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Magic Johnson sees himself, Larry Bird in LeBron James

Lakers, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, LeBron James

Magic Johnson has watched LeBron James play for 17 years and has seen his game evolve as a student of the game. The Los Angeles Lakers legend can tell The King still has traces of his own game as well as Larry Bird’s.

During Friday’s iteration of ESPN’s First Take, the dime maestro lauded James’ vision and his gift for passing the basketball.

Transcript via Lou Flavius of TalkBasket:

“LeBron is just like Larry and myself, and he is so unbelievable when he’s coming down the court, his head is up,” Johnson told Max Kellerman. “He’s always willing to make the pass to make his teammates better, but also two, he can go down the middle and dunk on you.”

James is a natural playmaker, but this 2019-20 season has allowed him to blossom as the clear-cut assist king of the league, besting all players with an average of 10.6 dimes per game this season with the Lakers.

Now armed with a star teammate in Anthony Davis, James has settled into a secondary role, focusing on his playmaking and running the offense more so than scoring the basketball.

Johnson knows what it’s like to quarterback the action as well as what it means to step up for his team with his flashes of brilliance scoring the ball.

James might not have the syrupy-sweet stroke of Larry Legend himself, but he has the deft cognitive vision that made him a great team player besides his shooting gifts.

LeBron has studied the stars of the past and learned from them, so it should come as no surprise to see his name mentioned among the best of the best.