- LeBron James has an outstanding mind for basketball, but he may not be suited for coaching.
- David Fizdale, the New York Knicks new head coach and a former assistant with the Miami Heat when James played there, said James doesn’t have the patience to be a coach and is too demanding.
- James agreed with Fizdale’s assessment.
LeBron James is often regarded as one of the smartest players in the NBA, both on the court and off the court.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s cut out to share that knowledge when he’s done playing.
During the 2016-17 season, David Fizdale, who was then coaching the Memphis Grizzlies and was hired on Thursday by the New York Knicks as a head coach, offered an interesting explanation for why James wouldn’t be a good head coach. Fizdale served as an assistant coach with the Miami Heat for eight years, working with James for four of them.
“He would kill somebody” Fizdale said (via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin). “Perfection is like [his standard]. He wants perfection.
“I could see him actually owning his own team and doing something like that, but I think [as a coach], he would end up killing a player at some point because they wouldn’t live up to the expectations that he would set forth.”
Fizdale, however, said James was an excellent mentor to younger players when he was with the Heat and that he was continually wowed by James’ knowledge of the game.
“I don’t know if you’ll ever find anyone better than [James] and [Dwyane Wade] and Chris Bosh and those guys I was with down there [in Miami]. They were incredible leaders and basketball geniuses, so I was very lucky to be a part of that.”
He added of James, “I don’t think I’ve ever been around a guy like that who sees a game that clearly.”
James did not disagree with Fizdale’s assessment of his coaching potential.
“Yeah, he’s a little right. I don’t have, my patience is not – you’ve got to be very patient as a coach. I don’t think I have that much patience. Not that much.”
It’s often said that across sports, the best players don’t make good head coaches because they can’t get others to live up to their own lofty explanations. From the sounds of it, we won’t see James stalking the sidelines for that same reason.
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