Giannis Antetokounmpo says LeBron James is still the best player in the world: “I want to know how he does it”

I can’t remember when the “best player in the world” conversation started, but once it did, it hasn’t stopped. No one ever gets tired of it. Especially right now, when there are so many players with legitimate claims to the throne. Everyone’s criteria are different. That perhaps speaks to skill preference more than anything else.

If you polled 10 people right now and asked them who the best basketball player in the world is, you might get upwards of six or seven different answers. Giannis Antetokounmpo. Nikola Jokic. Stephen Curry. Kevin Durant. Joel Embiid. Luka Doncic. Maybe Kawhi Leonard is ready to get back into the conversation. Am I forgetting someone?

Oh, right. LeBron James.

Many feel that LeBron, while still an NBA-level performer, has fallen from the top tier. Giannis, who may receive more votes than any other player in the informal poll, is not one of those people. In fact, Giannis believes LeBron, who was the unanimous best player in the world for probably a decade, remains in a league of his own at 37.

“It’s interesting to me how LeBron is still [in] one of the best forms [of] his life and being the best player in the world and still being in year 18,” Giannis told Marca Basket. “Like, it’s very interesting. I want to know how he does it. He has been consistent for 18 years. He is always there. He always shows up. That is unbelievable.

“Obviously he gets credit, but I think we have to give him more credit. To do it for 18 years guys, it’s hard. And hopefully, hopefully I can be there. Hopefully I can do this for 18 years, 20 years. It is the goal.”

You heard it. The best player in the world. You can disagree with Giannis, but it’s not crazy. Last season, LeBron averaged over 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists on 62 percent true shooting, and if you’re going to attribute it all to stat-hunting, take that nonsense somewhere else. No, he is not the player he once was. He can’t get any shot he wants anytime he wants and his defense hasn’t been elite in a while.

But LeBron’s own bar isn’t the point. If you had to win a playoff series, and you gave LeBron an adequate supporting cast, there’s still a case to be made that he can still play basketball, at least down the stretch, at a higher level than anyone else. Personally, I wouldn’t do it. But like I said, it’s not crazy.

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