LOS ANGELES – LeBron James wants to take the ball.
According to legend, he developed his appreciation for being added as a 9-year-old playing Summit Lake Hornets in the Akron, Ohio, basketball league. He fed a teammate by the name of Sonny Spoon by rolling the rock on his way. It was the only way the boy could control the ball without knocking. The spoon used the delivery, put the ball in the hoop and James relaxed in Spoon's score more than it was his.
Decades later, as he climbed to the top five on the NBA All-Time scoring list and made the definitive game of his glitter-blocking career in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, his passing remains just as important to the skill. as always.
Now, in his 17th season, James has moved from small forward to point guard. And just as the Los Angeles Lakers won, so too did James.
Ames averages 11.1 assists in the league, reaching double digits in eight of his first 11 games in Los Angeles.
If he retains the lead, it will be James' first career assists. Can I keep it?
"I don't know," James said recently. “It was never my goal. Assistance has always been my favorite because it gives my teammates the chance to score a goal. And that's what always suited me. "
Individual stats aren't very important to James these days – earlier this month he even wore a hat with a sticker that read "awards mean nothing" to a Dallas game – but his ability to continue writing off control of the game as he did. getting into the mid 30's is important.
If James continued to eat at this speed, he would shatter the record for best average assists player in his 17th season or later (Johnston Stockton currently holds the mark with 8.7 assists per game in 2000-01).
"Everybody does the right game every time and delivers the ball on time, to the goal everywhere or almost anywhere he throws it – on the 3-point line or lobes on the fringes or cuts or cuts," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. "He's just one of the best passers-by I've been around."
James' first of ten dimes on Wednesday night came just seven seconds into A 120-94 win against Golden State Warriors, a paddle-kick sent over 3-pointers to Vevale McGee, who easily dumped him into the basket.
James Lakers teammates admit they will be better warned every time they share the court with him.
"Playing with LeBron, he's at the center of attention all the time," Kyle Kuzma said. "Everybody's watching him, so sometimes when guys come in here, they're not used to having wide open shots and that's something he supplies."
|* including five 3-PT FG|
Not all open shots are equal. Just as the defense pays extra attention to James, so do the fans. When James provides an open look, it can feel like every eye in the arena turns to the shooter.
"My rookie year was a lot of pressure," he said Queen Cook is now on his second move with James after playing with him in Cleveland during the 2015 pre-season. "I was like, & # 39; Wow, LeBron adds the ball to me. I gotta do it. & # 39; But I'm kind of over that stage now. He puts us in great positions to be successful and you just want to hit the ball with confidence. "
Avery Bradley gets the impression that some of the additions James is making are only possible due to MVP's four-time court appearance.
"I was joking the other day with one of the guys on the bench," Bradley recalled. "I said, when I watch a movie, and the coach says to me, 'You should have watched this passage …' He sees it during the game in real time. Just amazing. "
Ryon Rondo won the 2015-16 season's assist title, averaging 11.7 assists for the Sacramento Kings. He says there is no real secret to making a difference.
"What is needed? Guys doing recordings, "Rondo said.
Rondo stepped down to rank his passing skills and James: "They could be 1A and 1B," he said. True, similarly described the acquisition of the Times and the Lakers during the offseason, Anthony Davis.
It is vital that the Lakers get the most out of Davis this season, not only giving him the best chance of winning, but also paving the way for the big man to re-sign with the franchise as a free agent next summer.
Putting James as a point guard, he assured that Davis would be the focal point of the Lakers offense. Through his first 11 games with the Lakers, Davis received 29 assists from James, according to ESPN Stats & Information, more than any other Lakers player.
"I told him to give me the ball. He does a great job with that," Davis said with a laugh. "He's got a great look, he can go with the best of them, so it's hard for them to stop that pick-and-roll, with me choosing and he handling the ball and when it's blocked, he is able to find our archers on the weak side so he makes all the right plays. "
And James is equally likely to set a team apart by adding an open field.
Last season, then-LA Lakers coach Luke Walton used an elitist transition game. Whoever caught the long defensive jump or burst through the pass lane to catch the stolen – be it a point guard like Lonzo Ball or Rondo even on Brandon Ingram, Lance Stephenson or Michael Beazley – was authorized to be the engine of the break.
However, Vogel has returned the keys to James's car and wants him to drive as far as possible.
"We created an environment where we wanted to have a primary ball handler, while last year LeBron and the other guys were able to come out and push the break," Vogel said. "Most fast-paced teams have this way of thinking about what it is and how someone can put pressure on, anyone can handle. We went to a little old school that way. That's why you see LeBron more in that situation."
Earlier in his career, James caught heat when he handed teammates situations at the end of the game, instead of calling his own number.
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Over time, those instincts shifted; Ames feels happy for the boy to bring the consequences of the fraud or omission proposal. He has assisted on six field goals in the last 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime (seven, including the playoffs), according to ESPN Stats & Info research and has made nine such shots in that span (17, including Play -office).
However, uncertain if he sees an open teammate – be it George Hill under the rug in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals or Centavizi Caldwell-Pope in a regular season game against the Orlando Magic last season – James will find
"He's probably one of the best decision makers in the history of the game," Vogel said.
The ball may pass through James, but play with James and you will receive the ball.
"I'm just trying to play within the system of what we're trying to do in the game plan, to make my shooters and take advantage of my greatest opportunities," James said. "I don't get any help if my teammates don't hit me, that's all down to it. So they deserve all the credit. "