LeBron James Kawhi Leonard
Photo: CBS Sports

Former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy praised LeBron James for his commitment to defense this season.

Van Gundy claimed the “King” is as good on the defensive end of the floor as he has ever been and his effort sends a message to the rest of the team as well.

“Every great scorer as they age has to pick and choose [when to play defense], but he was always in the right spot from a team defensive standpoint.

You can’t play with as much offensive responsibilities as the great scorers have to play with and not take advantage of some chances where you can get some rest.

But, he’s coming up so big defensively in critical moments that it’s clear he’s as good on that side of the floor as he’s ever been. It sends a very strong message to the rest of your team about how committed you are to winning,” Van Gundy said, according to LZ Granderson of the Los Angeles Times.

James led the Lakers to their first victory over the Clippers (112-103), as his team will have the chance to even the season series with their rivals on April 9, when they will face the Clippers for the last time in the regular season.