Wade, who retired after the 2018-19 season, has been so impressed with what he’s seen from LeBron during his time on the LA Lakers. The King won the 2020 championship and took home the Finals MVP award, becoming the first player in NBA history to win three Finals MVPs with three different teams.
LeBron James is 36-years-old and in his 18th season in the NBA. However, he’s still the best player in the world, something Dwyane Wade can’t wrap his head around despite being such a close friend.
LeBron James is putting up MVP numbers in Year 18
LeBron James is averaging 25.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game this season. He’s shooting 49.0% from the field, 40.9% from beyond the arc, and 71.8% from the free-throw line. It’s incredible that The Chosen One is putting up MVP numbers in his 18th season in the NBA.
Behind James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers could repeat as NBA champions. After defeating the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, LA is in third place in the Western Conference standings with a record of 16-6.
Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh were in the same draft as LeBron in 2003. Wade and Bosh are retired, and Anthony is a bench player for the Portland Trail Blazers. The fact that LeBron is still the top player in the NBA while two of his draftmates are out of the league and one is not a starter anymore points to how special James is.
LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant are viewed as the two superstars who can stop LeBron James from winning his fifth title. However, based on what Dwyane Wade recently revealed, it doesn’t appear the Lakers swingman will let anyone dethrone him.
Dwyane Wade says “Lakers LeBron James” is the best LeBron he’s ever seen
Dwyane Wade believes LeBron James has no weakness in his game. The three-time champion says “Lakers LeBron” is the best King James he’s ever seen.
James won back-to-back MVPs and Finals MVPs in 2012 and 2013 with Wade as his teammate. Back then, LeBron was dunking on the entire league with his nuclear athleticism. Now 36 and with a bevy of mileage on his body, LeBron relies on his high basketball IQ to defeat teams.
Wade, who won the 2006 Finals MVP, claims that the current version of LeBron is more complete of a player than the one we saw with the Heat. That statement should scare the life out of Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant, the two players most pundits are picking to upset James and the Lakers once the playoffs start.
Last season, everyone wanted to see the Lakers and Clippers meet in the 2020 Western Conference Finals. However, Leonard and the Clippers choked in the second round against the Denver Nuggets by blowing a 3-1 series lead. Meanwhile, LeBron and the Lakers won the championship in six games over the Heat.
KD is healthy this season and playing like an MVP for the Nets. His résumé is already legendary, but if LeBron James defeats Kawhi Leonard in the West and Kevin Durant in the Finals to win his fifth title, even Michael Jordan stans may have to call The King the GOAT.
The Lakers have the best defense in the NBA
The Lakers have the best defense in the NBA this season. They are giving up only 104.0 points per game.
LA’s stout defense is why most pundits have the team repeating as champions since Kevin Durant’s Nets are the worst defensive club in the NBA, and Kawhi Leonard’s Clippers can’t be trusted in the postseason after what happened last season.
If LeBron James, who is the only player in NBA history to rank top-10 all-time in points and assists, wins his fifth title and fifth Finals MVP this season, he might even change Dwyane Wade’s mind about who the GOAT is. Wade, a Chicago native, currently has Michael Jordan as his GOAT.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.