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Raptors’ Kyle Lowry thinks players must survive ‘The LeBron Effect’ to play alongside James

Kyle Lowry, Raptors, LeBron James, Lakers

Throughout 15-plus years of his career, one thing has proven true about playing next to LeBron James: it takes a special person to be able to handle what comes with it. From the incessant attention to the constant share of the blame that comes with playing next to such an idolized star in the NBA, every player who joins a LeBron team becomes a supporting act, which is something not everybody can handle.

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry has endured enough battles against LeBron James teams to see the consequences of it.

“It’s the LeBron Effect,” Lowry told Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. “He puts a lot of pressure on you, but he takes a lot of pressure off of you, too. You know what you’re getting. He’s earned that, but he’s human. If you’re a strong enough personality, you can handle it.”

Players like Kyle Korver have gone from being the potential salvation of the franchise upon joining the Cleveland Cavaliers in a trade, to being the scapegoat of the team’s struggles after several ghastly performances in the NBA Finals.

Kevin Love, known to be a double-double monster during his time in Minnesota, saw perhaps the biggest decline of any career, being used as a tertiary option and a glorified perimeter big man, just so he wouldn’t take up space in the middle for a barreling James.

It takes more than a strong personality, but also a willingness to redesign a set of skills to complement a player of LeBron James’ stature, a sacrifice many players may no longer be willing to make, as evidenced by the Los Angeles Lakers’ questionable offseason.