How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now?

Moderators: Domejandro, jamaalstar21, zimpy27, BombsquadSammy, GeorgeMarcus, Goudelock, Prez, bwgood77, ken6199, Dirk

Pelly24
Sixth Man
Posts: 1,602
And1: 887
Joined: Aug 02, 2016
     

How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#1 » by Pelly24 » Mon Dec 9, 2019 4:04 am

It's always been hard for me to get a grasp on this stuff. I think LeBron wasn't as quick as Kobe or DWade or MJ, but he was clearly very quick in the halfcourt still. But how quick is he now? Like how quick is his first step?
Baronious
Ballboy
Posts: 20
And1: 15
Joined: Dec 22, 2012

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#2 » by Baronious » Mon Dec 9, 2019 4:23 am

Below videos are probably good examples of what he was like in his athletic peak. I would say 08-09 season was his athletic peak. Current LeBron isn't even close to what he was like back then. He has regressed a ton which shows he crazy athletic he was to begin with..

- Some RS game.

- Series vs Pistons 2009

- Series vs Orlando 2009
Pantsman
Sixth Man
Posts: 1,848
And1: 2,584
Joined: Jan 04, 2018

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#3 » by Pantsman » Mon Dec 9, 2019 4:25 am

Lebron wasn’t the quickest. He was definitely quick but what has made him dominate was his speed+quickness+strength. There’s never been a player who’s been able to put all of that together the way he has.
Pelly24
Sixth Man
Posts: 1,602
And1: 887
Joined: Aug 02, 2016
     

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#4 » by Pelly24 » Mon Dec 9, 2019 4:31 am

Like which wings is LeBron James of today quicker than?
User avatar
Dupp
RealGM
Posts: 103,051
And1: 53,849
Joined: Aug 16, 2009
Location: Billy Crystals lap
 

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#5 » by Dupp » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:12 am

Quicker than peak Westbrook. Unmatched acceleration and end to end speed.
Neato wrote:I'd also like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone for being a neato
User avatar
clyde21
RealGM
Posts: 41,421
And1: 47,412
Joined: Aug 20, 2014
   

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#6 » by clyde21 » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:14 am

he was quick for his size but not insanely quick, just super fast once he got a full head of steam but the acceleration wasn't THAT good (still good obviously for his size).
#freepalestine
#BernieBro
User avatar
Optms
RealGM
Posts: 15,067
And1: 6,901
Joined: Jun 11, 2009
 

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#7 » by Optms » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:16 am

You'll never see anything like peak Lebron in the open court ever again. Speed, power, grace. Nothing came close before or after. That was the biggest thing that jumped out to me when I saw him on the Cav's.
User avatar
KyRo23
Pro Prospect
Posts: 812
And1: 2,508
Joined: May 07, 2017
 

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#8 » by KyRo23 » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:18 am

I disagree with people who are saying he wasn't quick. His first step was so quick in the day, he would blow by defenders. He is still pretty fast today also with end to end speed when he gets the chance, but it seems to be in bursts.
User avatar
Heej
Assistant Coach
Posts: 3,905
And1: 3,316
Joined: Jan 14, 2011

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#9 » by Heej » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:23 am

I feel like his first step was probably equivalent to Kyrie's his last Cleveland season, all while being in a far bigger and stronger body And able to cover more ground. The acceleration and velocity was around there I'd say. Carmelo was actually the big wing back in the day that was known for his first step more than LeBron. His was probably like later years Derozan level. For LeBron he's admitted as much that it's his second step that gets you. Compared to elite quick PGs there's weren't that absurd, but it's the total package of size, length, and strength, with the first step of a still very quick smaller man that gets you.
Zion's best comp is Fat D-Rose :D
User avatar
yoyoboy
RealGM
Posts: 10,861
And1: 12,818
Joined: Jan 29, 2015
Location: Cleveland - Lifelong
     

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#10 » by yoyoboy » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:23 am

At his peak he was pretty quick for his size but his first step really wasn't anything that crazy by NBA standards imo. Carmelo has a quicker first step for example. LeBron's strength and speed after he got going is what really made him unstoppable going to the rim, along with his balance after taking contact.

His quickness is pretty much gone now. It's evident when he tries to take good bigger defenders off the dribble in the halfcourt without a screen. But he's just so smart, he knows how to pick his spots, and he uses his strength to his advantage, so he's able to still be amazing without that same first step. Because his straight line speed, strength, passing, and dribbling are still as good as ever. Even his vertical with a full running start is still like 85-90% there. His lateral quickness, first step, and elevation in traffic are where the signs of decline lie.
2016 NBA Champions.
IG2
Analyst
Posts: 3,503
And1: 2,035
Joined: Jul 12, 2011

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#11 » by IG2 » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:24 am

Very quick. And not just for his size. Extremely quick for any size. He did lack a good first step, but once he was in motion, his acceleration was elite. And he didn't just play in a straight line. In his initial Cavalier stint (04-10), he was rubbery enough and possessed excellent ability to change direction and explode after that.

Peak quickness was in 07-08 and 08-09. Those 2 years are definitely his athletic peak.

This playoff game from 2008 is a pretty good demonstration of how freakishly quick he was.

User avatar
Heej
Assistant Coach
Posts: 3,905
And1: 3,316
Joined: Jan 14, 2011

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#12 » by Heej » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:25 am

yoyoboy wrote:At his peak he was pretty quick for his size but his first step really wasn't anything that crazy by NBA standards imo. His strength and speed after he got going is what really made him unstoppable going to the rim, along with his balance after taking contact.

His quickness is pretty much gone now. It's evident when he tries to take good bigger defenders off the dribble in the halfcourt without a screen. But he's just so smart, he knows how to pick his spots, and he uses his strength to his advantage, so he's able to still be amazing without that same first step. Because his straight line speed, strength, passing, and dribbling are still as good as ever. Even his vertical with a full running start is still like 85-90% there. His lateral quickness, first step, and elevation in traffic are where the signs of decline lie.

Stamina too, more than anything :(
Zion's best comp is Fat D-Rose :D
Amare_1_Knicks
Lead Assistant
Posts: 4,529
And1: 2,385
Joined: Aug 07, 2010

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#13 » by Amare_1_Knicks » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:26 am

His first step was elite at his athletic peak. He could and would blow by literally any defender. End to end speed was really high-level, also. Among, if not the fastest in the league. I remember thinking he could run track and field and run like a sub 21 time(200m) just from eye-balling him.

He’s still quick — actually amazingly so for a guy his size and age, but these days it’s more about timing and maneuvering rather than raw speed/quickness.
User avatar
yoyoboy
RealGM
Posts: 10,861
And1: 12,818
Joined: Jan 29, 2015
Location: Cleveland - Lifelong
     

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#14 » by yoyoboy » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:27 am

IG2 wrote:Very quick. And not just for his size. Extremely quick for any size. He did lack a good first step, but once he was in motion, his acceleration was elite. And he didn't just play in a straight line. He always possessed excellent ability to change direction and explode after that.

Peak quickness was 07-08 and 08-09 seasons. Those 2 years are definitely his athletic peak.

This playoff game from 2008 is a pretty good demonstration of how freakishly quick he was.


Jesus, if LeBron had that level of athleticism right now he would be absolutely terrifying.
2016 NBA Champions.
DaPessimist
Veteran
Posts: 2,545
And1: 3,000
Joined: Feb 08, 2018
Location: HB, CA
       

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#15 » by DaPessimist » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:31 am

His first step was never lightning fast, but his strength and length made it incredibly effective. He also has an amazingly strong handle for a 6'8" guy, which is why he's still so effective despite losing a half-step.
User avatar
MisterHibachi
RealGM
Posts: 15,111
And1: 15,789
Joined: Oct 06, 2013
Location: Toronto
 

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#16 » by MisterHibachi » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:35 am

Watch the first play in this video

"He looked like Batman coming out of nowhere"
User avatar
clyde21
RealGM
Posts: 41,421
And1: 47,412
Joined: Aug 20, 2014
   

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#17 » by clyde21 » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:37 am

don't want to compare the two but I actually think Zion has a quicker first step than peak LeBron, which is insane given that Zion weighs even more than what LeBron did
#freepalestine
#BernieBro
Baronious
Ballboy
Posts: 20
And1: 15
Joined: Dec 22, 2012

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#18 » by Baronious » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:43 am

MisterHibachi wrote:Watch the first play in this video



That Acceleration on the second play..
Frank Dux
Lead Assistant
Posts: 4,646
And1: 5,276
Joined: Jul 08, 2009
 

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#19 » by Frank Dux » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:56 am

MisterHibachi wrote:Watch the first play in this video



I'm not sure if i've ever seen a player get down the court faster.
User avatar
zimpy27
Forum Mod
Forum Mod
Posts: 14,229
And1: 14,357
Joined: Jul 13, 2014

Re: How Quick Was LeBron at His Athletic Peak? How Quick Is He Now? 

Post#20 » by zimpy27 » Mon Dec 9, 2019 5:58 am

He was quicker than he is now and now he's not as quick as he was.
"Let's play some basketball!" - Fergie

Return to The General Board


cron