‘Me shooting 40 percent at the foul line is just God’s way of saying that nobody’s perfect. If I shot 90 percent from the line, it just wouldn’t be right.’ Shaq attributed his biggest flaw to God’s fairness, and Rick Barry did the same with LeBron James.
God does some interesting things, and what he did with LeBron, he didn’t allow him to become a great shooter. He only has one chink in his armor; he’s never been a great shooter.Rick Barry, 1-ON-1 with Rick Barry
Rick made a big stink about it when LeBron was a couple of years into his NBA career, as he blamed the coaching staff for not correcting the major flaw in his game – shooting with his elbow out. And Barry is right; when you do look at the pictures of LeBron from his early days in the NBA, his shooting hand elbow really does stick out.
It’s one of those basketball 101s that, if not done properly, affect the shooter’s accuracy, not letting the shot travel straight. With all the gifts God did give LeBron, his biggest flaw derived from a poor habit he picked up during his early days. A habit that none of his coaches pointed to, causing James to struggle with his outside shooting for the first half of his NBA run.
Once this was addressed, James became much more respectable as a shooter, especially from behind the line. He reached his peak in Miami when for the first and only time in his 17-year NBA career, LBJ shot over .400 from the three-point line. Now, imagine if the elbow thing had been corrected earlier. Imagine if his shooting potential had been unlocked at the age of 15, instead of in his mid-20s. If he was an 80% free-throw shooter and a 40% three-point shooter, they would have to outlaw him.
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1-ON-1 with RICK BARRY (link in bio) Rick Barry on LeBron's shooting form and how it has improved throughout the years. Barry calls LeBron's shot "God's equalizer" and jokes if he was a better shooter the NBA would have to outlaw him because he'd be impossible to guard. #rickbarry #lebronjames
Now, with how dominant LeBron is, he’s still on the verge of having to be outlawed. So it may be a good thing he did develop a poor shooting habit when he was young. It keeps the playing field somewhat level.