For the first time in 17 years, LeBron’s title window is no longer wide open

Have you noticed all the chatter?

It’s exceeded ‘loud.’ It’s essentially piercing our eardrums.

This isn’t the old LeBron – it’s just an older LeBron.

This version of the King needs help.

And after not getting that extra bit of help at the NBA trade deadline, the pressure is once again on LeBron to deliver a title for a team with presumably not enough championship pieces.

However, James isn’t getting any younger. And if the Lakers don’t win a title this year, the future looks bleak.

Los Angeles still has the best record in the Western Conference and arguably two of the top three players in the West.

But after James and Anthony Davis, there is a dropoff.

A steep, steep dropoff.

If you compare the Lakers’ roster to the in-town rival Los Angeles Clippers, there is no comparison, especially after the trade deadline.

The Clippers landed Marcus Morris, who had been targeted by the Lakers in trade talks.

Morris is a dog, indeed, and he added depth to an already-deep Clippers roster, featuring Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Landry Shamet and Patrick Beverley, among others.

Now, back to the Lakers.

This season, LeBron has served as the dedicated point guard for the first time in his career, and he’s excelled, dishing out a league-leading 10.8 assists per game.

Still, at the trade deadline, the Lakers aggressively attempted to un-retire a retired point guard.

It didn’t come to fruition.

Now, LA has turned its attention to mercurial shooting guard Dion Waiters.

The question is, why did the Lakers even need another piece? In years past, LeBron, coupled with a talent like Davis, would be enough to beat any team in the league – handily.

But LeBron – in his 17th season – isn’t the same guy that can carry a ragtag group of guys to the NBA Finals.

That’s right: Only five players in the NBA are currently older than James.

It’s incredible that at age 35, LeBron is averaging 25 points, 7.7 rebounds and 10.8 assists.

He certainly puts everything into his craft.

But Father Time is un– you know the rest.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won NBA titles with the Lakers in 1987 and 1988 at ages 40 and 41, but he was nowhere near his prime.

Tim Duncan won a title at 38, but he wasn’t the driving force. Kawhi Leonard won NBA Finals MVP that season.

Michael Jordan won his last title at 35. Kobe Bryant won his last at 31. Magic Johnson won his last at 28.

LeBron is, and always has been, great.

But what happens when great is no longer good enough?

FOX Bet has the Lakers favored to win the NBA title, and if the betting public is correct, James will make history this season.

But if it’s incorrect, his title window might be history.