For years, critics screamed for LeBron James to take advantage of his physical gifts and punish defenders in the low post.
This past season, James finally listened, and it helped lead to an NBA championship for the Miami Heat. Going forward, LeBron says that he will be in the post a lot more.
From a Q&A with HoopsHype:
You took fewer three-pointers this season. LJ: “I just changed my approach. I decided to stay away from the three-point line and going to the post. Make it a little bit easier for myself and for my teammates. I got more and more comfortable going down there and it was a success.” How do you think your game is going to evolve in upcoming seasons? Are you going to become more of a post player? LJ: “I can see that happening. I feel very comfortable down there, more comfortable than I’ve ever felt in my career. So I would see myself down there a lot more, and work my game from there.”
You became an unpopular player among many NBA fans once you signed with the Heat. Did you make a conscious effort to change that, to become more liked by people? LJ: “I don’t care if I’m more liked or more wanted by people. People are going to have opinions about me no matter what. For me, as a player, I’ll try to do what it takes to win, and off the court I am who I am. I can’t change what people think about me.” Do you feel people like you more now? LJ: “I don’t know. I don’t go searching for it.” […] How would you define your career in one word? LJ: “Not satisfied. I’m not done. I’m 27, 10 years in… I don’t have a word for my career right now.”
This is a natural (and logical) step for players to take as they evolve. Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant posted up more and more as they aged, and those guys turned out OK.
LeBron James has the added advantage of seeking out the post before he loses any of his athletic gifts, which is very bad news for the rest of the League.