(via complex.com)

At 35-years-old, in his 17th season, LeBron James is still somehow playing basketball at an elite level.

No doubt, the millions of dollars and countless hours he spends taking care of his aging body have attributed to his seemingly invincible career. But for James, basketball is also very much a game of the mind.

For as good as he is physical, he also excels mentally, knowing plays, exposing weaknesses, and using his wit to exploit his opponent.

This mental approach to the game is very rare, and not many share James’ intellect in that regard. According to the King himself, in fact, there’s only one person alive who he feels understands the game like he does: NBA legend Jason Kidd.

(via ESPN.com)

One of those primary assistants would be Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd, whom two sources have independently said James regards as the only person alive who sees the game of basketball with his level of clarity. Kidd was also known to be looking for his next opportunity as a head coach and had interviewed for the Lakers’ vacancy. The instant the Vogel-Kidd pairing was announced, the schadenfreude brigade began chattering about Vogel’s life expectancy with the Lakers, with Kidd waiting in the wings.

To have that type of figure on the sidelines shows how dedicated the organization is to get it right this year.

After years of lottery seasons, Rob Pelinka and his team have rounded a corner — and they don’t intend to look back. They have talent, they have chemistry, and they have intellect both on the floor and in the locker room.

The Lakers are ready to win and the combined forces of Kidd and James is just another reason to believe they can go all the way.

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