Getty LeBron James guarded by Luka Doncic.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is widely regarded as the NBA’s current best player.
A 6’8 point guard from Akron, Ohio’s St. Vincent’s-St. Mary’s High School, LeBron James has had impact from the minute he walked on an NBA floor at 18 years old.
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ first pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, James has won four NBA Championships; two with the Miami Heat during the Big three-era with alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, one with Cleveland Cavaliers teammates Kyrie Irving and Kevin and another most recently with his current Lakers team alongside fellow All-Star Anthony Davis.
Since entering the league, James impact has been felt and newcomers are watching.
Insert the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons.
At 6’10, Simmons is a triple double threat in similar to James and Lakers legend, Magic Johnson.
In basketball circles, some believe that Simmons’ current role mirrors James’ first stint with the Cavs where he was a primary ball handler, with a splash of James’ likeness during his Heat tenure.
In Miami James moved off the ball as a primary ball handler and doubled as a small forward and power forward hybrid.
On a recent episode of the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show, ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins called Simmons “baby LeBron” and praised him as a “dog” that doesn’t get enough credit.
Luka Doncic is one of the most polished NBA products in recent years.
The third overall pick by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2018 NBA draft, Doncic was traded to the Mavs in exchange for Trae Young.
The NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2019, in his first campaign, Doncic posted a solid 21.2-points, 7.8-rebounds and 6.0 assists campaign for the Mavs.
Last season, the Slovenian point guard averaged 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists per contest.
This season, Doncic is averaging 23.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 6.2 assists per contest for the Mavs.
Miami Heat small forward, Duncan Robinson has faced James, Simmons and Doncic on the court in the past year. Following the Heat’s 93-83 loss to the Mavs on Friday where Doncic posted a 27 point, 15 rebound and seven assist outing agains the Heat, I asked Robinson about similarities between all three players.
GettyDuncan Robinson #55 of the Miami Heat reacts before being fouled by Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff on August 22, 2020.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: When you were playing against Luka [Doncic] tonight and you had a chance to play against LeBron in the Finals and I’m curious to know from your perspective do see any similarities on the way that they run their offense and having played Ben Simmons in the Eastern Conference; do you find yourself guarding Luka in similar says that you guard LeBron and Ben Simmons?
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Yeah, you definitely see similarities just in terms of usage and how much both of those guys with the ball in their hands so, I’m making them the priority and the main focus and they’re tough to plan for because they can go get it themselves and also they can get other people involved. So they’re both VERY talented players; definitely some similarities in how they’re used, but obviously tonight we didn’t do a very good job at all of slowing him down and making it difficult for him.