Doc Rivers on LeBron James: 'There's No One in the League with His Brain'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Doc Rivers of the LA Clippers react to a free throw during a 116-102 Clipper win at Staples Center on March 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

LeBron James is one of the most physically gifted athletes in the world, but some believe his mental traits help separate him from the pack.

"There's a lot of people in the league with LeBron's body," Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said, per Melissa Rohlin of Sports Illustrated. "There's no one in the league with his brain."

James has showcased his basketball IQ for years on the court, making incredible passes that few could replicate. While there has been a lot of focus on him climbing the all-time scoring rankings, he also sits eighth in NBA history with 9,298 career assists, ahead of Hall-of-Fame point guards like Isiah Thomas and Gary Payton.

The four-time MVP was leading the NBA with 10.6 assists per game this season before the hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, his brain has also impressed postgame with his ability to recall the action without even seeing game film.

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It has helped LeBron and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates come through with detailed scouting reports before and during games.

"He knows everybody," teammate Quinn Cook said. "He could be last guy on the bench on the team, but he knows he's left-handed, he's a shooter, don't go under him, he's a driver, stuff like that. He pays attention to the game, he watches the game and he studies."

This mentality is a major reason he has become a 16-time All-Star with three NBA titles.

Of course, James' memory also shines in less important areas.

"He knows every single song, every lyric," Avery Bradley said. "Yes, every song that I've heard come on. It doesn't matter how old it is. LeBron knows the song, 100 percent."  

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