LOS ANGELES – LeBron James likes to play ball.
Legend has it that he developed his acclaim for being a 9-year-old player for the Summit Lake Hornets in a basketball league in Akron, Ohio. He fed a tiny teammate named Sonny Spoon, rolling the stone in his direction. Only then could the little boy control the ball without being knocked over. Spoon picked up the delivery and put the ball in the ring and James was pleased with Spoon's score as if it were his own.
Decades later, when he climbed into the top five on the NBA list of all time and scored a hit The crucial game of his illustrious career with a chase block in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, remains his retirement from a skill as always important.
Now in his 17th season, James has moved from small to front to the point guard. And as the Los Angeles Lakers stacked the victories, James also picked up Assists.
James scores an average of 11.1 assists, double digits in eight of Los Angeles' first eleven games. Should he keep his lead, it would be the first Assist title of James' career. Can he continue like this?
"I do not know," James said recently. "It has never been my goal … The template has always been my favorite because it gives my teammates the chance to score and that was always important to me."
Individual stats play no major role for James Nowadays – earlier this month he even wore a hat with a patch that said "awards do not mean anything" for a game in Dallas – but his ability to remain in control keeping the game when he's in his mid-30s plays a role.
If James continues to cut at this rate, he would wipe out the record of the best assist average for a player in his 17th season or later (John Stockton currently holds the mark with 8.7 assists per game in 2000-01 ).
"He will make the right game every time and drop the ball on time, anywhere, or almost anywhere, where he throws it – on the 3-point line or on lobes on the edge or on cutbacks or whatever," Lakers Coach Frank Vogel said. "He's just one of the best passers-by I've ever seen."
James' first by a dozen centimeters on Wednesday night was just seven seconds after a 120-94 win over the Golden State Warriors-point on JaVale McGee who willingly put it in the basket.
James & Laker's teammates recognize that they should always be alert when sharing the pitch with him.
"Playing with LeBron, he is the center Attention at all times," said Kyle Kuzma. "Everyone looks at him, and sometimes, when people come here, they're not really used to taking wide-open shots, and he delivers." PLAYER FG Kyle Kuzma] 4-4
Not all open shots are the same. Just as the defense pays special attention to James, they also pay special attention to the fans. When James gives an open look, it may feel like every eye in the arena is turning to the shooter.
"In my rookie year, it was a big pressure," said Quinn Cook, who just finished his second stint James after playing with him in Cleveland in the 2015 preseason. "I thought:" Wow, LeBron gives me the ball. I have to do it. "But I somehow got over in this phase, he puts us in great positions to be successful, and you just want to Shoot the ball with confidence. "
Avery Bradley feels that some of the passports that James makes are only possible because of the eerie vision of the four-time MVP in court.
"I joked with one of the guys on the bench the other day," Bradley recalled. "I said watching a movie and a coach said: & # 39; you should have seen this passport … & # 39; he sees it in real time during the game, just unbelievable."
Rajond Rondo won an assists title in the 2015-16 season with an average of 11.7 assistants at the Sacramento Kings. He says that there is no real secret to earning this award.
"What do you need, boys taking shots," Rondo said.
Rondo was reluctant to classify his and James' overtaking ability: "It could be 1A and 1B," he said. That's exactly how James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers' big off-season newcomer, were described.
It is crucial for the Lakers to make the most of Davis this season, and not only to give himself the best chance of winning, but to pave the way for the great man to join the franchise again next summer to report as a free agent.
Positioning James as a point guard has assured Davis that he will be at the center of the Lakers' offensive. In the first eleven Lakers games, Davis received 29 assists from James, more than any other Lakers player, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
"I told him to give me the ball, he does a great job," said Davis with a laugh. "He has a great vision, he can overtake with the best, so it's difficult for them to stop this pick-and-roll if I put the pick and he handles the ball, and if he's clogged, he can our shooters find themselves on the weak side for him to make the right games. "
Brian Windhorst dives deeper into the dynamic duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James, which makes the Lakers one Off makes 7: 2 start.
And James is likely to disassemble a team with the pass in the open space.
In the past season, then-Lakers coach Luke Walton set an egalitarian transitional game. Whoever put the long rebound on the defensive or broke the fast lane to prevent the theft – be it a point guard like Lonzo Ball or Rondo, even Brandon Ingram, Lance Stephenson or Michael Beasley – who was empowered to get the engine in to be the break.
However, Vogel returned the car keys to James and wants him to drive as much as possible.
"We have created an environment in which we want to have a primary ball handler, but last year was both LeBron and other people who got out and pressed for the break," Vogel said. "Most fast break teams have such a mindset of how it is and how everyone can push, everyone can handle it, we've gotten a bit old, so you probably see LeBron more in this situation."
At the beginning of his career, James got hot when he switched to team-mates in game situations instead of calling his own number.
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Over time, these instincts have shifted, and James feels like being the type to accept the consequences of the Make-or-Miss proposal According to ESPN Stats & Info, he helped six field goals in the last 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or after extra time (seven, including the playoffs) and fired nine shots (17, including) in the playoffs during that period.
Unmistakable when he sees an open teammate – be it George Hill in the first match of the 2018 NBA finals or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in a regular season game against Orlando Magic last season – yes I'll find him.
"He's probably one of the best decision-makers in the history of the game," Vogel said.
The ball could go through James but play with James and you get the ball.
"I'm just trying to play within the system, what we're trying to do in the board, and get my marksmen and my big chances use, "said James. "I do not get support when my teammates do not shoot, that's what counts, so they deserve all the credit."