If you have ever watched a minute of basketball in the past decade it would be pretty obvious that LeBron James is one of the best players to ever grace the hardwood. James came into the NBA as the most hyped up prospect since Michael Jordan and, unbelievably, he has managed to live up to all of the hype. Now 15 years into his pro career, LeBron James is still going out there and playing at the peak of the entire league — and he isn’t afraid to change things up. This past off-season LeBron James dramatically changed the way he shot the basketball and now he is playing better than ever.
If you bought the saying that ‘old dogs can’t learn new tricks’ you would be wrong, at least regarding LBJ. This past off-season LeBron was forced to seriously look at his shooting motion due to an elbow injury that had popped up out of the blue. After the NBA Finals concluded and the Cavaliers fell short to Golden State, James would have to deal with emergency swelling in his elbow. The swelling got so bad that it actually ended up the size of a tennis ball. James had X-rays performed but they all came back negative. James noticed that he didn’t injure it during the post-season but that something felt ‘off’ about his shot. James said of his elbow, “I would get to here, and get right here, and it would just lock.”
So, seeing that the repeated stress of his shooting motion was hurting his body, James turned things around. Perhaps the best player to ever play the game, James would go on to dramatically change his shooting motion in an offseason in order to remain at the peak of his game. James said, “I’m at a point now in my career where I know if I need to make an adjustment here or there.” James didn’t need to have anything medically done to his elbow, outside of wearing a compression sleeve when he was working out, but he made adjustments to his form and noticed that the swelling and pain went away. James said, “I shoot it higher. When the swelling went down, I just continued to do the same motion.”
While it is still far too early into the 2017 season to make any grand proclamations of LBJ’s new form, it is notable that he is shooting better than ever to start the year. James is shooting 61% from the floor, 44% from beyond the arc, and 88% from the free throw line. It’s crazy to say, but James might be on the way to getting even better during his 15th year in the Association.