After Kobe Bryant, LeBron James has dominated the the past decade, with three championships over a combined eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances with the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers.
However, at 34 years old and in his 16th season, there have already been debates about who the next face of the NBA will be — especially with James and the Los Angeles Lakers not making the playoffs this year.
At just 24 years old and in his sixth season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has quickly established himself to take over the throne.
While there will be comparisons now, Antetokounmpo is not giving thought to that and has the ultimate respect for James, according to Matt Velazquez of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“But he’s one of my role models, he’s one of the guys I looked up to. He’s one of the best players in the league. I tried to make my game similar to his, play kind of the same. From him – he’s a legend – coming from him that he loves everything about me, that’s amazing.”
With a 10-year age gap, it is interesting to compare Antetokounmpo to where James was at that stage of his career. When recently asked about Antetokounmpo, James commended him on giving it his ‘all to the game’ and how their careers match up so far.
As James is ‘looking forward’ to an extended offseason ‘to refresh my mind and my body,’ Antetokounmpo is trying to lead the Bucks to the 2019 NBA Finals.