LeBron James confidential
How do LeBron's peers feel about the NBA's Chosen One? It's complicated.
This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's Oct. 28 NBA Preview. Subscribe today!
WHEN OUR Confidential team recently surveyed 26 NBA players, we promised them anonymity in exchange for their true feelings on King James. The conflicted responses we received are summarized by this Eastern Conference star: "I love LeBron; he's a nice guy and a great player. But I also get why people dislike him. He showed no loyalty to Cleveland, and The Decision was just a terrible idea. So, uh, I don't know what to think."
Former teammate on LeBron's greatness
"I don't know if he'll be able to match Michael Jordan's rings, but he'll be top 10 in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals when his career is over. To do that in this era, you have to call LeBron the greatest ever."
Former All-NBA Defensive Team player on Paul George vs. LeBron
"The key is to have another long, athletic player who LeBron has to guard at the other end, to make him work hard on defense too. Paul George is the guy."
Western Conference forward on LeBron's leaving Cleveland
"I get it that fans were heartbroken and he was a hometown kid and all that. But who else in this world isn't going to take a job in the best possible environment for you to be successful?"
Perennial All-Star on LeBron's 2014 decision
"Honestly, I think he's going back to the Cavs. They're kind of like Miami was for LeBron in 2010; the Cavs have the talent to be really good for the next six or seven years. It makes sense that he'd want to return and win a title."
Eastern Conference guard on LeBron, MJ or Kobe taking the shot
"That's like ranking the shortest giant. I'd want the ball in LeBron's hands at the end of the game, but I'd want him to pass to Kobe or Jordan for the last shot. And don't forget, LeBron is not a great free throw shooter either."
10-year vet on LeBron and flopping
"Yes, he's a flopper, maybe the biggest flopper in the league. But he's doing exactly what anybody who gets calls is going to do. Why would you not try to get fouls if you can?"
Research by: Jordan Brenner, Louise K. Cornetta, Dan Friedell, Theresa Manahan, Eddie Matz, Dave McMenamin and Stacey Pressman
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Aldridge's 38 power Blazers over Thunder
- Faulty generator shelves Spurs-Wolves game
- Kobe rules himself out Friday against Kings
- LeBron, comedian Hart pair on movie venture