“I took the bet while I was still shooting the ball”
Eighteen years into his NBA career, LeBron James is still finding new ways to impress.
The Lakers picked up an easy win over the Rockets in Houston on Tuesday—it was so easy, in fact, that LeBron and his teammates were showboating in the middle of the second quarter. With just under eight minutes left before halftime, LeBron found himself wide open in front of the Los Angeles bench for a corner three attempt. He took his time to get both feet behind the arc, pump fake and throw up the shot. The moment it left his hands, he turned around to stare at his teammates on the bench.
Once the shot fell, the bench went into a frenzy.
What LeBron revealed after the game about the shot makes it even cooler. If you look closely at the closeup angle at the end of the video, you can see Dennis Schröder saying something to LeBron as he prepares to shoot. LeBron told reporters that Schröder said to him, “Bet you won’t make it.”
“I took the bet while I was still shooting the ball,” James said. “In order to make a bet official, you’ve either got to have a handshake or you’ve got to look a man in the eye. I turned around, looked him in the eye and said, ‘Bet.’”
The confidence and presence of mind to be aware of what Schröder said, and immediately acknowledge it while having faith that you’re not going to miss and look stupid is ridiculous. There was a risk that LeBron could have ended up embarrassing himself like former Laker Nick Young, but he’s too smart to let that happen.
LeBron’s shot called to mind Stephen Curry, who does the no-look celebration all the time.
“When you shoot the ball as beautifully and effortlessly and precisely as Steph does, he has the ultimate ultra-green light to do that, because ten times out of nine it’s going in for Steph,” James said.
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