Defending champions Los Angeles Lakers will take on second seed Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs. Star player LeBron James admitted that he would require to be at the top of his game to ward off the challenge posed by longtime friend and national teammate Chris Paul.
The two veterans will meet in the playoffs for the very first time after the Lakers managed to clinch seventh seed following a win over the Warriors in the play-in tournament.
LeBron compared Chris Paul to the likes of Rajon Rondo and Draymond Green and proceeded to laud this group of players for their fiercely competitive nature, and their knowledge of the game.
“Every time I faced Rondo in the past, I knew I had to be not only on my A-game as far as my game, but also my mind as well. And that’s the same with Draymond, every time you go against those Warriors teams.
So I’ve had experiences with those two guys, so that will definitely help me in matching up with CP because I know the competitor and I know the I.Q. of the basketball player that he is.” LeBron said to reporters through video conference ahead of the first clash of the playoffs.
Chris Paul entered the league two years after LeBron did despite being of the same age. Paul was picked up by the New Orleans Hornets as the fifth pick overall in the 2005 NBA Draft.
This campaign marks his first ever with the Phoenix Suns and the 11-time All-Star player made a huge impact. He is enjoying the highest free throw percentage and blocks per game in his career after playing 70 games in the regular season for the Suns.
LeBron does not bring up the championship advantage against Chris Paul
His career runs in parallel with his counterpart with both of them winning the NBA Rookie Of The Year, two Olympic gold medals, and various other statistical achievements, but the one major aspect that differentiates between the two is the number of championships won.
But LeBron was quick to address that he does not bring up his four championship rings against Paul, who is yet to win a title.
“I think that’s not in my [character] traits. I don’t really talk about my accolades, or what I’ve been able to do. And our friendship is beyond that. So I’m not one of those guys to talk about what I have. I think that’s very shallow. That’s beneath me, personally. So I don’t get involved in that.” LeBron added
Los Angeles Lakers will take on Phoenix Suns in Game One of the first round of playoffs at the Talking Stick Resort Arena on 24th May.