LeBron James Explains Why He Developed His 3-Point Shot Late In His Career

LeBron James is shooting the ball better than ever and he speaks about developing his three-point shot in the latter stages of his career.

LeBron James Explains Why He Developed His 3-Point Shot Late In His Career

Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James put on a shooting masterclass against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night. James recorded 40 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists against the Nets while shooting 13-17 from the field and 9-10 from beyond the arc, and after the game, he spoke about developing that three-point shot later in his career.

“I don’t never have to lean on it (three-pointers) because I can do so much,” James said. “I can score at any level on the floor basically once I cross half court… But being able to have a growth mindset and be able to work on things that the league is changing to, the league is a heavy 3-point shooting league.”

James added that he is not someone who will shoot 12-15 threes a game but wants to be a good enough shooter to the point where teams have to respect him in that regard.

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“But I want to be respected, and teams have to play me from the outside,” James continued. “I know that’s still kind of one thing teams still want to be like, ‘Okay, if we have to give up something, we’d much rather him shoot the ball from the outside.’ Shooting the long ball and also making my free throws, that’s very important for me this season and last few seasons also.”

If there was ever such a thing as a flaw in James’ game for the first half of his NBA career, it was that he wasn’t a great outside shooter. Teams like the San Antonio Spurs would back off and allow him to shoot that three-pointer and the strategy worked. At this stage of his career, though, it isn’t something that has been all that effective.

LeBron is shooting a career-high 41.6% from three in this 2023-24 season, which is remarkable. He only ever shot over 40% in one other campaign, which was 2012-13 (40.6%). It makes little sense, but the 39-year-old is somehow getting better in certain areas in his 21st season in the league.

LeBron’s heroics against the Nets led to the Los Angeles Lakers coming away with a 116-104 win to improve to 42-33 on the season. The Lakers have now won six of their last seven games and while it is highly unlikely at this point that they finish in the top six in the West, they could get to seventh or eighth to get two chances in that Play-In Tournament, which could be huge.

LeBron James On How Much Longer He Expects To Play In The NBA

While James continues to perform at a high level, he believes the end is not all that far away for him. Following the game against the Nets, LeBron admitted his career is almost over.

“Not very long. I’m on the other side. I’m not gonna play another 21 years, that’s for damn sure. But not very long. I don’t know when that door will close as far as when I’ll retire. But I don’t have much time left.”

LeBron is averaging 25.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 8.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game this season and unless he suffers a severe injury, I think he can play for a couple more years. There still seems to be a fair bit of gas left in that tank to carry on and potentially win another championship.

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