Tony Dejak/Associated Press
Former Toronto Raptors star DeMar DeRozan will tell you about it firsthand.
During an appearance on J.J. Redick’s podcast, The Old Man & The Three, DeRozan detailed one of the most absurd things he’s ever seen James do during a game, and it didn’t even take place when the ball was in play. As DeRozan tells it, during the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals, the then-Cleveland Cavaliers star instructed his opponents on how to run their own play.
Here’s DeRozan’s description (h/t Jack Maloney of CBS Sports):
“I remember—I don’t know if I even told nobody other than my close circle—I remember, it was a play we was trying to run and one of our teammates forgot the play, and ‘Bron told him the play. Like it was some crazy s–t. We calling a play and he was like, ‘what?’ And Bron told him what our play was. It just shows you how locked in this dude be when it comes to winning time. You see it on both ends man, both ends. That’s just a testament to who he is, why he’s been to 10 Finals, why he’s on the verge of getting his fourth ring, everything. It’s crazy.”
Perhaps it’s no coincidence the Cavs eliminated the Raptors in six games that year.
When the guy you’re competing against knows his opponent’s playbook better than his opponents do—and happens to be the best player in the world, to boot—you can pretty much count on going home empty-handed.