At the age of 35, LeBron James is still among the top players in the league. Already a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), James’ performances this season have made him a contender for his fifth award. On Friday, as the Los Angeles Lakers face Milwaukee Bucks, James will face another contender for the award- Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Ahead of the high-profile clash, Antetokounmpo said that James was an inspiration to people like him.
“It’s amazing. He’s 35 and playing at a high level,” Antetokounmpo said as per ESPN. “He just leads the path for us.
“A lot of times we think that, ‘OK, we’re going to retire at 35,’ but seeing a guy at 35 being still top-three best player in the world, that makes us want to be there. Makes me want to be there one day, so I’ve got to keep taking care of my body, eating the right way, being healthy, and as I said — he paved the way, and hopefully, we can just follow.”
Friday’s game will be the second meeting between the Lakers and the Bucks this season. It was the Bucks who prevailed over the Lakers in December last year.
With the two teams being among the top contenders to win the Championship this season, the Lakers will have a point to prove this weekend.
“Just go there and just play good basketball. As I said, the Lakers are gonna come play hard. We know that. I watched the game last night. They played extremely hard. They played through Anthony Davis, LeBron was facilitating, guys were shooting the ball, they were running to the corner, they were playing good basketball,” Antetokounmpo said. “And they lost the first game, so they’re gonna come out and try to win the second one.
Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to a win over the Lakers last time with a 30-point double-double. He scored a career-best five 3-pointers in the game. For his second game against the Lakers this season, Antetokounmpo said his team will try to keep things simple.
“At the end of the day, we gotta do what we do, which is defend and run to the corner and run to our spots, move the ball, take the open shot, make the right play, drive the lanes. We’ve done this two years now — a year and a half, almost two years — and things take care of itself. So as a leader, I just gotta do that, and as a team, we just gotta stay on track,” Giannis said.