How Lebron James Became an Assist Leader

Nobody will argue with you when you say Lebron James is one of the best players to ever step on the court. Physically, he’s as big and strong as the best power forwards in the game, but he has the agility and speed to compete with top point guards. But one aspect of Lebron’s game that truly sets him apart is his ability to pass the ball and rack up multiple assists. When he passes the ball to set up a scoring opportunity for a teammate, he’s working to make the entire team better. He’s also a great scorer himself, but by regularly averaging close to 10 assists per game in addition to scoring close to 30 points per game, he’s playing at another level.

Becoming a great passer isn’t something that just happens overnight. Lebron has worked for years on his court visibility in addition to passing skills and ball handling skills. With the Hustle app, you have access to hundreds of basketball drills across a number of topics, but here are some of my favorite that will help improve your passing skills, no matter your level of expertise.


Bounce Passes While Sliding - Line up on the baseline with a partner standing 8 - 10 ft apart. Begin sliding your feet without crossing them, while making firm bounce passes back and forth with your partner. Be sure to lead your partner so that the ball comes up and hits their target in the location they’re at when the ball arrives. Add some backspin to your pass so that the ball bounces up instead of veering away from your partner. When you reach the three point line, head back towards the baseline. Do this for 60 seconds.


Big Man Passing Drill - Lebron knows how to start the fast break, and you should too. With this passing drill, the guard starts at the baseline with the ball, with the big man set up on the free throw line at the other end of the court. After 1 or two dribbles, the guard should make a long chest pass to the big man and continue running towards the basket. The big man will then feed the guard for the layup. Then the guard should continue running back towards the other end of the court. The big man will get the rebound and make another long pass down the sideline to the guard as he’s sprinting toward the hoop for another layup. After a few rounds, have the big man and the guard switch positions.


The Blitz Drill - This drill requires 4 players and two basketballs and helps your players learn how to feed the ball to potential shooters on the edge of the paint. Passers and shooters will be operating simultaneously on both sides of the basket. Starting on the elbow behind the three point line, pass to the shooter on the edge of the paint. The shooter will pass the ball back to the passer at the elbow. At this point, the shooters will switch sides and be fed a pass putting them in position to take a shot. The shooter then retrieves the rebound and kicks off the process at the other side of the basket.


Two-Ball Dribbling - In order to be a great passer, you have to keep your head up while dribbling to see your teammates who are getting open for opportunities to score. Two-ball dribbling is a great way to do that. In this drill, start with Two-Ball Same Time, then move to Two-Ball Alternating dribble. Keep your head up and pound the dribble. Then try the Two-Ball Varying Height dribble, where you take 3 high dribbles and then 3 low dribbles at the same time.


Lebron James is one of the greatest ever for a reason. In my opinion, the reason he makes such an impact for his team is that he’s the most well-rounded player in the game, and his passing and assist skills are a key component. So download the free Hustle app today, and start working on your passing game.

Matt Michaux