LeBron James has long been known as having an insanely high Basketball IQ, but a recent story from former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin takes the mythology of James’ greatness to a whole new level.
Appearing as a guest on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” on Wednesday, Griffin began by describing James’ astounding aptitude for the game.
“He’s so cerebral. We used to joke that he was a computer on learning mode. He’s such a savant, and he figures out the angles to such a huge degree that it’s not a surprise he’s figured to game the system a little bit. It’s why the ‘flip the switch’ notion is so real.”
Griffin would later go on to explain just how cerebral James was on the court. Not only does James have a photographic memory of the Cavaliers’ playbook, but he knows his opponents’ plays inside and out as well.
“There’s literally nothing you can show him that he can’t do. There’s no play you’ll run against him he can’t name, and then go out there and teach your players how to do it better than anyone else,” Griffin explained.
“I was in the gym when I watched him on the floor against Toronto tell Patrick Patterson where he was supposed to go on the play they had called out of a timeout late in the fourth quarter. He was like ‘No Pat, you’re supposed to stand over there and set a pin down for DeMar [DeRozan] over here.'”
We’ve known of LeBron’s impressive memory and mind for the game for some time — he has the uncanny ability to recall plays at a moment’s notice during post-game press conferences. But having the inside knowledge regarding the other team’s playbook feels like a new level of impressive. Add to that the fact that James was willing to correct his opponent on his positioning before the play and the fact becomes even more evident — there’s only one LeBron James.
The anecdote also adds another layer to James’ ownership over the Toronto Raptors — a team that he has now knocked out of the NBA postseason for three consecutive seasons. After sweeping the Raptors out of contention once again this year, LeBron and the Cavaliers are set for an Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Boston Celtics, with James just four wins away from his eighth consecutive appearance in the NBA Finals.