With how long LeBron James has been dominant, it’s easy to look past the absurdly impressive things he does on the court, from his one-handed, full-court outlet passes to his emphatic breakaway dunks. But on Tuesday against the Houston Rockets, James did something that caught everyone’s attention.
Well, everyone except for Anthony Davis.
“I was at the scorer’s table so I didn’t really hear what was going on,” Davis said after the Lakers’ 117-100 win over the Rockets on Tuesday. “I saw him pump fake and shoot it, and then I looked at the other end of the floor. Then I looked back and everybody was going crazy, so I just thought he made a shot, and then they were like ‘that’s tough, that’s tough.’
“And so I walked back down and I was like, ‘what happened?’ and they told me. I have yet to see it. I know it’s probably all over social media but I’m pretty sure it was pretty crazy.”
What Davis missed was a look-away corner 3-pointer from James. It’s something that other players have done — Steph Curry, most famously — but not James, who only started shooting the 3-ball with confidence a few years ago.
So what made James do it on Tuesday? A friendly wager.
“My teammate hit me with a bet on the sideline and I took the bet while I was still shooting the ball,” James said. “A bet isn’t official until you look a man in the eye so I had look him into the eye. I was able to win that one.”
That teammate was Dennis Schröder, as James would later confirm. Schröder said there no was no meaning behind the bet — he honestly doesn’t even know what made him say it — but he’s glad he did.
“I told him to bet a Benjamin on it,” Schröder said. “So, he took a dribble, shot it, turned around and said ‘bet.’ Then it went in. It was just legendary. He’s just such an amazing player, having fun out there. It’s nice to be a part of it ...
“We’re just always having fun. At practice, I think it’s just all about having fun and being happy at your job. I think everybody, when they wake up, they like to come to work. I think that’s pretty important for us.”
James will surely get his teammates off of their seats a few more times this season, but the fanfare around his shot on Tuesday was significant to him because of what it signified for his team and the chemistry they’ve built to this point in the season.
“I love my teammates, man,” James said. “We’ve got a great group of guys and we want to continue build what we’ve been doing on the road so far and tonight was another example of it.”