LeBron James pleased that Giannis is staying with Bucks
LeBron James was asked about Giannis Antetokounmpo's decision to remain in Milwaukee on a supermax deal.
LeBron James said it is great that Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a max contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, though the Los Angeles Lakers superstar dismissed comparisons.
Antetokounmpo pledged his future to the championship-chasing Bucks with a mammoth five-year contract – reportedly worth $228million – following speculation over his future entering the final year of his previous deal.
The two-time reigning NBA MVP had been linked to the likes of the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors, but opted to stay in Milwaukee, where the Bucks have not won a title since 1971.
James was asked about Antetokounmpo's decision, having left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat before returning and then eventually joining the Lakers.
Committed to the franchise
"I don't know if I can relate to his situation. All of our situations are different. Totally different actually," four-time champion and Finals MVP James told reporters on Tuesday.
"They tried to build something great for him, and they obviously did enough to keep him there. I think it's great that he's staying there, that he's committed to that franchise.
First flight of the season pic.twitter.com/iQfUt2pGzt— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 16, 2020
"That's what it's all about. My situation and his situation, there's no similarities in it. It's totally different."
James helped lead the way for the Lakers in 2019-20 as the storied franchise ended their decade-long wait for a championship.
The 35-year-old celebrated a fourth league title as the Lakers topped the Miami Heat inside the Orlando bubble at Walt Disney World Resort in October amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He also earned his fourth Finals MVP, becoming the first player in NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL history to win the Finals MVP with three different teams, having also received the honour with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Heat, per Stats Perform.
Trails Michael Jordan
In his 17th season, James moved clear of Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan with a fourth Finals MVP – now only trailing Michael Jordan (six).
James is the fourth player all-time to score 30,000-plus points and win four or more championships. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tops the list with 38,387 points and six titles, ahead of Jordan (32,292 points and six titles) and Kobe Bryant (33,643 points and five titles).
Last season, James appeared in 67 games and averaged 25.3 points, a career-best and league-leading 10.2 assists and 7.8 rebounds per games, while he averaged 27.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.8 assists in the playoffs.
One of six players in NBA history to average 25 points and 10 assists in a single season, James earned a league-record 13th All-NBA First Team selection, while being selected as an All-Star for the 16th time in his career.
Preparing for 18th NBA campaign
Entering his 18th NBA campaign and preparing for the season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 22, James – who will team up with recruits Dennis Schroder and Marc Gasol in LA – said: "Every year causes for whatever that challenge presents itself.
"So, if it presents to me to be the primary ball handler and also try to lead the league in assists or to make sure I am being at the forefront of getting guys involved, then I can take that responsibility every single action. If our team doesn't need that this year, then that's absolutely fine as well."
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