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Arenas in 04/05: 'LeBron will be Top 3 all-time without ever tapping into his full ability'


Two seasons into LeBron James' NBA career, Gilbert Arenas had seen enough. In the eyes of the Washington Wizards' star point guard, the nickname Chosen One was in for justification.

I remember I made a comment to one of my teammates in 04/05 season. I said, 'he's gonna go down as Top 3 greatest of all time and never tap into his real ability. Because he doesn't have to, that's how dominant this man is gonna be.'

Gilbert Arenas, Club Shay Shay

LeBron finished the year averaging 27.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 7.2 APG. He finished sixth in MVP voting, leading the Cavaliers to 42 wins - the organization's first positive winning record since the 97/98 NBA season. The very next year, he led the Cavs to the second round of the playoffs forcing a Game 7 against the Detroit Pistons. And even though Cleveland lost a win-or-go-home game against Detroit, LeBron James officially announced himself as the NBA's next big thing.

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That little two-year stretch is seen as LeBron's coming out party, where a lot more joined Arenas in projecting an all-time great career for an Akron native. Stuff James was doing was unprecedented for a 20,21-year-old kid, and the way he approached the game was light years ahead of most NBA players at the time. That's the thing Arenas admired the most about a young superstar in the making -- his basketball brain and the dissection of the game that was unmatched within the association.

I knew then that he knows everything that's going on on that court. He knows where everyone's supposed to be; he knows if the play is real; if the play is fake, he knows exactly what is expired all through that game.

Gilbert Arenas, Club Shay Shay

Gilbert described LeBron's mind as a computerand talked about seeing it in action first hand. It happened before their first-round matchup of the 05/06 NBA playoffs, as Arenas paid James a visit before the first game of the series. He got into his house, and LeBron and Savannah were in there watching the Wizards games and taking notes. "Them notes ain't stopping me," Agent Zero said. LeBron responded with, "we're taking Game 1." And they did. In fact, they took the whole series in six games, with LeBron's preparation being the competitive advantage Washington had no answer for.

Today, over a decade later, LeBron's mind remains something no team has an answer for. Combined with his incredible gifts for the game of basketball, it makes LeBron James one of the greatest players in the association's history - something Arenas predicted at the very start of his iconic NBA run.

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