Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James started at center against the Houston Rockets and afterward said it was the first time in his he had started at the center position. The Lakers entered the game on a five-game losing streak and wanted to try something different.
Experimenting with James at center paid off as the Lakers beat the Rockets 132-123. "I was a skinny, lanky kid growing up but I was never one of the biggest guys or in the center position," said the 6-foot-9, 250-pound James, who took the opening tip on Tuesday against Houston's 6-foot-9 center, Christian Wood.
"I've always played the wing or kind of handled the ball." James has played in every position throughout his career and he is proud to have done that. "I think I've taken pride over the course of my career in being able to play five positions," James said.
"Or at least know all five positions. Knowing the commands. So tonight ... called for me to start at center and I just tried to be in a hell of a lot of plays."
James had a monster performance
James posted 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a win over the Rockets.
"I just feel like I'm in a really good offensive zone right now," James said. Lakers guard Russell Westbrook was glad with the way the Lakers played against the Rockets. "It was good just to practice, get on the floor," said Russell Westbrook, who also finished with a triple-double with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
"We haven't been able to do that for a long time. ... And you've seen some of that [pay off] tonight, just how we played in spurts throughout the game." Lakers acting head coach David Fizdale was impressed with what James did.
"I just told the team ... 'I don't think you guys realize what this guy just did,'" Fizdale said. "'He just played the 5 for four quarters and dominated at the position and played it while playing point guard, while playing [forward], he just...
Ah, my gosh, this guy is unbelievable. "I can't help it, man. We all are, we're very lucky as basketball people to get to watch what we're watching right now out of this man and it's just beautiful."