LeBron James escaped a double team by nutmegging his teammate

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/3704/" data-ylk="slk:LeBron James">LeBron James</a> goes behind his back, between <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/4884/" data-ylk="slk:Tristan Thompson">Tristan Thompson</a>’s legs, and bye-bye. (Screencap via FOX Sports Ohio)
LeBron James goes behind his back, between Tristan Thompson’s legs, and bye-bye. (Screencap via FOX Sports Ohio)

Somehow, even 15 years into his Hall of Fame career, LeBron James is still capable of showing us something new.

One night after James Harden delivered an ankle-breaker for the ages, LeBron saw fit to offer NBA fans his own bit of off-the-bounce wizardry during the first quarter of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ nationally televised matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers. Feast your eyes, friends:

Cleveland center Tristan Thompson stepped up above the 3-point arc to set a screen on Sixers defender Robert Covington that would spring LeBron for a drive to the basket. As he did, Philly big man Joel Embiid came up to try to cut off the driving lane by teaming with Covington to trap the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player. So what did LeBron do? Oh, nothing much. Just dribble behind his back with his left hand, bouncing the ball through teammate Thompson’s legs, to split the double, burst into the lane, drive straight into a vertical-leaping Dario Saric, bounce off, double-clutch, and softly bounce the ball in off the backboard with his left hand. And-one.

You may be wondering whether or not LeBron meant to do that. While you are over there wondering whether this is really impressive or just lucky, I will be over here, drinking deeply of life and enjoying the bounty that has been provided for me.

Seriously: look at this disappearing act. Then, when you’re done, look at it again, and another 10 or 15 times after that.

No wonder the dude’s at the center of a billboard war. Sheesh, LeBron.

After the game, which Philly won 108-97, James admitted that he’d impressed even himself with that nifty bit of magic.

“One of my guys from the NBA showed me [a video at halftime] and I was like, ‘OK, yeah, that’s probably one of the best plays I’ve had in my career,'” James said, according to The Associated Press.

James also dispensed with the mystery over his intentions when the play began.

“It was planned for me to go behind my back; it was not planned to go between his legs,” he said, according to The New York Times. “But some of the best alley-oops are some of the worst passes.”

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Dan Devine is a writer and editor for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@oath.com or follow him on Twitter!

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