Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs

Gregg Popovich’s gift for LeBron James’ 36th birthday is this incredible compliment

Gregg Popovich was extremely complimentary of LeBron James on his 36th birthday.

At an age when most superstar NBA players are either transitioning into bench roles, thinking about retirement or launching their post-basketball career, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is thinking about leading his squad to a championship, which would be his fifth in 18 years. As James turns 36 today, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich wasn’t shy about broadcasting his love for James and his ability to keep playing at such a high level.

Popovich was extremely complimentary of James‘ ability to maintain his high standard of play for so long, and he believes that is a byproduct of his “intelligence level, tenacity, character, and commitment to excellence.”

LeBron James has the Lakers in the title hunt once again

While James and the Lakers have started the season off at 2-2, and some of their performances suggest that the minuscule offseason has them a tad fatigued, they are once again expected to be at or near the top of the Western Conference. Adding the likes of Dennis Schroder, Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell helped make a deep squad even deeper this season.

While most superstars either fade away as bench players or put up hollow numbers on teams that miss the postseason, James is the heartbeat of a title favorite, and he’s shown no signs of slowing down. Popovich realizes how truly unique and special this run has been, and he made sure to give LeBron his props for such an uncommon NBA career.

Popovich has been burned several times by James in his career, but he is more than willing to shower him with praise when given the chance. It’s nice to see a rival coach who lost to James in the NBA Finals give such a legendary player the respect he deserves for his uncommon longevity.

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