The legendary Hubie Brown, the former ABA and NBA coach and now a terrific television and radio broadcaster, used to have a rule when his teams played against Julius Erving.
He ordered his players to foul The Doctor every time he got out on the break.
"He was the only player in the ABA who could turn your building against you, Brown said of Erving. "They had to foul him from halfcourt before he got to the foul line to elevate, because once he got in the air, it was over. So we would fine our guys.
"His moves coming on the break, whether down the middle or down the right side -- he did things that I have never seen done before or since to turn the sellout crowd in a building in his favor. I've never seen anything like it."
Perhaps current NBA coaches should apply the same rule to LeBron James. The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar has the same innate ability Brown describes Erving having -- he can take over your building.
Which is just what James did to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night at Spectrum Center. On the night he matched Michael Jordan by scoring in double figures for the 866th consecutive game, James put on another dazzling display, posting 41 points, eight assists and 10 boards in a 118-105 conquest of the Hornets.
As Cavaliers acting coach Larry Drew removed him from the game with 1:31 to play and Cleveland leading, 115-98, the appreciative Charlotte crowd stood and expressed appreciation for what they (apologies) witnessed, raining down "M-V-P!" chants on James.
In turn, James acknowledged the crowd with a smile and a wave.
James' teammate, J.R. Smith, said what happened Wednesday night in Charlotte is the norm for James, with one exception.
“Other than Golden State, where fans actually boo him, everywhere we go he gets a standing ovation,” Smith said after Wednesday night's game, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. “It’s like watching Michael Jackson on tour.
"It’s pretty dope.”
Which brings us back to Brown and Dr. J.
"Even if we were in the penalty, I would take my chances on him going one for two as opposed to him elevating from the foul line, holding the ball like it was a baseball and then doing these whirlwind dunks that were of a nature that was just absolutely incredible," Browns said. "Nobody had ever seen anything like this. We also did that in the NBA when I coached Atlanta and New York, for the same reasons."