LeBron James Pulls Off Another Career-Defining Moment With This 3-Pointer

NBA superstar LeBron James doesn't need anymore moments to define his career, which will ultimately be among those enshrined in the Hall of Fame. But he did something Tuesday night that's likely to make almost every highlight reel that captures his career on the basketball court.

James and his Los Angeles Lakers were taking on the Houston Rockets and leading their old-time nemesis, 45-24, during the second quarter. James stood in the corner of the court next to his own sideline, and behind the three-point line.

James received a pass, quickly positioned himself, launched the ball toward the goal and turned around to face his teammates before seeing if it landed.

The reaction from his teammates said it all. The Lakers benched erupted in cheetahs the ball drained right down the net.

LeBron James
James received a pass, quickly positioned himself, launched the ball toward the goal and turned around to face his teammates before seeing if it landed on Tuesday night. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

It was kind of like Larry Bird in the 1988 3-point shootout when he launched the final ball, walked away and held up his index finger as the No. 1 player while the ball was still in the air. The ball swished.

Here's the video of James on Tuesday, provided by ESPN NBA writer Tim MacMahon:

This highlight pretty much sums up how things are going in Houston tonight. https://t.co/hzFXXRNoDg

— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 13, 2021

The game Tuesday night was played in Houston, and the defending NBA champion Lakers looked to make a statement—which James appeared to punctuate on the play.

This comes as the NBA faces nightly postponements from COVID-19, and with the league facing a "Mack truck" approach demolition into its own pandemic protocols.

What's that all about? The NBA has postponed games four days this week already because one team or another hasn't had enough players to compete.

The NBA announced Tuesday that it will implement harsh new deadlines that require players to wear masks more often, and it will also restrict who can come and go from players' and coaches' hotel rooms while they're traveling.

One general manager told ESPN that it was like a "Mack truck" plowing through the previous protocols set by the league.

"No one wants to see more restrictions imposed. No one also wants to see the infection rate increase if there are steps we can take to mitigate the risk," said Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. "Our experts have concluded that these new procedures will add to our arsenal of weapons against the virus. ... It would be irresponsible and unacceptable to not employ new measures aimed at better promoting and protecting our players' safety."

Three of the NBA games canceled this week involved the Boston Celtics. Other teams involved this week were the Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers, coached by Doc Rivers, who said he hopes the league works out a more-perfect system for containing the virus like they did in the NBA's bubble last summer in Orlando.

"All I can do is hope," Rivers said. "The league, the way they ran the bubble was fantastic, and so you're just hoping this works. ... We are in cities. And, so, we just have to do our best, everyone. Obviously, I think everyone is doing their best, and we're still getting it, so we have to be more careful."

As for James and his Los Angeles team, they dropped the Rockets, 117-100, in Houston.