in his Year 21. Even recently, his endeavors secured a postseason run for the Lakers, capturing his dominance on the court.

These accomplishments at the twilight of his career separate him from the rest of the iconic figures. His experience and game-reading skills have seemingly made up for his decline in athletic abilities due to age. Thus, the possibility of him continuing in the NBA for a few more seasons remains prominent.

Post Edited By:Tonoy Sengupta

About the author

Sourav Bose

Sourav Bose


Sourav, a seasoned NBA journalist at the SportsRush, discovered his profound love for basketball through the brilliance of Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors. With over 600 articles in his career, he has established himself as a dedicated and prolific writer in the field. Influenced by 'The Last Dance' documentary and the anime 'Slam Dunk,' Sourav's passion for basketball is marked by insightful observations and a comprehensive understanding of the sport's history. Beyond his role as a journalist, he delves into the strategic dimensions of sports management and explores literature in his spare time, reflecting a well-rounded approach to his craft. Sourav's journey is characterized by a commitment to unraveling the intricacies of basketball and sports in general, making him a reliable source for NBA enthusiasts and a seasoned observer of the sports landscape.

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