There are a lot of things to love about LeBron James' game — his athleticism, his power, those chase-down blocks, the capacity he showed during the Miami Heat's NBA championship run to take over huge games (like Game 4 in Indiana, Game 6 in Boston and Game 4 against Oklahoma City), and so on. But it's his combination of vision (that singular gift of being able to see angles and openings that only a handful of players glimpse), daring (having the guts to make passes that few would dare attempt) and touch (the ability to feel the weight and balance of a play, to know whether a fastball or off-speed pitch is needed) that separates him from the pack.
Maybe more than that, it's the commitment to that point-guard ideal — that the game's just better when everyone's involved, when everyone knows that they'll get fed if they move their feet, keep their eyes open and have their hands ready — that makes a compilation like this so awesome to watch. (I mean, it certainly seemed to make dudes like Drew Gooden, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao pretty happy.) And it's not just the alley-oops, three-quarter-court bounce passes and no-look, behind-the-back wraparounds — it's the pocket pass to hit a cutter from the pinch-post, the keep-it-going move on the ball swing that leads to an open corner 3, the one-touch redirect that turns his layup into someone else's dunk. The non-eye-popping stuff that creates offensive momentum, kickstarts runs and turns offenses into freight trains.
It's a special skill, a pretty amazing thing to behold independent of the normal array of LeBron dunks and posters, a decent way to spend 9 1/2 minutes of your Tuesday morning and a little something to whet your appetite. Training camps open in a week, y'all.
- Sports & Recreation
- LeBron James
- Miami Heat