The Los Angeles Lakers’ dominant victory over the Houston Rockets provided a number of highlights throughout the contest, but none stood out more than what LeBron James pulled off in the second quarter.
As the Lakers were pushing their lead out, James caught a pass from Markieff Morris in the corner and pump faked before launching a 3-pointer in front of the bench. James turned around to face his teammates before the ball swished through the net.
The bench exploded as the shot went down and the moment immediately became one to be remembered.
Shooting 3-pointers isn’t something that James has been known for so there was a question as to what exactly caused him to pull off the move.
Was it just confidence that the shot was perfect? In actuality it was in response to an in-the-moment bet with Dennis Schroder.
“He said, ‘Bet you won’t make it.’ In order to make a bet official, you either have to have a handshake or look a man in the eye,” James revealed. “He said, ‘Bet it,’ and I turned around to look him in the eye and said, ‘Bet it.'”
The sequence of events was then corroborated by Schroder. “It was a transition play, he ran the corner and somebody passed it to him. I told him to bet a Benjamin on it,” Schroder said.
“He took a dribble, shot it, turned around and said, ‘Bet.’ It went in. It’s just legendary. Such an amazing player having fun out there. It’s nice to be a part of it.”
The chemistry of last season’s roster Lakers was a major talking point, and with the team turning over a large portion of its roster there were questions about whether they could replicate it.
This year seems to be more of the same as the Lakers are on the same page and enjoying each other’s company even with all of the new players.
It certainly helps that they were already up 21 at this point in the game, which surely made everyone involved feel that much more comfortable with taking part in that quick bet. Had LeBron missed it would have been a completely different story, but the ball didn’t touch the rim.
The moment and shot itself might not mean too much in terms of the Lakers’ championship run in what will be a long season. But once again, the Lakers are all clicking on this early road towards defending their title.
LeBron says Lakers heard Anthony Davis’ criticism
LeBron’s 3-pointer was definitely the offensive highlight, but it was the defense that again carried the Lakers against the Rockets. Ever since Anthony Davis publicly criticized the team’s defensive efforts, the Lakers have been locked in on that end of the floor, and James said that Davis’ words rang loudly within the locker room.
“He’s a captain,” James said. “He’s one of the two captains we have, including myself, and he can voice any opinion that he would like. Any fact that he would like. Because one thing about it, what he says, he’s going to apply to himself as well.
“He holds himself accountable. When he holds us accountable, we hold him accountable, he holds himself accountable. A.D. can say whatever he wants because it’s all for the betterment of our team.
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