How LeBron James Is Using 'NBA 2K18' to Prepare for Playing With Isaiah Thomas

LeBron James has found yet another way to gain a competitive advantage.

LeBron James and the Cavaliers are really rolling right now. Since starting off the season 5-7, they’ve won 12 straight games and are now just 3.5 games back from the Celtics for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

They could potentially get even better in the weeks to come, too, once Isaiah Thomas is able to get back onto the court. Thomas hasn’t played a single minute for the Cavaliers since coming to Cleveland as part of the Kyrie Irving trade. But when he starts playing again, he will, at least in theory, solidify the point guard position for the Cavaliers and strengthen the one weakness they have at the moment.

No one is more excited to see Thomas back on the court than LeBron. He’s been impatiently waiting for him to recover from the hip injury that’s sidelined him for the entire season, and he’s so anxious that he has taken to playing games of NBA 2K18 with the Cavaliers to see what the team might look like with Thomas in the mix. On Wednesday, LeBron talked with reporters about how he’s using 2K to his advantage.

"I play a lot of 2K," he said. "Seriously, I’ve said this before. I play a lot of NBA 2K, and it’s the most realistic game, basketball game, that you can ever play. I mix and match a lot of lineup changes, things of that nature, to see how we can be really good. It’s pretty good."

It’s not necessarily a surprise to hear that LeBron plays 2K. Most NBA players seem to spend a lot of time playing the game (and complaining about their 2K ratings!). But it is kind of surprising to hear that LeBron—a guy who literally has a front row seat every single day when it comes to watching Thomas practice—is turning to a video game to see what he might add to the Cavaliers. That speaks volumes about just how far the 2K franchise has really come in recent years.

As for Thomas, he’s not expected to make his return to the court for at least another week or two, depending on how his hip holds up in practice. But if you believe what LeBron’s selling here, it will be well worth the wait for Cavaliers fans.

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