There's a little more to the LeBron James-Liverpool connection than meets the eye, it would appear. Liverpool have been relentless in their pursuit to end a 30-year wait for a league title. Jurgen Klopp and co. have now taken a page out of Lakers star LeBron James' book in an effort to mount a sustainable charge at the Premier League.
Over the last two seasons, Liverpool have made a name for themselves by playing fast-paced, counter-attacking football to produce results. Back then, Liverpool would go straight for the jugular after mounting attack-after-attack at the opposition. The resulting scoreline would, more often than not, paint an exciting picture of the Reds' style of play. However, Liverpool would stumble through the course of the season, ultimately losing momentum towards the second half of the campaign.
Enter the LeBron James approach. There has been a marked change in Liverpool's composure this season. Shades of a breakneck, counterattacking style of play have also been visible, but the Reds have displayed a more measured approach this season. This approach has been reminiscent of Lakers star LeBron James' approach in recent years.
LeBron James has been known to breeze through a number of games in the NBA towards his later years. In-game management has been the card up LeBron James' proverbial sleeve. The Lakers star is spending more time walking on the court than jogging, according to Second Spectrum data. While the number of average minutes per game may not have dipped alarmingly, LeBron James is now picking his moments for that burst of quality to go for the win.
An example of this tactic is the Mohamed Salah goal from the 2-0 victory over Manchester United earlier this year. Salah spent the entirety of the game on the pitch, while the likes of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were substituted. In the dying minutes of the game, Salah exhibited remarkable endurance to latch on to a long ball from goalkeeper Alisson, before slotting it past a helpless David de Gea to make it 2-0 at Anfield. Likewise, players like Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk have also saved up on their energy, only to exert it in crucial moments during a game.
The measured approach to games is what has seen Liverpool extend their lead at the top to 22 points. In-game management has been a trick missing from Liverpool's arsenal over the last two seasons. With the Reds having taken a leaf out of Lakers star LeBron James' book, Jurgen Klopp and co. seem destined to secure the Premier League title for the club in the most emphatic way possible.
As part of the deal that saw Fenway Sports Group (FSG) buy Liverpool, Lakers star LeBron James inked a deal with FSG. The deal would see FSG become his primary marketing agency and also see him acquire a minority stake in the club. The deal saw LeBron James receive a 2% stake in the club which is now worth $32 million, according to reporter Darren Rovell.