Lebron Starts at Center against Rockets


 Photo Credit: Brian Barefield 

For the first time in his 19-year career, LeBron James started at center for the Los Angeles Lakers over the Houston Rockets. Los Angeles came out their slump and snapped a five-game losing streak. Before the storm of losses there was title talk for the team but seam to have fizzled.

When asked about playing center at 6-foot-9, 250lbs, James described how it was for him with his height and size as a kid to now actually running the 5.

"I was a skinny, lanky kid growing up, but I was never one of the biggest guys or in the center position," said James, who took the opening tip on Tuesday against 6-9 center, Christian Wood. As a fan it was kind of weird watching him take the start at the 5 against the Rockets.

The Lakers had already teased James at center previously this season. He played against Domantas Sabonis on the perimeter in an overtime win in Indiana right before Thanksgiving. Although he performed well, James did not make it a regular position. 

In light of Anthony Davis' ongoing knee injury, Dwight Howard's recovery from a slew of health issues and safety protocols, and DeAndre Jordan's sketchy play all season, the Lakers acting head coach David Fizdale decided to take a chance at a position change for Lebron.

"LeBron's plus-minus at the 5 is so ridiculous right now," Fizdale, who is filling in while Frank Vogel is in protocols, said afterward. "To have guys out with COVID and stuff like that, I just took a gamble and said, 'You know, I think that tonight's the night to start him at 5.'"

James recorded his third triple-double of the season, finishing with 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. In addition to moonlighting at the 5, he also was the first player in NBA history aged 35 or older to score 30 points or more in five straight games.

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