- LeBron James has an unimaginable basketball IQ.
- James has develop into a meme for occasionally reminding folks of his IQ and claiming to have predicted issues earlier than they occur.
- James performed into the joke on Sunday by claiming he knew Lakers guard Austin Reaves would excel from their first follow collectively.
LeBron James is likely one of the smartest gamers in NBA historical past, and he’s glad to inform everybody about it.
For years, James has been praised by teammates, opponents, and analysts for his excessive “basketball IQ” — from his means to learn defenses, know different groups’ performs, and recall basketball trivialities that escapes many others.
James is rightly pleased with this. Nevertheless, in latest months, it is also turned him right into a meme within the basketball world, as followers have caught onto James’ penchant for claiming to know issues earlier than they occur.
This occurred on Sunday after the Los Angeles Lakers’ Recreation 1 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Whereas praising teammate Austin Reaves, an undrafted second-year guard who scored 23 factors within the victory, James stated he knew that Reaves was an NBA-caliber participant.
“It is not shocking to me. I knew from the primary follow that we had once we grabbed him that he wasn’t going to be a two-way participant for lengthy,” James stated, referring to Reaves’ two-way contract between the NBA and G League.
“A pair weeks glided by, I knew he was gonna get a assured contract sooner or later. I have been across the recreation lengthy sufficient to know nice basketball IQ gamers, and I do know the kind of gamers that match with my recreation, and I knew Austin could be that immediately.”
Followers instantly pounced on James’ newest boast about his personal clairvoyance.
—Chris Manning (@cwmwrites) April 16, 2023
—Hatim_Reads (@Hatim_Reads) April 16, 2023
—John Ewing 🦁 (@johnewing) April 16, 2023
Googling “LeBron James mendacity” yields loads of video compilations, containing varied conditions the place James maybe stretched the reality about what he is aware of on a topic.
Inside nearly all of these compilations is an previous interview with James wherein he stated he predicted the night time Kobe Bryant scored 81 factors in opposition to the Toronto Raptors in 2006 — the second-highest scoring efficiency in NBA historical past.
“I used to be at dwelling watching the sport … Earlier than the sport even began, I stated he was in all probability gonna rating 70 tonight. I do not know what made me say that … When he received to, like, 70, I used to be like, effectively he would possibly as effectively go for 80 now.”
—Mike Korzemba (@mikekorz) April 12, 2023
James is at the least partially conscious of those memes. When James’ present “The Store” did a livestream throughout a “Thursday Night time Soccer” recreation, NFL cornerback Jalen Ramsey made word of the memes, saying, “Now ‘Bron, you understand what they be saying on Twitter proper now — they are saying you be capping.” (Capping is a slang time period which means “to lie.”)
James laughed and stated, “I solely communicate the reality, child!”
—Mark Jackson’s Burner (@casualtakeking) November 18, 2022
Whereas the “mendacity” compilations lengthen to matters past basketball, there may be nonetheless a through-line: James reminding everybody of how a lot he is aware of.
He is achieved this earlier than. In 2015, James defended himself in opposition to accusations that he will get head coaches fired by saying his “large basketball IQ” requires his enter into the sport plans.
“Individuals get it so misconstrued as a result of I am a wise basketball participant and I’ve voiced my opinion about sure issues … What do you guys need me to do? Flip my mind off as a result of I’ve an enormous basketball IQ? If that is what they need me to do, I am not going to do it as a result of I’ve received a lot to provide to the sport.”
After a playoff recreation in 2018, James broke down a complete play, beat by beat, throughout a media session then stopped and stated, “It is kinda loopy I can replay all of the performs in my head, huh?”
—Scott (@WFNYScott) April 23, 2017
In fact, these boasts should not with out advantage — nearly anybody who has seen James up-close has come away impressed by his data.
“He can clarify this recreation ahead and again,” former Cavs teammate Iman Shumpert informed VladTV in 2020. “It is unbelievable. You speak about somebody who is aware of the playbook, is aware of the place all people’s presupposed to be, is aware of the opposite groups’ coaches’ playbook, type of teaching, how his ball membership is gonna play. ‘Bron’s certainly one of them.
“Like, we’ll be going into Philly tonight, he’ll be like, ‘They simply employed their new defensive coach, however he was at Georgetown for 3 years, and I performed for him one time at camp, and that is how he is gonna play us.’ And you are like, ‘What?”
James will simply remember to inform everybody about it.