The New Breed of Subtle Superstar

LeBron's pass-first mentality a paradigm shift from MJ, Kobe
By Jesse Andrews,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2007 4:51 AM CDT
The New Breed of Subtle Superstar
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, right, hugs Zydrunas Ilgauskas, of Lithuania, after the Cavaliers beat the Detroit Pistons 98-82 to win the NBA Eastern Conference basketball finals Saturday, June 2, 2007, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – LeBron James, the Cavaliers' mediagenic leader and swingman, lived up to all the hype he's generated in leading Cleveland to the NBA finals for the first time in their 37 years. But  it has become clear that he is a different breed than scorers like Michael Jordan or his would-be clones. James' more subtle focus is on becoming the ultimate team component.

While he has dominated games with scoring, like Game 5 against the Pistons, Howard Beck argues in the Times that Game 6 was more typical, in that his biggest achievement was coaxing a career game out of rookie Daniel Gibson. Said commissioner David Stern, encapsulating both the superlatives and nuance of James's game: "LeBron is beyond a highlight reel." (Read more NBA stories.)

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