Jae Crowder reveals 'the process' of playing alongside LeBron James

LeBron James is undoubtedly one of the best players to ever play the game of basketball, so it’s only natural to wonder what it’s like to share the court with such a supremely talented phenom like the King. 

Former Cavs forward Jae Crowder shared a little insight into the challenges of playing alongside James, who often attracts criticism for his demanding nature, in an interview on NBA TV’s ‘Gametime’ and his opinion was fascinating. 

Crowder was only in Cleveland with the four-time MVP for 53 games, but that was enough for him to discover the various trials and tribulations adjusting to playing with one of the all-time greats.

James’ style of play can take some adjusting to, as can his almost coach-like demeanour, and Crowder didn’t hold back when admitting that it wasn’t exactly straight forward to fit in upon arriving from Boston last summer. 

The 27-year-old failed to make a significant impact with the Cavs and was traded to Utah in February. 

“It’s a bit of an adjustment for anybody.” Crowder said via Nicole Yang of Boston.com. “The best thing you can do is have time with him and play with him. I think if you play alongside him for quite a while, you seem to get better with time. It’s a bumpy road there — in a stretch where you just have to be patient and trust the process.”

“He’s a great leader. He tells you exactly what he sees on certain plays. It is a process with guys getting more comfortable with how he plays and how the system is over there.” he said.

Whilst Crowder didn’t say anything that wasn’t already widely presumed, it is rare for a former James teammate to speak out publicly on the matter with such frankness. 

And, whilst the former Cavalier didn’t exactly denigrate James or his style of play, it does speak volumes that there is a very real adjustment that needs to be made by his teammates in order for success to be found in his unique system. 

It’s an adjustment that Crowder clearly failed to fully make, and it showed both on and off the court. 

The former Celtics standout averaged fewer points, rebounds and assists per game in his 53 game stint in Cleveland than he has since joining the Jazz and than he did in Boston last season. 

Playing in LeBron’s shadow isn’t for everyone, but those that can make it work almost always reap the rewards for it. 

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