LeBron James: I’m jealous of how many shots Kevin Durant takes
LeBron James has never really been known for taking a ton of shots from the field. Considering he is one of the best scorers in NBA history, it is pretty remarkable how much LeBron shares the ball. He is averaging 26.0 points per game this season, which is tied for second in the NBA. He has done that by taking just 16.1 shots per game — the 18th most in the league.
Simply put, LeBron is efficient. His 59.1% shooting from the field this season is a career high. Kevin Durant, on the other hand, shoots a ton. He averages 19.4 shots per game and is shooting 49% from the field. Apparently LeBron envies that style of play.
“I get jealous sometimes when I look over at KD and he’s like 16-for-32 (from the field) and then 14-for-34. … Man,” James told ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh earlier this week. “I’m not much of a forced-shot guy. But there are games where I have it going, and then at the end of the game, I’m like, damn, I shot just 12-for-16? Why don’t I get up at least six or seven more? I definitely notice it.”
What’s ironic is that Durant recently criticized himself for “flat out shooting too much” and not getting his teammates involved. The Oklahoma City Thunder star tied a career high with 34 shot attempts in a loss to the Utah Jazz last week. Still, LeBron praised Durant’s courage.
“First of all, you have to have an unbelievable mindset to get up 30 shots,” James said. “I always think about it, though. If I get up high-20s, 30 shots a game, what could I do today, with the way I’m playing?”
LeBron has to keep guys like Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh involved, whereas the Thunder’s other big scorer, Russell Westbrook, has appeared in just 25 games this season because of various injuries. What works for one team doesn’t necessarily work for another, and Miami and Oklahoma City have almost identical records. For the most part, both LeBron and KD should just keep doing what they’re doing.