Is Lebron James really worth it

This is not a post bashing Lebron per se but one that is not gonna jock him either.  He has enough people around here kneeling at his feet that he doesn't need me. I am going to look at his game.

The issue here is how much better would Lebron actually make the Knicks.  Granted Lebron is the best player in the NBA right now.  Let me repeat THE BEST PLAYER IN THE NBA IS LEBRON JAMES! There I said it now let's move on.

Let's look at what we actually get with Lebron:

On offense Lebron dominates the ball.  He needs the ball in his hands to be effective, he demonstrates zero willing ness to play off the ball to get shots.  Also Lebron needs to dribble the ball, a lot, in order to get rhythm to hoist his shots. Which leads to my second point.

It is virtually impossible to achieve and maintain consistent offensive flow when Lebron is on the floor.  Because ball movement tends to stop once Lebron gets the ball, his tends tend to  end up standing around and watch himm dribble a whole in the floor while looking for an opportunity to take a defender 1 on 1 or 1on 3!

Lebron's passing skills are overrated.  Yes Lebron gets alot of assists, and hence the reputation for being a great passer, but most of his assists come off his aborted shot attempts, so he is not really creating shots for teammates but relying on him to bail him out when his ISO game stalls.  This also results in alot of turnovers. His assit to turnover ratio is 2.5:1 which is actually ineffecient for a player that dominates the ball as much as James does.

Lebron's shot selection is also poor.  Now this doesn't get much attention because Lebron usually shoots a decent percentage as a result of his otherworldy skill level, but when he is not making those shots the results are usually disasterous for him team.

In short the very reasons that Lebron is such a dominant offensive player are the very reasons that his teams struggle to score points when he is not dropping 30 or 40 a night.

On Defense

Lebron is an excellent 1 on 1 on the ball defender to an extent.  His quickness, length, and strength make him exceptionally difficult for players to Iso or post up.  but then again he is basically a power forward with the speed and quickness of a point guard.  However James has never learned to keep track of his man and the ball effectively, so when guarding an opponent who is willing to move without the ball, james can lose track of him especially if the opposing team employs sharp quick ball movement, Orlando with the Turk last year and the Celtics with both Allens burn james on this in the most recent series.  Also James does not know how to play the PNR well and relies on his strength to bull through picks rather than working to get over the top.  Because he is so strong this works well for him most of the time, however when confronted with a picker who has enough junk in the trunk to withstand James' shoulder blocks james ofet gets hung up on picks, leaving open shots for his man.  James also does not always close out hard on shooters or make appropriate rotations on defense (especially if match up against the other teams best scorer)  He also likes to gamble high side for steals which leaves him open to back door cuts, however in fairness for James his quickness and mastery of the ability to block shots from behind often saves him when in this predicament.


In terms of sheer volume James is the preeminent perimeter rebounder in the game.  However, a large number of offensive rebounds he records come from retrieving his own misses and he is far less effective retrieving his teammates missed shots.  On the defensive end he relies on strength and explosive leaping ability rather than boxing out, which can sometimes allow a crafting or hustling opponent to slip inside of him and get put backs.

In summary Lebron James is a unique physical talent that may not come along for another 30 years, but his lack of understanding of fundamentals and inability to consistently pay attention to detail do not allow him to get the most out of himself and his teammates.  However if the Knicks sign him his physical brillance alone will be enough to propel the Knicks into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference, where they will make the playoffs every year and be exposed every year, before being blind to his own shortcomings and how they lend to his teams not winning the championships he believes he is entitled to, he opts of his contract with the Knicks to go elsewhere  But hey who needs championships, the playoffs are a great consolation, just ask the folks in Cleveland.

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