LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, continues to defy age and expectations as he joined Michael Jordan in an exclusive club of players who have recorded multiple 40-point games after turning 39. In the Lakers' 116-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, James scored a game-high 40 points and tied his career-high with nine 3-pointers, showcasing his ability to adapt to the NBA's evolving shooting landscape.

With this performance, James became only the second player in NBA history, alongside Jordan, to have multiple 40-point outings after celebrating his 39th birthday. Jordan, who played until he was 40, achieved the feat three times, while James has now done it twice.

Speaking about his improved shooting from beyond the arc, James emphasized his versatility and desire to be respected by opposing teams. "I don't ever have to lean on [3-pointers] because I can do so much -- I can score on any level on the floor basically once I cross half court," he said. "But being able to have a growth mindset and be able to work on things that the league is changing to, the league is a heavy 3-point shooting league."

James' stellar performance was crucial in securing the Lakers' victory, as he scored 17 points in the fourth quarter on 5-for-6 shooting, including a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point range, to close out the game after the Nets had cut L.A.'s once-26-point lead down to just eight.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham praised James' performance, saying, "It's incredible. I told him in the huddle before his last little stretch and we ultimately subbed him out [that I was] just extremely thankful that he packed the cape on the road trip. Needed all nine of those 3s."

The win improved the Lakers' record to 3-1 on their current six-game road trip and kept them in the hunt for a playoff spot, as they currently sit at No. 9 in the Western Conference with seven games remaining in the regular season.

James' shooting display lifted his 3-point percentage to a career-best 41.6% for the season, a significant improvement from last year's 32.1%. He attributed the improvement to better health and more time to practice, stating, "My foot has felt a lot better. I didn't have much time to really rep a lot last year because I had to make sure I could be on the floor running around or [not] putting much pounding of my foot on the floor. I've had a lot of opportunity to get on the floor. You probably see me before every game out on the floor, working on my game, working on my craft. So that's helped out a lot, too."

As James continues to play at an elite level, the question of how much longer he plans to compete in the NBA naturally arises. When asked about his future, the 21-year veteran hinted that his retirement might not be too far off. "Not very long," James said. "Not very long. I'm on the other side, obviously, of the hill. So I'm not going to play another 21 years, that's for damn sure. But not very long. I don't know what or when that door will close as far as when I retire, but I don't have much time left."

While the exact timeline of James' retirement remains uncertain, his ability to adapt and excel in the modern NBA game is a testament to his dedication and skill. As he continues to etch his name in the record books and lead the Lakers in their playoff push, fans and teammates alike marvel at his enduring greatness. As Anthony Davis put it, "The ones that he was shooting wasn't hitting the rim. It's always great to watch. I mean, most points in NBA history, you know? And he's just continuing to add to it. But the way he shot it tonight, masterful."