LeBron James compares playing against Chris Paul to playing against guys like Rajon Rondo and Draymond in terms of their high IQ.
Sunday’s first round matchup between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers would mark the first time in LeBron James’s career that he would go up against fellow ‘Banana Boat’ member, Chris Paul in the Playoffs. The two hold a 15-13 regular season record against one another, with the scales being tipped towards the Lakers superstar.
LeBron James punched the Lakers’ ticket to the Playoffs after having beat the Warriors in a close game to decide the 7th seed out West through the play in tournament. The Suns on the other hand, cruised through the entirety of the regular season, with Chris Paul and Devin Booker at the helm.
LeBron James was asked about playing his longtime friend in the Playoffs and how it feels to which James replied with a stark amount of enthusiasm. He says that CP3 is a fierce competitor and that he looks forward to playing him, like he did Carmelo Anthony in both the Eastern and Western Conference Playoffs.
LeBron James on matching up against his long time friend Chris Paul in the postseason.
— NBA (@NBA) May 20, 2021
LeBron James analogizes playing against Chris Paul to Rajon Rondo and Draymond Green.
The NBA is filled with guys that have an inordinate amount of talent; guys that can put the ball in the rim at will. However, perhaps the rarest superstar in the league would be the ones who have the highest basketball IQ. Guys like Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green, and so, are the ones are able to dictate the way their team and the opposing team carry out plays with fine adjustments here and there.
“It’s comparable to playing against Rondo in a series, playing against Draymond Green in a series,” said James. “You have those ‘out of this world’ IQ type guys who are also fierce competitors at the same time. Every time I faced Rondo, I knew I had to be on my A-game and same goes for Draymond. I’ve had experiences with those two guys that will definitely help me in matching up against CP.”
Both the Lakers and the Suns are led by two players that are widely considered to be two of the smartest players in the league today. The mental gymnastics both floor generals will have to go through to out-wit the other will be incredible to watch from this coming Sunday onwards.