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Seems like LeBron thinks Giannis isn't a scorer


There's a lot of mutual respect between LeBron and Giannis. Just a few days ago, the two time MVP tipped his hat to LeBron. In an interview for a Greek outlet, Giannis proved even the best players know MVP doesn't mean "best in basketball" and said LeBron is still no.1 in the NBA, regardless of his MVP awards. 

But a lot of mutual respect doesn't turn off their competitive drive, and no matter what they say, all of these guys think they're no.1 and can probably recite 10 reasons to argue their side of the discussion. Most of them are just smart enough not to do it in public. Still, we get a glimpse here and there, and the most recent one happened on Road Trippin'. 

As it often happens with slips of the tongue/mind, the topic was about something else. LeBron, Richard Jefferson, and Channing Frye talked about fans and media blowing their words out of proportion or taking them out of context, and a Channing Frye tweet came up in which he said Giannis couldn't score. Here's how it went. 

They went crazy on Channing a week and a half ago because he said, “I don't care, Milwaukee didn't get better because Giannis can't score.” People went crazy because all they was thinking like “The guy averaged 30; what do you mean he can't score??” 

LeBron James, Road Trippin'

That would be a valid point. Here are Giannis' points per game since he joined the league: 6.8 - 12.7 - 16.9 - 22.9 - 26.9 - 27.7 - 29.5. At first glance, looks like a scorer to me. Giannis got better every year, and his effective field goal percentage was an insane 59.9% and 58.9% the last two seasons. Here's why LeBron agrees with Frye despite the numbers. 

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I know what Channing is basically talking about. You've got to break down the game. But everyone is so, like, instant oatmeal, and so surface. 

LeBron James, Road Trippin'

I assume LeBron is implying he agrees with Frye that Giannis is still very one dimensional. What he does, he does very well, but in the playoffs, teams take away the spin move to penetrate in the paint, and life becomes a lot more difficult for Giannis. 

A few problems here. Twitter is a horrible place for depth and nuance, so LeBron can't blame people taking Frye's point at face value if he chose to deliver a nuanced point on a very shallow platform. I'd love to read a long-form piece on Uninterrupted. 

Secondly, everyone has their own interpretation of scorer, it seems. Luckily we have people who spend their whole careers making sure words have a clear meaning. The Merriam Wester Dictionary states that score is  “a number that expresses accomplishment (as in a game or test) or excellence (as in quality) either absolutely in points gained or by comparison to a standard.” Therefore, a scorer is a person that achieves a high number of points, either absolutely or by comparison to standard. Giannis is a scorer in both points of view. 

When someone averages almost 30 a game on an eFG of 58.9%, it's OK if you want to say that person is not a scorer. But understand that words have meaning, and such a statement requires a lot of explaining and nuance. It's not the listener's fault if they lose their mind when no explanation or nuance is given. Frye figured that out and followed up his tweets.

I agree people are quick to jump to conclusions and not hear someone out. But this didn't happen because "people are instant oatmeal" and we can't break down the game. Words have meaning, and Twitter is a horrible platform for any meaningful interecation.

You can't blame others for misunderstanding you if you don't offer any explanation to begin with. But, it's easier to blame the media and Twitter.

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