Lakers’ LeBron James received a heaping pile of praise for his elite basketball IQ from Pacers big man Myles Turner
In the NBA, you don’t remain a fixture in your late 30s without possessing a high basketball IQ. LeBron James is still highly skilled and can attack the basket with great ferocity, but it’s his ability to consistently see the whole court that allowed him to play at a superstar level for the Los Angeles Lakers in his 20th career season.
Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner emphasized just how elite James’ on-court vision and instincts are while recalling their head-to-head matchups in an NSFW interview.
“[LeBron is] one of the smartest motherf***ers I have ever played against,” he said on the Run Your Race podcast, via ClutchPoints. “He sees things before it happens. We (Pacers) were running a play, he calls out everything we’re about to do in the play.”
Turner specifically touched on a 2018 playoff game between Indiana and the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pacers had given the Cavs all they can handle, ultimately pushing the series to seven games. Turner and the entire team unfortunately witnessed what was ultimately the difference between a colossal first-round upset and a head start on their summer break.
James hit an epic buzzer-beater on the top of key in Game 5 to allow Cleveland to maintain control. The all-time NBA scoring leader also made other pivotal plays in the tightly-contested battle to keep his scrappy opponents at bay. So many players and analysts extol LeBron James’ in-game intelligence, but based on Myles Turner’s insight, it is completely different to actually see it unfold in person.
The Lakers star will need to stay sharp if he is going to help his team earn another deep postseason run.