Erik Spoelstra claims he would’ve loved to have LeBron James run the center spot on the Miami Heat for him in the early 2010s.
LeBron James is quite the positional anomaly. It’s clear with his skillset that he’s fit to be a point guard on any team in the NBA. His awareness of everything that is going on, on the court at all times while also being able to snag assists that a mere 1% of the league could actually convert into made buckets is what makes him so special.
Apart from having Magic Johnson-esque passing abilities, his 6’9, 250lb physique allows him to barrel through opposing defenders at will. Even at 37 years of age, LeBron James has showcased the ability to drive into the lane at will and finish with either hand, drawing contact on a handful of these drives.
One position that James hasn’t dabbled in all too much however, is the center spot. That is, until this season. With Anthony Davis out due to injury and having a non-shooter like Russell Westbrook on the team, James at center makes sense.
The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t had an abundance of success with the 4x champ at center but it’s clear that without AD, it’s much better to have him on the court without Dwight Howard.
Erik Spoelstra on LeBron James playing the center position.
The Miami Heat underperformed in several people’s eyes. With LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh manning the helm, the Heat managed to squeak out merely 2 championships when many considered them to be on a early 2000s Lakers type trajectory at the very least.
When talking about having faced off against LeBron and the Lakers last, Erik Spoelstra, a man who coached James on the Heat, said that he would’ve loved to have James run the 5.
“Shoot, if I knew LeBron was going to play the 5 we would have done that a decade ago.” — Erik Spoelstra
— Wes Goldberg (@wcgoldberg) January 24, 2022
Credit to the Miami Heat in 2012-13 and 2013-14 for moving Chris Bosh to the 5, replacing Joel Anthony as this was the right step into having an agile, shooting big-man at the center spot.
With Bosh on the team, it would’ve been quite awkward to have him run the power forward spot while LeBron James was at the 5. However, it would’ve been a great experimental lineup change nonetheless.