By Oluwatoyin Adeleye
Everyone knows LeBron James is usually the primary ball distributor for his team in any basketball game and throughout his 15-year NBA career, he has not disappointed in that position.
On rare occasions however, he has been seen handling the position of point guard.
Such was the case Tuesday, as the Cavaliers shook up their starting lineup in a game against the Bulls, and the four-time NBA MVP put on a dazzling performance.
James dished out 13 assists while scoring 34 points in a 119-112 win over Chicago. According to ESPN, it was the first time since Feb. 3, 2005, that he was officially listed as a point guard, but James still has as many or more 30-point, 10-assist games at that position (five) as four 2017 all-star point guards — Kyle Lowry (five), Kyrie Irving (five), Isaiah Thomas (two) and Kemba Walker (one) — have in their careers.
Cavs Coach Tyronn Lue explained that James was pressed into service because the team’s expected starter, Thomas, won’t be fully healthy for several more weeks and his backup, Derrick Rose, was out with a sprained left ankle. Apparently, Lue was dissatisfied with what he’s seen from Cleveland’s other point guard, 36-year-old Jose Calderon, who was announced as the starter Monday but failed to get off the bench Tuesday.
“With D-Rose out and Isaiah out, it’s tough,” Lue said (via cleveland.com). “If you don’t have a point guard on the floor, it’s tough to win games no matter how great LeBron is. It wears him down having to handle the basketball, have to defend and then make every play. But tonight we needed that and going forward just have to see.”
In response, James said: “I think the best thing for me personally is, ever since I was a kid, I’ve always learned every position on the floor. When I started playing ball, for some odd reason, I could learn every single position on the floor all at one time. The point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center. And know all the plays, what they’re doing and what’s the reads.
“And to this day, if coach slides me to the 1 [point guard], I know every set. If he slides me to the 5 [center], I know the 5. I know the 4 [power forward], I know the 3 [small forward], I know the 2 [shooting guard]. I know every single play in every single position, so it makes the job a lot easier for me, because I know where I should be and what my teammates should do.”
That is definitely paying off for the legendary footballer.
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