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Doc: LeBron hasn't changed in a decade, except he's 'smarter'


Doc Rivers has been around the league long enough to remember a much younger LeBron James setting the league on fire with his dominant athleticism.

How has the King's body changed after more than a decade atop the Association? If you ask the Clippers' bench boss, the answer is obvious: not much.

"I don’t see a difference except for he’s smarter," Rivers told ESPN's Dave McMenamin before his team took on James' Cavaliers. "I’m amazed, really. We were laughing about it, it wasn’t so funny to us watching film. Most players when they get to his age are smart enough now they see everything. But usually when they get to that age, they’re too old to do anything about it. Kevin McHale had that comment. 'If I had the knowledge now but my body at 22, I would have been the greatest player of all time.'"

James, who turns 33 years old in December, is leading the league in minutes per game for the second straight season. In addition to muscling his way to 28.3 points per game, the 15-year pro continues to finesse his decision making; prior to Friday, James was shooting 39.3 percent on 3-pointers and dishing 8.7 assists per game.

"LeBron has the knowledge of all those years and he’s still top two, three athletic in the league," Rivers continued. "He has both going for him. He can beat you with his brain, he can beat you with his power. It’s a daunting task when you watch him on film."

For one night, Rivers' time in the film room was for naught; though the Cavaliers did not lead at any point during regulation, they held on for a 118-113 win in overtime. James finished with 39 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists in 46 minutes.

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