Here’s why it’s not fun to play video games with LeBron James

(Kin Cheung/AP)

Love him or hate him, LeBron James is a talented guy. Not only does the Cleveland Cavalier know his way around a basketball court, but it turns out the star’s thumbs are pretty hip to a video game controller, as well. That’s thanks to James’ “eidetic memory,” a skill that gives him the ability to call up images, sounds or objects from memory without having to rely on pesky mnemonics or other learning devices. ESPN calls it “crazy, crazy freakish recall.”

While James can use this schedule remember plays from games, perhaps more impressively, it also likely allowed him memorize all the moves from Shaquille O’Neal’s fairly lousy video game from the 90s “Shaq Fu.” James’ childhood friend Brandon Weems tells ESPN:

“When we were growing up we used to play this fighting game on the Sega Genesis called Shaq Fu. LeBron was the only one who had memorized all the moves and so he’d win every time. We all thought he definitely was cheating.”

It turns out James is still no fun to play video games with today. Weems continues:

“When you play Madden with him now you have to be careful which teams you take, because he will know what your game plans were in the past when you’ve played with him and he’ll pick the opposing team knowing what plays you want to run. You better save your favorite play, too, because he’ll remember what you ran before in situations and be ready for it. Your only hope is to save it until the end and try to surprise him with it.”

So how much does James love video games? Enough to get this birthday cake for this 9-year-old son last year.

(H/t: Polygon)

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.



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Marissa Payne · July 24, 2014

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