Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 10:00 am  |  80 responses

Meet LeBron James, Power Forward

With Shaq on his team now, James says he’ll dabble a lot more with the 4 spot: “Now that I have Shaq on my team I don’t need to play much center because he can definitely do that and he needs no help with doing that so I could play some power forward,’ James told reporters in the Chinese capital on a 10-stop tour of the world. ‘I do not have a problem with doing that. It kind of all depends on the team you are going against or the match.”‘

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  • carter

    I was so optimistic about shaq in cleveland, I’m starting to think it will be a disaster. Shaq stole steve nashs tv show idea, he’ll try and overshadow lebron.

  • AlbertBarr

    Will he actually start posting people up then? He irritates me with his jump shooting and perimeter play. Take it to the hoop! Post some mutha’s up!

  • http://www.infamousklav.blogspot.com Klav

    LBJ @ pf, whatta mismatch for whoever guards him. only 4 i can think of who can somewhat match his versatility playing a 4 is Odom.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    There were several predictions that this guy (Bron) would end up being a PF due to his body, but he’d be unique.
    My first reaction to this was simply ‘wth?’ though. So I will assume that he was joking with reporters. Sarcasm can be hard to portray through print-media..

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    THANK YOU! There is not a single 4 in the league that can stay in front of him. He doesn’t really need to post them up that much with Shaq down low. He can take em to school from the high post like he did with Pietrus on 10 possessions in a row. Bron played a lot of 4 actually last year. They would often put Wally or Sasha at the 3 for stretches. I expect Bron to be the starting 3 and the backup 4 (JJ ain’t ready. Kinda like Pau in LA (starting 4, back up 5).

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Cheryl

    Man, to be a fly on the wall in that lockerroom.

  • Young Lebron 23

    @ Klav, Odom is a good comparison because him and lebron are both versatile but lebron will be better because he is more athletic and stronger making him even more as a mismatch

  • http://www.infamousklav.blogspot.com Klav

    @Young LBJ is just a freak of nature, anybody who can remotely guard him or slow him down gets props. given, the only way to truly shut him down is force him to shoot jumpers, given that is one of his biggest weakest as an overall player. nobody can stop him except himself, if he gets a jumper like MJ or Kobe, thats game over.

  • http://www.infamousklav.blogspot.com Klav

    *weak points

  • http://claydefayette@yahoo.com CDef28

    But they have Varejao. He is all the power forward they need.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    “Now that I have Shaq on my team I don’t need to play much center because he can definitely do that and he needs no help with doing that so I could play some power forward,” Um…when did he play Center???

  • vongustedt

    What will he be able to guard Pf on the defensive end e.g. him vs dirk/timmy d, hell get schooled.

  • vongustedt


  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    He’d hold his own vs most PF’s though. TD and Dirk are exceptions.

  • http://claydefayette@yahoo.com CDef28

    Cosign Wayno. Does LeBron understand the positions in basketball, or does he think he’s the whole team? I’m saying no and yes.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    LeBron does not sleep. He waits.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    @Wayno, CDef28: Bron played a little at Center last year. Specifically against the Hornets when David West was playing most of his minutes at the 5.
    Thanks for coming out.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Tell ‘em, Anton. Tell ‘em.

  • Ken

    I’m not sold yet on the whole angle of Shaq helping things out for LBJ basketball-wise. Last year, the Cavs did well by clearing the hell out of the paint so LBJ could move around down there. That’s why Z was a good fit, because he plays more outside. With Shaq down there clogging the lane, it’ll be harder for LBJ to get in the paint and do damage. Look what happened to Amare’s effectiveness once Shaq arrived.

  • http://www.shoenut.blogspot.com ShoeNut

    Shaq will not help the Cavs, he will just slow them down just like he did in Phoenix. I bet Bron will have to carry this team again.

  • http://slamonline.com Jacob J

    I agree with Ken. I dont think the cavs are going to play as well with shaq I think they are going to be a 3rd seed when the playoffs come around. I think the cavs should’ve worried about getting sheed somebody that can guard Dwight Howard and is versitle. I think Celtics go all the way!

  • Marcos Zapater

    That’s not exactly right, Shaq could play inside just fine with Penny, Kobe and Wade. The reason he broke up with those cats is because he needs a lot of room for that ego. How long before we get those “you gotta feed the big dog, can you dig it?” comments? He’ll be a nice addition bball wise, average 14/8 in some 60 games in the regular season. I just don’t see them getting past a healthy Celtics team.

  • TADOne

    With all of his skills, i’m pretty sure you shouldn’t peg LeBron with a particular position on the floor. 1-4 he can play them all.

  • Marcos Zapater

    Actually, even though I’m a Lakers’ fan, I doubt that a healthy Celts’ team is gonna lose this year. Just too much quality. If they meltdown a’la Blazers/00′, should we start considering Sheed an all-time choker? He’s got some nice bombs in his playoff career.

  • dial up

    what an idiot, lebron never plays center cuz he has no post moves whatsoever. Just cuz he’s right next to the basket for one possesion doesn’t mean he’s a center. Lebron has such horrible d, i hope he’s a pf against all the elite teams. He’d get killed.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Th3_R3al_Chris Young Chris MP3

    You all do realize he’s 6’8″, 250 right? He has a power forwards body. With that said, I would take this as comedy. He is about to host WWE ala Shaq, and has done SNL, after all.

  • UnRel

    just cause he plays at the 4 doesn’t mean he’ll match up with other PFs.. it’s not a video game.. if bron is at the 4.. him at TD/Dirk won’t be matched up against eachother.. that’s just stupid..

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Its about time,now I expect 10 boards a game.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown


  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    1- Shaq clogging the lane is a myth. Centers stay down low, duh. Are Pau and Bynum clogging the lane for Kobe? Kobe, Penny and especially Wade all drove the lane with Shaq on the block too.
    2- Was Z such a good fit with all those bricks from the elbow against Orlando?
    3- TD is not going to be shut down. That’s like saying that someone can’t defend pgs because CP3 lit him up. Bron is 6’8-6’9, 260+ with tremendous hops and quickness. He’s actually bigger than most full time 4s.
    4- If Dirk can be effectively guarded by Stack Jack, he can be guarded by Bron.
    5- You guys do realize that he spent time at the 4 last year, right?

  • http://www.sprint.com/sero dma

    This whole Shaq experiment is going to flop harder than Andy.

  • tavoris

    Lebron does play center. The center of his UNIVERSE.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    tavoris with the zinger! ahahahahahahahahahahha. center… of his universe! get it?

  • http://facebook.com/jasennielsen jbn74sb

    At least LeBron has somebody on his team now worse at free throws than he is.

  • Yesse

    Whats up with this Shaq hating?He did not steal Steve’s show.I dont even find much same things about them and Shaq is doing different sports and i think he is more all around sports than Nash, altough Nash is a great soccer player.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    LeBron is Karl Malone + pre-injury Grant Hill…size to play in the frontcourt with the skills to play positions 1-4…Downright scary…

  • Chris

    Does this mean LeBron’s working on a post game. Give the guy a drop step, up and under, and a reliable hook shot with either hand (and I realize that this is more than 90% of centers and power forwards in the league) combined with his handle and first step, and he’d be unstoppable on the block.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Give the guy a drop step, up and under, and a reliable hook shot with either hand… so you expect to work the block better than TD then? lol let’s chill with the expectations. He has shown flashes of a reliable right handed jump hook and a turn around J.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    If LeBron can hit the Bernard King turnaround on the block, you can book him for 33 ppg. That move made King literally un-guardable. Just ask the Pistons.

  • la huey

    Aside from the ego, I don’t see how Shaq is anything but an upgrade for Cleveland. Shaq slowing them down? Yeah, because Ilgauskas was running the break like Shawn Kemp in his prime. Clogging the lane? At worst, Shaq’s defender helps and LBJ gets an easy assist or Shaq cleans the glass.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Teddy, he could avg 33 ppg just by looking more for his. In his 3rd year, he avg 31.5 ppg on 23 shots. (in comparion, Kobe had 35 on 27 shots in his most productive season, scoring-wise) But that’s not when he’s most efficient. Usually, the Cavs play much better when he scores in the high 20s.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/christopher_sells-authorHV106.html chiqo

    no one helps off of shaq. no one with brains anyway. the double would come off of varejao or whatever other offensively inept player is on the floor.

  • tavoris

    agreed chiqo…However, I think
    ALL the space Shaq consumes is gonna do much more harm than good (as it’s kinda hard to drive the lane when you have 5 defenders focused on u, as well as one teammates ALWAYS in your way to the hoop). I hope Lebron is workin on that mid-range J…

  • http://slamonline.com 360vue

    this brief article highlights alot about LBJ. Firstly, that he is a complete and utter moron. Center? STFU. “I don’t need to play much center” He has no low post set so what is he onabout? He shouldnt even be considering it, its not his job and he doesnt even know to do it. Egotistical tool.

    However, the article also shows that his game is demonically good. He could defo scrape a game at PF or a few mins while Varejao rests, but just that and not much more. Starting 82 games at PF, and im sorry “King” fans to say this infront of u, but he would get destroyed… Realisitically, in the L only Odom can compare for versatility. LBJ should stick to dominating SFs and guards

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    tavoris, you’re kinda dense aren’t you? big men stay down low (pause). shaq has never prevented a star wing from getting to the cup (kobe, penny, wade). why would that change with lbj? what does clogging the lane even mean in practical terms? for as long as ive played basketball, there was always a big waiting for a pass when i was driving. is that clogging the lane?

  • izzo


  • tavoris

    Z…no need for the insult, dude…the point is the Shaq of NOW is nowhere near as nimble of Shaq of 2005, much less ’95. Also look at how LITTLE off-the-ball movement Cleveland’s offense has (even last year). Even further, Shaq has NEVER had a teammate that was the complete centerpiece of every team’s defensive attention. I can keep going, but Shaq has also almost always had a 4-man on the front line that could draw the defense away with a better-then-average midrange J. Unless you think Shaq and Ilgauskas will play on the floor together, there will be NOBODY to draw the defense away. Do you need me to keep going, or am I still dense enough for you? geez…Also, IN CASE YOU’VE NEVER WATCHED THE CAVS, their big man of the last decade (Z) has been shooting midrange J’s for the last 4 seasons. As has just about every PF and Center not names Shaq or Duncan. Heck, even Yao Ming operated from the High post (which is NOT down low).

    you should know better by now than to try to insult while also using “dated” stereotypes of how the NBA game is played. The local Y doesn’t play that game, dude.

  • BostonBaller

    LBJ playing center against 1 guy in a couple of guys does not constitute playing the position. lol LBJ can run the point on the fast break but again, that does not constitute playing that position. Many players lead the break and even distribute the ball from the top of the key from time to time but you can’t say they play the point…I’m just saying… Either way, he is a Beast and must be feared.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    I just cant stop laughing.

  • JL

    I think a lineup of
    PG Mo SG Parker/West SF Bron PF Z C Shaq will be kickass. Just not very fast… haha. They still don’t have anyone who can guard elite PFs though. Varejao is just an embarassment.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ tavoris: Yao did work downlow, too. He was versatile enough to play both blocks.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    tavoris: 1- a nimble big has no outcome whatsoever on a wing driving to the basket. 2- samaki walker. horace grant. stoudemire. all people that draw defenses away, right? 4- do you really want me to list 4 and 5s that play down low? like seriously? i could totally see how dwight prevented the magic from driving to the hole, right? 5- clogging the lane is a MYTH. and there hasn’t been ANY evidence of shaq preventing people from driving to the hoop EVER. and now you’re assuming that because he’s older, he’ll SUDDENLY (because it has NEVER happen before) clog the lane for lebron? BS. Was Dwight ‘clogging’ the lane for him and D-Wade at the Olympics?

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Now, if you would have said that Shaq might slow down the Cavs’ fastbreak like he did for the Suns, then I would have said that you know what you are talking about. And even that is somewhat meaningless since the Cavs are a halfcourt team. Clogging the lane is a convenient concept to think about basketball in simplistic terms. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum stay down low all the time. Hasn’t prevented Kobe from slashing. TD owns the block, hasn’t prevented Manu from slashing. Dwight didn’t stop Turk from getting to the hoop either. The age argument is even weaker when you consider that Shaq looked better last year than when he clogged the lane all the way to a tile with D-Wade.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    All he has to do is keep driving through the lane jump up or into some one and get the call and try to make and 1, this is his signature move, need to add to NBA2K10. The right analog jump into player call shot, with 5 seconds left on the shot clock, because I won’t go in a gym and try to master my jumpshot, which can make me unstoppable.

  • Lonnie Long

    LJ can play any position on the court including ref, coach, trainer, water boy and announcer…

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Hursty Posted: Aug.25 at 10:15 am
    There were several predictions that this guy (Bron) would end up being a PF due to his body, but he’d be unique.
    My first reaction to this was simply ‘wth?’ though. So I will assume that he was joking with reporters. Sarcasm can be hard to portray through print-media..
    Is it Hursty? I wouldn’t have thought that…

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    So that Verajoa resigning…? Necessesary or not so much.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Is it what Dacre? I’m confused.
    The actual article that is linked doesn’t explain much either.

  • Dyce

    Having a dominant big man does not clog the lane. You put him on one block, post him up reverse the ball and drive from the other side of the floor. The only way defenders clog the lane against the cavs is if they arent hitting the open jumpers that oneal and lebron are going to create.

  • rog123

    Hursty, I think dacre was using sarcasm. Just a wild guess

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/christopher_sells-authorHV106.html chiqo

    i don’t think it’s impossible for a big man to be in the way when his wing wants to drive all the way to the rim, nor as ridiculous a concept as some suggest. ideally your big slides up the lane when your guard drives, taking his defender with him. for a player such as shaq, who isn’t a threat outside of five feet or so and usually has the attention of two players, those defenders have no real reason to follow him and can continue to guard the rim. so it’s possible, but not completely true, especially with the defensive three second rule.

  • http://slamonline.com niQ

    Why don’t they just play him at the 1 then. He pretty much leads his team in assists anyways.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Co-sign chiqo. Well put!

  • rog123

    they should play bron at one more than just the 4 quarter. He will have trouble with fast guards but he can keep up with vets like nash and kidd. Also he can keep up with many 2nd string pgs

  • Dagger

    Do any of you guys actually watch basketball? Lebron’s statistics while he played PF last year (which he did for stretches) were significantly higher than his already insane stats at the SF spot. Oh, and he played PF in the Olympics too. And yeah, he’s 6’9″ and 270, he’s plenty big enough to be a PF . . . .

  • http://kingakai.com Alpha-bet

    I didn’t catch EVERY Cleveland game last year and all but….when the f–k did LeBron ever play center?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Z: I’d say Shaq blocked the lane from Amare Stoudemire. How can you deny that Shaq made Amare less effective by camping down low? For starters, it gave Amare a lot less room to work with in the post, and having Shaq there took away many of his shots. This case is a little bit different from a perimeter player slashing, but Amare is a high-post leaper and we all saw his game become less effective with Shaq down low.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/christopher_sells-authorHV106.html chiqo

    i don’t care what position lebron plays as long as grimace doesn’t completely rely on 1-4 sets in tough games. feel free to use the other players on the floor for something other than decoration.

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    Z: Not saying you’re entirely wrong, but Shaq pretty much clogged the lane for the entire Phoenix team. Not saying it’s going to effect Lebron much (Lebron drives in a straight line with the ball in his hands… Amare was hurt because Nash would like to run under the basket and kick out, or run straight in with Amare next to him, which required more room under the basket. But I digress).

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I thought about Phx when I was making my statement: they have no slashers. Amare is not a high post leaper but a finisher, straight up. He doesn’t drive to the hole but roams around the basket. Nash on the other doesn’t slash to the basket but likes to probe and STAY inside while keeping his dribble alive waiting for a cutter. The PHX game is not meant for someone to post up. In short, I stand by my comment: Shaq will not hinder LeBron’s forays to the hoop in any way.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    s’cuse me, what the hell is he on about? when did he EVER play or guard at the 5 spot. Dude, we know you can do practically everything on the court, but settle down, you are/were no center. Maybe in High school where you were a beast among teens, other than that, cool it.
    As for the whole invasion of China by Nba stars this summer (Kobe, CP3, Bron, Iguodala, D-Rose etc) Adidas & Nike need to chill or combine these cats into one huge summer traveling circus. seems like it’s every other week i read about an Nba star in Asia these past few months. Give us a Dream team and make em travel around, ask us to pay for all i care and make it interesting… come on Shoe Execs.

  • Vikturus

    I think Lebron just messed around in that interview. Wasn’t like he had to carry the center load earlier. And Shaq with Lebron will be awesome!

  • Ryan D

    Shaq is a bummmmmmm and a media whore, maybe he should pick up his acting and rapping career again.

  • COLT6

    LeCrybaby playing 4? KG will murder his @ss! And no, Shaq’s addition to the Cavs will not derail a healthy Celtics team bound for the 2k10 Finals. As for the Magic: Imagine Dwight Howard against three of his worst nightmares downlow: KG, Perk and Sheed. I don’t see VC getting the better of the Truth. Barring any major injuries…Lakers VS. Celts for the pennet next year. Nice to see you still alive Jukai.

  • tavoris

    All of you who think that Shaq won’t get in Lebron’s way fail to see how Shaq has got in EVERYBODY’s way the last 3 seasons. Love him, but his lack of mobility is a hindrance. And if you don’t realize how much traditional basketball standards DO NOT apply to Shaq, then I don’t know wha tI can say. Cleveland’s offense was improved (simply because they tried something differed once or twice a game), but they still rely too much on “give lebron the ball and get out his way”. That’s kinda hard when one player takes up so much space.

  • tavoris

    teddy…I know Yao operates from the block, but Rick Adelman has posted him at the high post most of the time the past 2 years. That was the first change Adelman made when he got there.

  • Dunlop 23

    i think it will be great for the cavs to have shaq, lebron can do anything on the court anytime, and with a strong dominant post player they will be unbeatable, if brons having a shit game shaq can take over vise versa

  • ConeyIslander

    LeBron vs NBA 4′s = CHEATING! smh

  • e

    it’s about the ring. some taught that last year cleveland would win it all.

    wh’s laughing now

  • stax

    melo would b a better 4, sure lebron is bigger and stronger than most 4s in the league already 6’8 1/2″ & 270lb, DAMN! but he still dont know how to use it, he aint got no post game, in high school he was da biggest person on da team but he played the 2, melo is the best low post wing player in the league, i’d rank him top 10 including pf & c. better game than d. howard, he just athletic & big az hell, if he had melo post game = best center ever, even had melo the startin 4 in the olympics