Entering Year 19 at age 36, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James remains one of, if not the best, player in the NBA.
James entered the league in 2003 as a physical marvel who was able to do everything on the floor, but the most underrated aspect of him is his basketball IQ. James is widely regarded as one of the smartest players in the NBA and it can be seen on a nightly basis with how he is able to dictate the game on every possession.
The days of player-coaches are over, but in an appearance on “Club Shay Shay” with Shannon Sharpe, former Lakers center JaVale McGee believes that James is effectively just that at this point in his career:
“I used to hear things like Bill Russell was a player-coach one year, and I was like ‘how are you a player-coach? How is that a thing?’ But after going to the Lakers, I understand how a player could be a player-coach. Because not only playing the game, when LeBron plays the games, he’s thinking the game too and he’s low-key thinking for two other players also. Like ‘oh you need to be there, and you need to be there, we need to do this if we’re gonna win this series, we need to change this.’ And he’s a major part of that. So I definitely think he’s more of a player-coach than just a player when it comes to just the cerebral part of the game.”
McGee was fortunate enough to play next to James for two seasons, so he is well aware of how the future Hall of Famer operates every time he is out on the floor and he saw up close how he is able to manipulate things to his liking. The big man was able to feast on several lobs and dunks playing next to James which is part of the reason why he said he enjoyed playing with him more than Steph Curry.
With the Lakers roster loaded, James will have an opportunity to show that the road to an NBA Championship still goes through him and it will be exciting to see him orchestrate the Purple and Gold.
Zion Williamson believes LeBron James deserves a 99 NBA 2K rating
James has the respect and admiration of his fellow league mates, especially younger players like Zion Williamson. The New Orleans Pelicans star advocated for James to receive a perfect NBA 2K22 rating, a sign that the Lakers star is still well-regarded amongst his peers.
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