Bill Simmons believes that Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant are clearly a tier above LeBron James at the current moment.
Bill Simmons has had a hard-on for hating Lakers legends and superstars for a while now. Given that he’s made his entire personality, fortune and career out of being the Boston sports guy, it was bound to happen.
But at the same time, this particular take isn’t something coming out of the left field. It is a legitimate question to ask at any point of time. Karl Malone was the oldest player to win league MVP honors at 36 years old, back in 1999. Can LeBron James bounce back to that level?
He rushed back to action for the Lakers after a freak ankle injury derailed his 2020-21 regular season. It was clear that he was unable to exert himself for extended periods. James also admitted suffering from a lot of ankle pain and playing on hurt during the playoffs.
On the other hand, both Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo left indelible marks of their own this summer. While Giannis won an NBA championship – his first ever, KD had a monster playoffs before leading Team USA to Olympics gold.
“It’s crazy to say that LeBron James is currently on Giannis/Kevin Durant’s level”: Bill Simmons
Going into the 2021-22 NBA season, most NBA fans and GMs are rating one of the two players as the world’s best. This has left Lakers nation – comprising a sizeable portion of NBA Twitter – dumbfounded.
They believe that LeBron James can still come back to his MVP form with a healthy offseason behind him. However, Bill Simmons isn’t thinking on those lines. He spoke about this on the Lowe Post recently, at around the 18:30 mark:
“For LeBron (James), it’s year 19. I think he’s top 10, but it’s crazy to say he’s on the Giannis/Durant level. Could he have carried like (Kevin) Durant did last year? What Giannis did in those last two rounds? I don’t think so.”
While counting LeBron James out has always been foolhardy, one has to admit that it was unnerving to watch him give up the series against the Phoenix Suns down the stretch this year.
It seemed as if he no longer had the motor to completely take over the game on both ends as he once did. Whether that was on aberration, or a sign of things to come, only time will tell.