Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler talks about the 5 toughest players he has ever guarded, also explains why LeBron James tops that list.
LeBron James is considered to be one of the greatest basketball players ever. The kid from Akron is among the most accomplished players and has an illustrious resume. For 18-years now, LBJ has been putting on a show every night he takes the floor. His unique gameplay, versatility and endurance are unparalleled, due to which is compared to Michael Jordan for the GOAT debate.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has virtually achieved it all. He’s a 4-time MVP, 4-time NBA champ, 4-times Finals MVP and a 17-time All-Star. But what is more impressive is that how James has managed to be dominating the league for so long.
Being one of the most complete and durable players the game has ever seen, Bron has dominated the league for almost two decades now. In his illustrious 18-year career LBJ has averaged 27 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game on an efficient 50/34/73 shooting split.
There is virtually no player who King James hasn’t dropped several buckets on. And Jimmy Butler, despite being a 5-time All-Defensive player, is one of the many superstars who has had trouble guarding the Lakers superstar on several instances in his career.
“LeBron James is a combination of speed, athleticism, strength and explosiveness”: Jimmy Butler
Back in early 2020, Jimmy Buckets sat down with “The Players’ Tribune” to name the five toughest players he ever guarded. After naming Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving, Jimmy also mentioned LeBron James. The 5-time All-Star explained:
“I didn’t want to talk about LeBron here, I really didn’t. I wanted to give some other guys some shine. But you can’t have a 5 Toughest list and not have LeBron on it.
He’s still the best all-around player in the league. He literally does everything well. He can shoot. Pass. Attack the rim. Defend. You need a bucket? LeBron’s got you. You need a rebound, a steal or a block? He’s got you. Whatever you need, whenever you need it. Bron’s got you.
When you talk about a combination of speed and athleticism, plus a combo of strength and explosiveness, you gotta start with LeBron. He’s one of the most dynamic players this league has ever seen. He can literally play every position on the court and be elite at all of them. That makes him a matchup nightmare because the smaller, faster guys can’t body up with him — he just overpowers them — and the bigger guys who can bang with him in the post aren’t quick enough to keep him from getting to the rim.
He’s always looking to get other guys involved, too. He’ll defer to his teammates and play unselfish basketball, and then when it’s time to win the game and be LeBron, he miraculously puts the cape on and … BAM!
He’s one of those guys you want to match up with because you measure yourself against him. Like, if you can best LeBron, you’re doing something right. And if you can’t, it’s just because you’re human, like the rest of us.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 13, 2020
Little did the Miami forward know that only after 9 months of this interview, he’d be facing the King in the 2020 NBA Finals. Even though Butler had a great series individually, LBJ went on to put up 29.8/11.8/8.5 while lifting his 4th ever Finals MVP trophy, helping the Lakers win their 17th title.