The Los Angeles Lakers planned to shut down the Miami Heat in four games. But Jimmy Butler and his squad had different plans for LeBron James and his team. LA lost Games 3 and 5, and the situation got a little complicated. Butler gave Lakers fans a scare with his triple-doubles in two of the last three games. It looked like no one can stop him. That’s when the king stepped in. LeBron decided to be the only one to guard the unstoppable Jimmy Butler.
In his interview with Lakers Daily, Lakers assistant coach Mike Penberthy talked about LeBron’s willingness to guard Butler in Game 6.
“Game 6,” said Penberthy. “We sat down. We had a game plan set in place. Sat down to do our usual. Turned on the video. We walked through Miami. LeBron says, ‘Coach, I want to guard Jimmy. I want to match his minutes. I feel like I need to match up with him the whole game. Don’t want anybody else to guard him. I want to guard Jimmy Butler.’
“That’s leadership in a nutshell right there. You just basically said, ‘I’m going to be the best player in the game and I’m gonna guard the other team’s best player and that’s what we’re going to do.’ So, that tells you a little bit about him. He was going in that morning to say, ‘I got Jimmy Butler and I’m going to play 48 minutes if I have to.’ We didn’t have to play 48 (laughs). The game was over in 24, but that tells you a lot right there.”
LeBron wanted to guard Jimmy Butler for a reason
LeBron missed the playoffs in his debut season with the Lakers. Many blamed him for the failure. Maybe LeBron should have taken a bigger defensive role. 2019-20 was different. LeBron became a defensive force on the basketball court. What happened next? The Los Angeles Lakers won their first title in a decade. The team had an incredible defense and the offense outplayed opponents.
In Game 6 of the NBA Finals, LeBron destroyed Miami and held them to 93 points. Butler and his team scored just 36 points by halftime.
Once again, LeBron has shown everyone what raw power looks like. He is the GOAT and this ring is the best proof of that.