LeBron James has plans to make things better for NBA's next generation of players

Through the first two months of the 2017-18 season, Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is having one of the best campaigns of his NBA career. He's averaging 28.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, and a career-high 9.1 assists per game, while shooting 57.8 percent from the field, and 41.1 percent from 3-point land -- each of which are career-best marks.

Naturally, given his performance, his name has been at the forefront of the early MVP discussion, as it is almost every single season. Talking to reporters on Saturday, LeBron acknowledged that while team achievements are first and foremost, individual accomplishments like MVP awards "mean a lot." Via ESPN:

"Team success is always the number one, but along the way if you're able accomplish some individual awards, individual achievements, it would mean a lot," James said after Saturday's practice. "I feel good. This is my 15th year, but this is one of the best years I've had as far as how I feel and I want to continue that.

More interestingly, however, LeBron noted that beyond awards and accomplishments on the floor, he's trying to break the current mold for the next generation of stars. 

I want to kind of try to break the mold for the next generation. So just take the narrative out of 'OK, you're past your prime when you get [to] 31, or you're past your prime in your 12th year in the league, or whatever the case may be.' 

Hopefully I can break the mold so when the next guy comes, he can still get 200 or 300 million and be 33 years old. I'm serious. You guys are laughing, I'm serious. This is the mold I'm trying to break. It's not just about me, it's for the next crew as well ... I'll be 33 in 15 days. This is my 15th season, and this is the best I've felt in my career. I want it all!"

LeBron has already done plenty to shake up the power structure in the league, especially in regards to free agency and the turn toward shorter contracts, which give players more leverage. And in addition, he's taken the personal branding, business and philanthropic side of things to new heights. 

Even if LeBron did all of that just for himself, his family and his community, the next generation of players would still be better off just because of what he's been able to accomplish in his career, and the way he's pushed the game forward. But with LeBron having his mind set on making things better for the younger players, and the players who aren't even in the league yet, there's no doubt that he'll make that happen. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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