‘Greatest Player in Our League’: Jae Crowder Opens Up About Defending LeBron James in the Playoffs

Published 06/16/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
May 23, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) is fouled by Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) as he drives to the basket against Chris Paul (3) and forward Jae Crowder (99) in the second half during game one in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters


It’s one of the toughest jobs to be on the other side of the force named LeBron James. And, going one-on-one on him is the ultimate dream as well as a challenge for any defender. Well, Phoenix Suns’ Jae Crowder gave no excuses to put a brilliant show against one of the greatest in the 2021 postseason.

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When Phoenix Suns locked horns with the defending champions, the stakes were high on the star players of the match. On the Suns’ end, there were Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Jae Crowder. And, the Lakers were full of talent, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the roster. However, in a clash of titans, the Lakers fell short and got defeated 4-2. Their dreams of lifting the second consecutive title were simply crushed by the Suns.

May 27, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) drives to the basket past Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder (99) during the fourth quarter of game three in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY | Courtesy: Reuters

Jae Crowder frustrated LeBron James in playoff clash

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Although Davis’ injury concerns hovered over Lakers, LeBron couldn’t soak up the pressure that well. In a game so intense, Jae Crowder‘s uplifting efforts to defend LeBron came to a victorious end. He stayed close to the Lakers’ star throughout the series to keep him on his toes. Lebron averaged 23.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 8.0 assists in the six-game series but didn’t create any astounding moment for his team.

Now that the Suns have advanced to the conference finals, Jae Crowder opened up about his time defending the King. “Obviously, LeBron is a great player — he’s the greatest player in our league right now. I wanted to get him frustrated a little bit and hopefully, things would go our way. I think that’s what happened.”

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Skirmishes were part of the competition

James and Crowder had their share of skirmishes during matchups. Crowder was onto him throughout the game and he frustrated the star quite a lot of times. Having said that, LeBron was definitely struggling with his own injuries.

Nevertheless, Crowder made sure that he gave a tough time to his competitor on the court. He had the most crucial duty to restrict LeBron James from a startling performance and he succeeded in the same. What are your thoughts on the same?

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Pavni Ahuja

444 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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