Saturday, August 4, 2012

LeBron remembers Lithuanians 2004 upset of Team USA

LeBron James remembers. Most people who have seen James play, marvel at his mind-boggling athletic prowess but one of the things that many people don’t know about James is he has an almost photographic memory.

It’s one of the reasons why James basketball IQ is so high. James’ memory of games and plays and situations is one of the reasons he can play at such a high level on such a consistent basis.

And not just on the offensive side of the ball where he is a virtual stat machine, his great memory also serves him well on the defensive end. Just ask Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

During their playoff series earlier this year, Rivers realized that James had memorized his play calls and that James was using that knowledge to get his Miami Heat teammates into the proper defense to defend those plays.

Rivers has one of the league’s biggest playbooks so once he saw that James was recognizing the plays he was calling, he knew his team was in trouble.

On Saturday, the Lithuanians got the chance to understand just why James is the NBA’s current MVP and world champion.

James was there eight years ago when the Lithuanians beat Team USA during a disappointing Bronze metal showing. So when Team USA found itself down by two with six minutes left to play versus the Lithuanians on Saturday, James went to Coach K and told him, “I got this.”

James wasn’t about to let what happened in 2004 happen again.

With scorers like Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant on the team, James has been content to do the little things on this Olympic Team and allow those guys to carry the load on offense but he refused to stand by idly while the Lithuanians attempted to put another blemish on his Olympic record.

James responded with a clutch performance scoring 9 of his 20 points in the game’s final four minutes.

In the end, the Americans would survive the Lithuanian onslaught with a six-point victory and allow James to send a message to his Lithuanian competitors. “Never again, at least not on my watch!”

Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.

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