- Matt Slocum/AP
LeBron James is often regarded as one of the smartest players in the NBA, both on the court and off the court.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s cut out to share that knowledge to future players when he’s done playing.
On Tuesday, Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale, who was an assistant coach with the Miami Heat for all four years James was on the team, offered an interesting explanation for why James wouldn’t be a good head coach.
“He would kill somebody” Fizdale said (via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin). “Perfection is like [his standard]. He wants perfection.
“I could see him actually owning his own team and doing something like that, but I think [as a coach], he would end up killing a player at some point because they wouldn’t live up to the expectations that he would set forth.”
Fizdale, however, said James was an excellent mentor to younger players when he was with the Heat and that he was continually wowed by James’ knowledge of the game.
“I don’t know if you’ll ever find anyone better than [James] and [Dwyane Wade] and Chris Bosh and those guys I was with down there [in Miami]. They were incredible leaders and basketball geniuses, so I was very lucky to be a part of that.”
He added of James, “I don’t think I’ve ever been around a guy like that who sees a game that clearly.”
James did not disagree with Fizdale’s assessment of his coaching potential.
“Yeah, he’s a little right. I don’t have, my patience is not – you’ve got to be very patient as a coach. I don’t think I have that much patience. Not that much.”
James has not been shy about touting his understanding of the game. After former Cavs coach David Blatt was fired, reports indicated that James and Blatt had a contentious relationship and that James often undermined his authority. In defending himself against these accusations last year, James told reporters, “What do you guys want me to do? Turn my brain off because I have a huge basketball IQ? If that’s what they want me to do, I’m not going to do it because I’ve got so much to give to the game.”
It’s often said that across sports, the best players don’t make good head coaches because they can’t get others to live up to their own lofty explanations. From the sounds of it, we won’t see James stalking the sidelines for that same reason.