Sharpshooting guard-turned-podcast hero JJ Redick went toe-to-toe with Stephen A. Smith on the subject of fearing Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James. Redick padded his argument by citing all the accolades that James has achieved throughout the years, not to mention JJ himself played against the four-time champ for his entire 15-year career. Those who have seen the debate believe that Redick won it by a mile.
But since Redick is an NBA player and is highly competitive by default, he decided to load up his argument on his podcast. JJ admitted that LeBron James instilled fear in him during his playing days. And James instills fear up until today — especially when you match up with him in the playoffs.
“But for the fear factor, if you get into a playoff series with LeBron, if you’re preparing to play LeBron, you’re certainly fearful of who he is as a player.”JJ Redick, The Old Man and The Three
The stories and statistics are endless. James’ historical record of eight straight NBA Finals appearances should be enough to cause a bit of discomfort. Whether you’re a player or a fan, you know that there’s not a single person who can stop James one-on-one. Hell, not even a single team filled with the best athletes in the world can match up with his physical prowess.
Redick beefed up his argument by sharing the story when he tried to take a charge on James. Redick said he prepared for James’ dreaded spin move and was at the right place at the right time. Despite this, JJ admits he was standing in fear, knowing a freight train was about to crash onto him. And he was right – Redick got 11 stitches for his troubles.
LeBron cannot just wound you physically. For him, James’ supreme physical aptitude is as robust as his mind. We’ve all heard stories about James’ photographic memory. Knowing your team’s offensive and defensive sets is a given. James’ basketball mind stands out as he knows his foes’ plays by heart as well. For Redick, it’s simple. The King commands fear. Only one player in his generation has given him the jitters the way LeBron does.
“As much as a physical talent… when I say physical I mean everything: the body, the skillset, the game. All of the things that make LeBron great as a basketball player. He’s equally as strong in the mental department. He commands a certain level of fear that no one in my generation… with the exception of Stephen Curry.”JJ Redick, The Old Man and The Three
There are whispers that Redick may never return to Stephen A. Smith’s show. Fans believe that the former Duke standout simply beat the gregarious broadcaster in his very own game. Whatever the case may be, he made his point. There’s no arguing that James is one of the most feared players in NBA history. JJ witnessed it with his very own eyes. While Redick was taking charges at James, Smith was merely standing on the sidelines.