LeBron is an all-time great scorer and passer. Putting the ball in his hands optimizes his team. The best argument for not running everything through him is sacrificing in the short-term to save his energy for down the road.
With LeBron handling the ball more, an old issue for him has reemerged.
The scouts also have noticed that when James is running the point, he rarely looks toward the bench to receive playcalls from coach Luke Walton. Even when he has seen them, the scouts say, he ignores them and runs the play he prefers. Walton has adjusted, and now when James is running the show, Walton will typically just let him call the game.
This became a major talking point when LeBron did the same thing with former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, and it was completely over-scrutinized.
We’ve come a long way in treating coaches as mere co-workers – not necessarily bosses – of star players. LeBron is an incredibly smart player capable of calling a good play. I trust him to do it more than I trust Luke Walton, and LeBron shouldn’t relinquish his control based on traditional power dynamics.
Plus, LeBron calling the play on the fly rather than looking toward the bench means the Lakers can get into it more quickly. Teams generally score more efficiently when pushing the tempo, and that’s especially true of these Lakers.
This shouldn’t be seen as controversial or negative. This is Walton, after a shaky start, adapting to LeBron for the betterment of the team.