LeBron James is a physical marvel and he has shown that throughout his 17 NBA seasons.
James has a rare combination of size, speed, and strength and he is able to physically overwhelm opponents on any given night.
However, what separates James from the rest of the athletic freaks in the league is his basketball IQ. He possesses a unique ability to instantly download a floor situation and consistently make the right play. It is this gift that helped him lead the league in assists during the 2019-20 NBA season.
James was also blessed with a photographic memory and he talked about how it has helped him in his basketball career, according to Melissa Rohlin of Sports Illustrated:
“I’ve always had it,” James told Sports Illustrated. ” A lot of my friends when I was younger playing the game, they were like, ‘Man, how did you remember that play? Or how did you remember that? It was so long ago.’ I never thought about it. I didn’t even know what photographic memory meant when I was younger until I got older. It’s something that I was born with or blessed with.”
However, his amazing recall also includes remembering his difficult upbringing in Ohio but he admitted it helped shape who he is today:
“Some of the areas of my life that I had when I was younger, I try to forget about,” James told Sports Illustrated. “At the same time, some of the things that I went through when I was younger, I also keep because it made me who I am today. I can remember a lot of things.”
James is listed as a forward in traditional five-man lineups but under head coach Frank Vogel, he has been the full-time point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers and he has flourished. The offense normally begins and ends with James and his effectiveness scoring and distributing the basketball propelled the Lakers offense to a top-five unit.
His photographic memory coupled with his years of experience has allowed him to play at an elite level even in Year 17. While he has lost maybe half a step, his mind is as sharp as ever and he can very likely play well into his late 30s or even 40s.
Although it is unfortunate that basketball is still on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, James is still keeping busy and doing his best to remain in shape both physically and mentally in the event the season resumes.