Being an extraordinarily fast player gains you some advantages in the NBA, but it’s not the be-all end-all gift that will somehow determine your fate as pro.
For evidence, look no further than who the slowest players in the league currently are.
The NBA and Second Spectrum track player speed on a game-by-game basis. The slowest player in the NBA so far this year? LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.
This doesn’t bode well for him if he ever needs to outrun an insane fan.
Right behind him are Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons (whose future with the team is very much in doubt), James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets (who moves slow, but looks good doing it), Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets, DeAndre Jordan of the Nets, DeMarcus Cousins of the Rockets (who still hates Harden, in case anyone is wondering), John Wall of the Rockets, Anthony Davis of the Lakers and Marc Gasol of the Lakers.
Here’s a close up of average speed:
James, Davis and Harden are some of the best players in the league today. Gordon, Cousins and Wall are extremely valuable role players. Griffin, Jordan and Gasol are obviously not among the league’s upper-echelons any more, but they’re in good company.
Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time James has ranked near the bottom of the league in speed. The same occurred in 2018, when he was still a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Now we know what motivates Gronk to play so hard. https://t.co/xFnKnjoXQ4
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 24, 2021
When shown the stat, James was not happy.
“That’s the dumbest s*** I’ve ever heard,” he told Jason Lloyd of The Athletic.
“That tracking bulls*** can kiss my a**. The slowest guy? Get out of here. Tell them to track how tired I am after the game, track that s***. I’m No. 1 in the NBA on how tired I am after the game.”