Gilbert Arenas Claims NBA Players Never Feared Playing LeBron James
Gilbert Arenas has been very vocal about the current makeup of the NBA since he stepped away over a decade ago. The 41-year-old recently claimed that players do not fear competing against LeBron James and other NBA legends.
Josiah Johnson, co-host of Gil’s Arena, asked for the three-time All-Star’s thoughts on Mario Chalmers saying that nobody feared playing against his former teammate. “It’s correct,” Arenas said. “But it’s–you can’t use that as a negative against LeBron and say ‘Everyone feared Jordan and that’s why he’s better than LeBron.'”
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“Did anybody fear Magic Johnson? No. Did anybody fear John Stockton, Karl Malone? No!”
The former Washington Wizard clarified where the fear aspect comes in, grounded in the number of points a player can score if they were not defended properly. “Michael Jordan was feared. Allen Iverson was feared. Kobe [Bryant] was feared. Guys who have the ability to score 30 to damn 70 points, they’re feared.”
Gilbert Arenas said players never feared Bron, Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan, Luka and Jokic pic.twitter.com/iK4XHJGikV
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The 2003 Most Improved Player pointed out how LeBron James is an “all-around player,” thus his scoring ability wasn’t the primary point of concern. “Even though he gave you 40 [points], it wasn’t the same 40 versus someone like an Allen Iverson or Kobe or a Michael Jordan.”
It is worth noting that, per StatMuse, the four-time MVP recorded 51 points against the Orlando Magic, whom Gilbert Arenas played for at the time, in 2011. In 19 total games against teams that Arenas played for, the Los Angeles Lakers star scored 30 or more points in seven games, and 25 or more points in 12 games.
The father of three is currently sidelined with a foot injury while the Lakers pursue the postseason. They are currently the 10th seed in the Western Conference with nine games left in the season. Given the circumstances, it is possible LeBron James may return soon to help them solidify a playoff berth.
The Lakers snap a two year losing streak to the Suns & move up to the 10th seed in the west! Celebrate with @AllenSliwa on Lakers Postgame now! https://t.co/nzTyDyPbIS
— ESPN Los Angeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) March 23, 2023