This really shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, because life is cruelly unfair, LeBron James has a photographic memory.
It may have taken a while for LeBron and new Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt to meet, but they’re very much on the same page when it comes to the playbook.
James has been barking orders to his teammates during practices, as he has grasped (in a very short amount of time) total command of Blatt’s intricate offensive schemes.
Per CBS Sports:
In addition to a deep appreciation for winning and the sacrifice it requires, Blatt and James also share what can only be described as a photographic memory for basketball plays. James can tell you who was guarding him and how for shots that he made or missed in playoff games everyone else has long since forgotten. He can tell you, for example, that James Posey went under J.J. Hickson’s screen and Kevin Garnett was a step slow to close out as he hit a 3-pointer on his way to 45 points (to Paul Pierce’s 41) in Game 6 of the 2008 Eastern Conference semifinals in Boston (The Celtics won 97-92, one of several Boston daggers that eventually drove James from Cleveland to Miami in 2010).
The [Cavs’] coaching staff retreated to their [Monday] evening meeting, which lasted 30 minutes or so. When they emerged, what they saw was heartening, if not particularly surprising: There was James on the practice floor with four teammates, marching them through the intricacies of Blatt’s offensive system from the perspective of each position, one through five. James had already mastered them all.
James already has begun parroting some of Blatt’s catch phrases, as he did with [Erik] Spoelstra in Miami — a superficial sign, at least, that the two are connecting. “No wasted days,” is a rally cry James and Blatt are singing in unison. As for the pressure that comes with the talent, so far James seems to be making an effort to have his coach’s back. […] “He shouldn’t try to impress anyone,” James said. “People get caught up in trying to impress people instead of being who you are and what you stand for. We know what he stands for. We know what he’s here to do, and that’s to lead us and win ballgames.”