Sometimes during interviews, basketball players will offer medical evaluations of their teammates, like Dr. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope recently giving his analysis of the “great progress” Anthony Davis was making as he looked to return from injury. Davis himself kept the trend going on Wednesday night, offering up his own suggestion for a therapeutic technique the Lakers training staff could try on LeBron James.
“First off, I think we might need to poke LeBron in the eye a lot more if he hits shots like that,” Davis said.
The “shot like that” Davis was referring to, of course, was James’ game-winning desperation three as the shot clock was running down.
ALL-ANGLES of @KingJames' LONG DISTANCE GAME-WINNER! @Lakers will be the West #7 seed in the #NBAPlayoffs and face #2 PHX in the First Round (Game 1 Sunday, 3:30pm/et on ABC) pic.twitter.com/CpEtashUc2— NBA (@NBA) May 20, 2021
That shot came, of course, after James was poked in the eye by Draymond Green, leading him to struggle with his vision. He could be seen blinking and trying to recover after laying on the ground for a while, and the training staff even gave him eye drops. By James’ own admission, it was not quite enough to take away the blurriness before his final shot.
“The first thing I did when KCP kicked it out was I looked at the shot clock. I saw I had to get it up and at least get it on the rim. The second thing I saw was three rims,” James said. “So I just aimed for the middle one. I’ve practiced enough, I work on my game, and through the man above and a lot of practice, I was able to drain it.”
And as a result of that make, the numbers suggest Davis may actually have a point. LeBron James with one working eye is actually a more effective shooter than regular old LeBron James, according to our statistical analysis:
So should the Lakers poke LeBron in the eye before every game? The analytics say maybe. But whether they go with the strategy or not moving forward, we can always remember this playoff moment with a shirt featuring LeBron’s advice:
In conclusion: MJ could never.
This sponsored post was published according to our guiding principles. It was also (hopefully obviously) satire. We do not recommend poking LeBron in the eye. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.