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Player Feature: LeBron James

Full Name: LeBron Raymone James Sr. 

Birthdate: December 30, 1984

Birthplace: Akron, Ohio 

Current team: Los Angeles Lakers

Position: Small forward/Power forward

Years active: 2003 – present

Key facts and statistics

  • Has a versatile playing style, a slasher and finisher
  • One of the greatest basketball players of all time
  • Most All-NBA First Team appearances record holder
  • 2x Olympic gold wins of the US national basketball team
  • 2003 Rookie of the Year
  • Youngest player to score 30,000 career points

LeBron James has one of the stellar and controversial professional careers – that stretch to 16 seasons – in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA). James started his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers wherein he was the first overall draft pick of 2003. Cavaliers was his hometown. He was only 18 years old then.

He has proven time and again that he can shoot from different angles and different positions. But his orientations remain in the perimeter. He was the leading scorer at Cleveland, onwards becoming the youngest NBA player to score 30,000 career points. 

He moved to Miami Heat then back to Cleveland Cavaliers. When he was with the Heat, he focused on improving his scoring efficiency through effective shot selection. His shots are usually a three-point or a long two-point basket. He also has a playmaking ability not observable in other players. 

In 2018, he signed up with Los Angeles Lakers. Prior to his groin injury in the 2018-19 season, James scored 51 points, season-high, in one of the games against Miami Heat. Because of the injury, he missed the opportunity for a career-high 17 consecutive games and the playoffs. James played the playoffs since 2005 before this season.

James was hyped as an NBA prospect, immediately making an impact on his debut season. He was the 2003 Rookie of the Year. He came a long way, now touted as one of the greatest players in NBA history, along with Jordan.

James started as an offensive player but eventually became a defensive player, and then both. He was one of those shooters who can transition between offence and defence smoothly.

He also started as a small forward and power forward. James can also play the three other basketball positions at no extra effort on his part. His athleticism and versatility on the court are two of his legacies. James was also a slasher and finisher.

James’ career highlights include NBA championships, Finals MVP, MVP, All-Star, ALl-Star MVP, All-Defensive First Team, All-Defensive Second Team, First Team, Second Team, and Third Team. He holds the record for the most All-NBA First Team appearances (12).

He was a scoring leader, and his average is 27.2 points. His other averages per game are 7.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.6 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game.

 James was also a part of the national basketball team that won two gold medals during the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Sports Illustrated, ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, Slam Magazine, and The Ringer (Bill Simmons’ website) consistently rank James as one of the best NBA players along with the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson.

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10 of the Best 3-Point Shooters in NBA History

Only a handful of basketball players can dominate the perimeter. And when they do, it would be an unstoppable three-point shooting blast.

Below are some of the best three-point shooters to grace the NBA.

10. Jason Terry

Terry was playing since 1999, and throughout his 14 years in the NBA, he was the fifth player with the most three-point field goals made. Before Stephen Curry had his 2,483 points, Terry dominated the position from 2014 to 2018.

9. Peja Stojakovic

Allen and Miller, his contemporaries, can easily overshadow Stojakovic. But his three-point shooting prowess is nothing to sneeze at. Stojakovic won the three-point shooting contests of 2002 and 2003. He was the league’s leader in the 2003-04 season with his 43.3% shooting percentage.

8. Kyle Korver

Korver’s 15 years of being an NBA player had been fruitful. He was one of the most reliable three-point shooters in association’s history. In 2009-10 season, he shot 53.6% of his three-point range shooting. From 2012 to 2014, he scored a trey in 127 straight games as well.

7. Steve Nash

Nash has a 42.8% three-point shooting percentage. He was a point guard, so this may come as a surprise since passing the ball to a teammate was second nature to him. Nash became famous for his big shots during big moments.

6. Larry Bird

Bird dominated the NBA era when three-pointers were not as common as they are today, at a time when it was not even considered as part of the offence. He won the first two beyond-the-arc shooting contests. He was once the career record holder from 1985 to 1988. 

5. Klay Thompson

Thompson has over 40% shooting percentage from the three-point line. He also has two ball games where he scored 11 treys, one of which was during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals of 2016 when the Golden State Warriors won against Oklahoma City Thunder.  He and Curry formed the three-point-shooter duo.

4. Reggie Miller

Miller holds the second career-high record with 2,560 points. He spent his eighteen years of being a professional basketball player with Indiana Pacers where he scored all the points. He was mostly known for his eights points in 8.9 seconds, two of which are three-point shots.

3. Steve Kerr

Kerr has an impeccable three-point shooting style. He was the all-time leader when it comes to three-point percentage with 45.4%. He even reached beyond 50% of his three-pointers in four different seasons. Kerr now coaches Curry and Thompson.

2. Ray Allen

Allen still holds the career record high with 2,973 points. The 2013 NBA finals became his crowning glory. Miami Heat won the finals in overtime (OT) on Game 6 and eventually, Game 7. One of the cited reasons for the championship was Allen’s jumper.

1. Stephen Curry

Curry has single-season three-point records which he also broke with an all-time high season after season. He currently leads the league with most treys, and he owns the record for hitting the trey in 157 straight games. Curry is also about to break Allen’s record for all-time three-points ever made.

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5 Big 3s to Watch Out For in the 2019-20 NBA Season

Triangle offence.

While it is a simple yet perplexing offence strategy, it works. It worked for Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, among NBA teams whose championships were founded on the triangle offence.

Scott Cacciola explains in Three Sides to This Story what a triangle offence is and how it looks like. It “revolves around seven guiding principles that include maintaining proper spacing, penetration bypassing and the interchangeability of positions. Every player ought to be able to score and from different angles.” And yes, it involves three to four players – the post, wing, and corner players – to form a triangle.

It is about proper spacing, moving the ball, and reading and breaking the opponent’s defence.

Much has been said about the death of the Big 3. And yet the importance of such cannot be dismissed at this point.

Here are the NBA Big 3s who will dominate the 2019-20 season.

5) Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Eric Bledsoe

Milwaukee Bucks became the 2018-19 season’s best team thanks to these three. 

Antetokounmpo is one of the best defensive players in the NBA but lacks in shooting section. Middleton is the three-point shooter that knows how to play the dynamics of the court to his advantage. Middleton can guarantee the shooting while Bledsoe is for defending the perimeter.

4) Houston Rockets: James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Erik Gordon

Harden and Westbrook, who are both MVPs, make the Big Two. Add up sharpshooting Gordon, and this Big 3 will be unstoppable.

Harden’s capabilities are comparable with Michael Jordan’s at the 1986-87 NBA season, scoring 36.1 points per game versus Jordan’s 37.1 points. Westbrook, on his part, is the only player who averaged triple-double in the 2016-17 season. He may not have the most reliable defensive plays, but Harden and Gordon can cover up for him.

3) Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris

Embiid and Simmons are two big men who can play defensively and offensively at every position on the court. Both have exceptional abilities to space out the floor while opposing the other team’s big men. There are not many issues with Embiid other than his fitness. With Simmons, however, his outside jump shots still lack the efficiency to convert to points.

This is where Harris comes in who can shoot spot-up and off-the-dribble. His jumper skills are dependable too.

2) Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and DeMarcus Cousins

James, according to sports analysts, has shown signs of slowing down in the past season despite his 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 8.3 assists average per game stats. 

Davis and Cousins, on the other hand, are at their prime. Davis can dominate the floor, on both ends while Cousins always has a workaround for an easy basket.

1) Los Angeles Clippers: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Lou Williams

Kawhi Leonard made NBA history by switching offseason after winning a championship and Finals MVP. He is now with the Clippers along with Paul George, who Leonard encouraged to request a trade as him so they can be in the same team.

Leonard and George are a defensive dynamo that Lou Williams, a scorer himself, shall complement. Williams is also a reliable defence player.

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