LeBron James' 'Biggest Superpower' Is Sharing Basketball IQ, Iman Shumpert Says

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Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) high fives guard Iman Shumpert (4) during a timeout  in the first half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

There is little LeBron James can’t do on the basketball court. He’s an overpowering force attacking the rim, a capable facilitator who is leading the league in assists this season and a three-time champion who has come through in the clutch throughout his career.  

However, former teammate Iman Shumpert believes James’ “biggest superpower” is sharing what he knows with others.

“It’s like he has to share basketball knowledge with people. It might be his biggest superpower,” Shumpert said in an interview on VladTV.

Shumpert played with James on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-15 through 2017-18, helping capture the 2016 title and reach the NBA Finals four times in a row.

He has witnessed firsthand how James uses that basketball knowledge to read and react to defenses, especially when double teams come his way. Shumpert is one of a number of wing players who have benefited from the open looks the King creates just from his presence on the floor and ability to dish to open shooters.

Shumpert is far from the only one to recognize James’ basketball IQ.

“There’s a lot of people in the league with LeBron’s body,” Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said, per Melissa Rohlin of Sports Illustrated. “There’s no one in the league with his brain.”

Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd believes it will help the 35-year-old remain on the floor for years to come.

“It’s going to help him play until he’s 40,” Kidd said, per Rohlin. “… His IQ is always going to help him because he’s going to be able to take less steps, right? Instead of running a six-mile race, he can run a five-mile race just because of his IQ.”

Kidd was also known for his ability to read opposing defenses and set up his teammates for ideal shots as a triple-double threat every time he stepped on the floor. He has seen James work his magic from the Lakers’ bench this season and recognized that ability.

James has plenty of superpowers when it comes to basketball, but he will surely need that knowledge to navigate the daunting Western Conference playoffs if and when the season resumes from the current suspension of play due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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