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LeBron takes ‘walking the dog’ to an entirely new level (VIDEO)

Jan 1, 2013, 1:01 PM EDT

With under two minutes remaining in overtime of Miami’s game against the Magic on Monday, the Heat were trailing, and wanted to preserve every precious second on the clock to ensure enough possessions were available for the team to come back and get this victory.

They got it down the stretch, but time ended up not being a factor. That didn’t stop LeBron James from “walking the dog” perhaps earlier than necessary, a move which prevents the clock from starting while the ball rolls up the floor before a player decides to touch it.

Chris Paul is the most famous for this tactic, though now it’s done by players all over the league. But it seemed unnecessary at this point, especially in the cavalier nature (no pun intended) that James chose to use to execute it.

As the ball rolls slowly into the front court, James is not huddled closely beside it in a protective stance, nor does he seem concerned that anyone from the other team would dare try to take it. He walks calmly upright, before picking it up just as the timeline is crossed.

Josh McRoberts briefly pretends as though he is going to contest, but even that minimal effort from the opponent doesn’t phase James in the lightest.

There seems to be value in this tactic when saving time is a necessity, though it doesn’t appear that was the case in this situation. Either way, and as if the opposing team wasn’t fully aware, James made a statement with this play.

He reaffirmed to the Magic that he is the best player in the game today, and that there’s no one on that roster who would dare challenge his abilities — even as he taunts them with such a brash display of being loose with the basketball.

  1. eventhorizon04 - Jan 1, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    “He reaffirmed to the Magic that he is the best player in the game today, and that there’s no one on that roster who would dare challenge his abilities — even as he taunts them with such a brash display of being loose with the basketball.”

    ….I wouldn’t go that far.

    My take is that Josh McRoberts debated going for the ball, but understood that LeBron has a significant footspeed advantage over him (to put it mildly).
    That meant that if he went for the ball but didn’t grab it before LeBron picked it up, LeBron would have easily blown by him.
    That would lead to the following situation: LeBron James dribbling full-speed to the basket with no defender in front of him.
    That’s an “unfavorable” situation for McRoberts’ team, so McRoberts wisely opted to play conservatively rather than go for a low-percentage gamble that likely would have screwed over his team.

    If I’m a coach, there are only a handful of defenders in the NBA I’d trust to be aggressive in that situation without compromising the defense. Josh McRoberts certainly isn’t one of those guys, and McRoberts knows that.

  2. patriots55 - Jan 1, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Lebron is the best player in the world

  3. basketballhooper1 - Jan 1, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    And this is news???

  4. raidmagic - Jan 1, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    First off James did step in his path as he came up to the ball and secondly I’m quite sure this isn’t the way James chose to show everyone he’s the best player in the world. I’m not any good as basketball but I’m pretty sure I could walk next to a rolling ball and pick it up before a guy that is 20′ away could get it.

  5. davidly - Jan 1, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    raidmagic wins the thread:
    Not only did James step in the way of the ball, I’d say it qualifies as a flinch. I think he was trying to bait McRoberts into going for it so he could blow past him, but then lost his nerve and tried to play it off.

  6. donrwells3 - Jan 2, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    This isn’t some new thing…

  7. Joe - Jan 2, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Pet peeve: “faze” and “phase” are different words.

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