Since LeBron James is 33 years old and in his 16th season, Giannis Antetokounmpo is among a select few determined to become the next face of the NBA.
At just 24 years old and in his sixth season, Antetokounmpo has quickly established himself as one of the best players in the league.
Despite not having a reliable three-point shot (10.7 percent during the 2018-19 NBA season), he is still averaging 26.8 points, 13.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
“I can’t work out with you in the summer and then play you in a few months,” Antetokounmpo said. “It feels weird. It doesn’t feel right with me. Like other players, it’s cool for other players, but I don’t. I don’t want to. Other guys do it.”
As an example, Antetokounmpo believes Kevin Durant has used his workouts with James to his advantage and does not want that happening to him:
“I feel like with LeBron and KD [Kevin Durant], KD did that to LeBron,” Antetokounmpo told The Athletic about their prior workouts together. “Take a lot of his thoughts and use it against him. And that’s what I don’t want guys doing to me.”
In a time when players are more friendly than competitive, Antetokounmpo has a similar mentality to Bryant. While Bryant challenged him to win the 2017-18 NBA MVP award, Antetokounmpo has a realistic chance a season later as the Milwaukee Bucks are currently the second-best team in the Eastern Conference.
With Antetokounmpo wanting to prove he is already the best player in the league, he will get two shots at James in March.