NBA

NBA players still fear playing against LeBron James

Nov 19, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts during the second half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James is not the same beast he was years ago, but he is still feared across the league nonetheless. The Isaiah Stewart incident will certainly not change this narrative.

Former NBA sharpshooter, JJ Reddick, is just one example of the long list of players. Players are not going to go around openly expressing their fear over arguably the greatest players of all time, but Reddick emphasizes the fact that fear does exist.

“If you get in a playoff series with LeBron, if you are prepping to play LeBron, you’re certainly fearful of who he is as a player.”

JJ Reddick

James may not invoke fear himself, but his resume might. Players have a certain level of respect for James, as the Lakers ‘star is approaching his 20th year in the league. Even with all LeBron has does, there are still countless critics out there.

“LeBron has grown up in a different age than Michael Jordan did. LeBron has grown up in an age where everybody has a microphone, everybody has a Twitter account, there’s 24/7 news cycle. We, collectively as a society, damn near tried everything to somehow discredit or dismantle LeBron’s legacy. All that guy has done is win, break records, build enterprises, build schools.”

JJ Reddick

NBA players are known for acting differently when the cameras are on, but who knows what intentions Stewart of the Detroit Pistons really had. It may take an entirely bloody face to come after James like that, although it did bring back some memories from the Malice at the Palace, which just celebrated its 17th anniversary.

Reddick reflected on a not-so-fond memory he has with the four-time NBA champion James.

“I took a charge on LeBron my 5th year in Orlando. I caught his spin-move perfectly. I ended up with 11 stitches under my eye. I was standing there knowing he was going to make that spin-move and was I standing there in fear? Abso-f—ing-lutely.”

JJ Reddick

It’s not abnormal to fear a 6’9″, 250-pound man like James, but his mental prowess is just as scary.

“The body, the skillset, the game, all of the things that make LeBron great as a basketball player, he’s equally as strong in the mental department. He commands a certain level of fear.”

JJ Reddick

James has invoked fear for nearly two decades in the league, and that is sure to continue.

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