In the wake of Giannis Antetokounmpo signing his supermax, LeBron James shut down comparisons between their respective situations.
Both Giannis and LeBron were at the 8th year marks in their careers when matters about their futures came to a head. James revolutionized free agency in the NBA forever with his decision. Joining forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh led to 4 straight Finals appearances for the Heat.
James immortalized himself with 2 Finals MVP trophies with the Heat, before winning Cleveland the city’s first major sports trophy in 52 years. LeBron’s fairytale career then brought him to Los Angeles and the Lakers in 2018.
But before these championships, James had to overcome mental barriers and roster problems for 8 seasons. 7 of those were during his time in Cleveland, which has never and will never be a free agent destination.
What sets apart LeBron James’ tenure at Cavs from that of Giannis Antetokounmpo
One could argue that the Bucks’ front office has done about as well as the Greek Freak could have hoped for. Other than missing out on Bogdan and having to trade Brogdon, they haven’t put a foot wrong.
That is what LeBron means to convey when he speaks about his time with the Cavs:
“My situation and his situation, there’s no similarities in it. It’s totally different.”
LeBron James shares his reaction to Giannis’ historic deal: “My situation and his situation, there’s no similarities in it. It’s totally different.” pic.twitter.com/jQBJa09nHE
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) December 15, 2020
The best teammates James played with in Cleveland were washed-up Ben Wallace and Shaq. Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Mo Williams were his only teammates to make the All Star team with him. One could argue that they were the weakest All Stars of their class.
Overall, LeBron has had better teams around him in his championship years. But Giannis has the chance to do something special by staying through his peak with the franchise that drafted him.