The two best teams in the NBA will share the court on Thursday night, as LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers visit Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in what could be an NBA Finals preview. Ahead of the highly anticipated showdown, the reigning NBA MVP was asked about LeBron’s game, and how he has continued to dominate in his 17th season.
Giannis dove deeper into his thoughts about LeBron during an interview with Eric Nehm of The Athletic. The Greek Freak explained that he looked up to LeBron when he was just starting to play basketball, and admits that it’s tough to “get that shit out of your system” when you’re competing against him.
“When I was 12 years old and starting to play basketball, he was 22 leading his team to the Finals,” Antetokounmpo told The Athletic. “Like I was 12, he was 22 and I looked up to him for a lot of years. It’s hard to get that shit out of your system whenever you’re playing.”
“LeBron is in the same category as Kobe, Jordan, KG, Tim Duncan. Whenever you see them, you’re like – you’re not starstruck, but you have so much respect for them. But that’s gotta go away. I’m not going to lie, I’m a big fan of LeBron, but it’s a different scenario now. It’s all about getting the job done. For me, it’s all about going out there and nowadays, it doesn’t really matter if I play against LeBron or my best friend or whoever I play against, I’m just going to try to do the best that I can do, the best to help my team win.”
LeBron, who will turn 35 at the end of December, has played in all 28 of L.A’s games this season, averaging 25.9 points to go along with a career-best 10.6 assists and 7.4 rebounds per night. On the other hand, Giannis is averaging a career-high 31.7 points, 12.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game.
Lakers vs Bucks, airing on TNT tomorrow night, is scheduled to tipoff at 8pm ET.
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