The Los Angeles Clippers most recently fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers 118-113 on Friday night, a game in which the Clippers led for almost the full game but were unable to out-perform the Cavs in the crunch time moments. It was a game of runs, and the leadership of LeBron James was a key reason the Cavaliers were able to pull through with the overtime victory. 39 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists and one steal on 65 percent shooting from the field is a pretty good statline, and that was exactly what LeBron James did to lead his team over the Clippers on Friday night.

With a spectacular performance from King James, the Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was dazzled and marveled about the 4-time MVP in his postgame interview. He isn’t the type of coach that will go out of his way to compliment players on the opposing team, especially after a loss or after that particular player had broken his son's ankles, but Coach Rivers did just that.

Clippers coach praises King James

One of the greatest coaches of the past decade is, without doubt, Doc Rivers. Rivers led the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals in 2008, 2009 and 2010, winning a championship title in 2008. Recently, Doc took the challenge of coaching a young Clippers team, who although have not made it past the second round of the NBA playoffs, have been very successful in recent years.

After the Cavaliers-Clippers game, Doc was asked to identify the difference between 23-year old LeBron James and now almost 33-year old LeBron James. Rivers said:

“He’s smarter. I’m amazed. It wasn’t so funny to us watching him. Most players when they get to his age are smart enough now they see everything. But usually, when they get to that age, they’re too old to do anything about it.”

Doc Rivers referred to a Kevin McHale quote which stated that if he had the knowledge he had as a late 30-year-old player, but had the athleticism and the body he had at age 22, he would’ve been the greatest player of all time.

He compared that to LeBron, saying “LeBron has the knowledge of all those years and he’s still top two, three athletic in the league. He has both going for him. He can beat you with his brain [and] his power. It’s a daunting task when you watch him on film.”

How does he do it?

Some people question how LeBron James can be so durable.

He’s played over 60,000 minutes combining post and regular season during his career and he has gone all the way to the NBA Finals, playing till June in each of the last seven years. But the fact of the matter is, King James spends over one million of his own dollars on his body each year, to keep it up to the highest of levels. He is arguably the biggest athlete in sports, and he wants to make sure he stays in the best condition he can, especially as a nearly 33-year old. So next time LeBron sprains his ankle, laces his shoes tighter, and dunks on someone the next possession like nothing happened, remember the one million dollars he spends on his body each year.

LeBron James seems to sprain his ankle a few times each season and recently had troubles with his left ankle.

But it seems, it never keeps LeBron out. He may miss a game here and there, but he seemingly gets back to the court like he never left. This durability is a huge reason King James has been able to play at a high level for the past decade and a half, and the reason he manages to keep getting better as each season goes by. Just like Benjamin Button, James seems to defy the aging process and gets better as he grows older. In his 15th season in the league, through the first sixteen games, "the chosen one" is averaging career-highs in a few major categories.