LeBron James Cannot Be Feared Due To His Past, Mario Chalmers Who “Almost Got Killed” Admits To Shaquille O’Neal

Published 03/13/2024, 3:08 PM EDT

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The GOAT debate between Michael Jordan and LeBron James will rage on till the end of time. While several have compared their statistics, championships, and accolades, former Heat guard Mario Chalmers uses an unusual measuring stick to make his point. Last year, he made a rather bold claim that James does not intimidate the players the way Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant did back when they were playing.

Consequently, Chalmers was under fire for dissing LeBron James. The statement was even more shocking coming from someone who was James’ teammate for all four seasons he was in Miami, even winning two championships in four NBA Finals appearances with him. And this is the peak LeBron James we are talking about. However, Chalmers recently cleared the air on why he made that audacious claim.

Mario Chalmers reveals why players don’t fear LeBron James


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During a recent appearance on The Big Podcast with Shaq, the 37-year-old revealed that he believes players are not afraid of James because he prioritizes being liked and respected rather than feared. “When I first said that, people killed me for that. I didn’t think players really feared LeBron like they did Jordan. It’s not that you shouldn’t fear Bron. I just think at the end of the day, Bron has been through so much that he wanted to be liked. So, he’s like, ‘I’mma do things now’ so people like me, people respect me. You actually like Bron and want to be a fan of Bron now, so I think that’s what that was,” said Chalmers.

Funny enough, Chalmers is not the only one who believes that. Even Shaquille O’Neal said in his podcast that he has heard players say they fear Jordan and Kobe, but never once has he heard someone fear James. However, someone who has played with both of them might answer it better.

D’Angelo Russell sheds light on the contrasting personalities of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant

Chalmers might have some truth to his words. D’Angelo Russell, who was teammates with Kobe Bryant during his rookie year with the Lakers and now plays alongside LeBron James, offered insights into the contrasting personalities of the two stars. “I got to play with Kobe…It was really cool… I got Kobe on his way out so I seen ‘happy-go-lucky, smiley.’ Everybody was just like, ‘The Kobe you got, you lucky. Cause that is not Kobe…Bron’s like a grown-a** kid. Good time all the time,” D’Lo told Whistle.


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However, Draymond Green would beg to differ. Having met James four times in the Finals, he has seen that fierce side of James. According to Green, he “personally” knows people who were and still are scared of James. “I’ve seen it. At times I’ve had teammates that were terrified of LeBron James, and so I just didn’t really understand the statement” said Green on The Draymond Green Show.


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Perhaps Chalmers and Russell never got to see ‘that’ side of LeBron James because they were on the same team. Do you agree with Mario Chalmers? Are players not intimidated by LeBron James? Let us know in the comments!


Written by:

Darshita Daga


One take at a time

Darshita is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports who is creating her own space in the spectrum of sport journalism. Darshita specializes in dissecting post-game interviews, trade, and contracts. Her appetite for literature, akin to her affection for the Milwaukee Bucks, knows no bounds.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja