LeBron James went from one of NBA's worst shooters to 7th best – cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio — LeBron James received a gift for his 31st birthday that he most probably didn’t want.

On Dec. 29, 2015, a day before his birthday, the Cavs were preparing for a game that night in Denver. At 8:44 a.m., NBA.com stats guru John Schumann Tweeted a graphic showing that James was the worst shooter in the league from outside the paint that season, with a field-goal percentage of .285.

Happy birthday, ‘Bron.

A few weeks shy of turning 33, James has more than turned a corner with his jump shot. Enjoying one of the finest statistical seasons of his storied career so far, James is currently seventh in the NBA in shooting at .587, a career high. He’s a career-best .430 from 3-point range, better than Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and James Harden.

Beyond the numbers, James now looks like a “shooter” to the rest of the league, an appearance that comes with a belief in the ball going out of James’ right hand and into the hoop, from anywhere on the court.

For instance, when he told coach Tyronn Lue to give him the ball at the end of the Cavs’ 101-95 win over Sacramento on Wednesday, there was little if any doubt that James would make good on the stepback 3-pointer he took to ice the game.

“A lot of confidence,” Lue said. “He’s been making that shot a lot this year, very confident in it. He’s brought us home with a lot of those shots. Deep shots, step-back 3’s. But he also can get to the basket when he wants to so he’s been making a lot of those big shots and tonight we needed it.”

James improved immediately as a shooter as soon as he saw the information from Schumann’s Tweet show up on Instagram.

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