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LeBron James calls Dirk one of his 'favorite players ever,' praises one-footed fadeaway

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At shootaround, King James had high praise for Dallas' leading man.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS -- LeBron James was immediately swarmed by media when he entered the American Airlines Center on Tuesday morning for Cavs' shootaround. He took a few moments to finish a message on his phone before removing his headphones and fielding questions for seven minutes, talking until a Cleveland PR member cut him off, before continuing one-on-one with an ESPN writer for another five minutes anyway. At one point, he was asked about Dirk and that one-footed fade. Here's what he said.

LeBron James on Dirk Nowitzki

He's amazing. One of my favorite players ever. Just his ability, what he's able to do at his size, his ability to shoot the ball, his ability to sacrifice shots for other guys being a part of this team over the years obviously speaks volumes. He's just a true professional. He's been able to get better every year and even when you slow him down, he's expanded on other parts of his game to stay efficient. He's great.

LeBron, asked whether his one-foot fade is a homage

Anytime you lift one leg and shoot it, everyone took that from Dirk.

Why did you start using it?

It's not a big part of my arsenal, but I go to it every now and then. You can't guard it, obviously. You guys have seen it over the years. You can't contest it, you can't guard it. It helps (that) he's seven feet (tall) shooting that shot too.