One thing that has been extremely clear so far this season is that the Los Angeles Lakers greatly need superstar LeBron James in the lineup. Head coach Frank Vogel has employed LeBron in a number of different ways and operating from all different areas on the court.
Oftentimes, James operates as the point guard and lead facilitator, while others he is playing the role of a more traditional big man and operating on the block. In this era of NBA basketball, positions almost don’t exist, but LeBron has played everything from point guard to center this year.
That versatility is something that Vogel really appreciates from his star player. “He’s the most versatile player in the game,” the Lakers head coach said. “The ability to play point, the ability to play center. The definition of those positions has blended in the modern NBA. Centers bring it up and initiate, point guards roll to the basket.
“It’s a different game now, but to have someone who can be equally as effective as a roller or as a playmaker with the ball is just an incredible weapon and seeing him roll to the basket the way he did is something that we have done with him, but with that lineup, you see it a lot more. There’s more space to do it. So it’s something we’re excited about.”
That lineup Vogel is referring to is the one in which James operated at the center position, which was brought out in the Lakers’ win over the Indiana Pacers. With Anthony Davis out, LeBron put forth his best performance of the season, operating equally as well from the top of the key as he did in the post and dominating the game in every fashion.
The beauty of having James is that he can fit any role or position in any lineup Vogel chooses to put out on the court. The Lakers have so many different options in terms of role players with each of them bringing something different to the table. No matter who is out there, LeBron is able to fill in the gaps and do whatever is needed for the team to succeed.
James ranks start of 2021-22 Lakers season among biggest challenges of career
Despite James’ best efforts, things have not gone the way he or the Lakers would have hoped so far this season. But LeBron believes this rough start for the team is one of the biggest challenges of his career and will ultimately bring the best out of him
“It ranks right at the top of any other challenge I’ve had in my career,” James said. “Which actually brings out the best in me and I love that. I love trying to figure out how we can be better. Get through the mud, get through the adversity, and make it sweeter on the backend.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!