Nevertheless you should slice it, LeBron James is considered one of the best basketball players of all-time. We’ll spare you the laundry list of accolades and championship runs, but he’s in very, very elite company.
At the peak of his powers, LeBron was unstoppable within the playoffs. The Ringer’s Bill Simmons believes that Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 2022 playoff version, is now on the identical level as 2018 NBA Finals James.
“I am unable to put anyone above him [LeBron], but I can put Giannis right next to him though. I do know that is a crazy thing to say because LeBron is either the second or third best player of all-time.”
Simmons centered the argument as “apex Giannis” versus “apex LeBron”.
“Giannis is side-by-side with him from a peak performance standpoint.”
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Against Simmons’ beloved Boston Celtics, Giannis averaged 33.9 points per game, 14.7 rebounds per game, and seven.1 assists per game. It was a sight to behold.
“That is why, LeBron and Giannis to me, since MJ, are the 2 guys where you are just completely helpless…Shaq had a few of that too..but with LeBron and Giannis, 2018 LeBron, and 2022 Giannis, your best probability is ‘I hope that misses.'”
Simmons labeled LeBron’s Game 1 performance within the 2018 NBA Finals as one of the best game he’s ever seen in person, and thinks that Giannis’ 2022 playoff output and impact is the same as that of James.
“LeBron, I believe he finished with 51, he completely overpowered the Warriors which was an excellent Warriors team that had Durant at his peak, Curry in his prime, Draymond, Klay and the one other elite guy on the Cavs was LeBron and he went toe-to-toe with them and possibly must have beat them…he discovered this power point guard game that no one knew what to do with.”
The Cavaliers lost the sport (thanks J.R. Smith!), but it surely indeed could be LeBron’s magnum opus.