The LeBron James AD duo is reminiscent of the 2000s duo of Kobe and Shaq. Back then, the Lakers were marching on the NBA thanks to Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, and the LeBron-Davis tandem was the first to score at least 30 points each since their glorious elders.
« When I was in high school, I watched the Kobe-Shaq duo, and it was the most dominant duo I’ve ever seen in my life basketball-wise, » LeBron James responded first. « Obviously, we knew the strength that Shaq brought, but there was also the elegance and strength of Kobe. They were very dominant on both sides of the court. The fact that AD and I are mentioned in the same discussion is humbling because I know I grew up watching them. I grew up admiring Kobe, obviously, a kid straight out of high school. And then there was the strength of Shaq… It’s a great honor to be mentioned with such great players. »
In terms of play, it’s obviously different since LeBron James is a point guard in a wing’s body, while Anthony Davis is the archetypal modern strongman capable of punishing from long range and close range, but also starting one-on-one from the top of the key. But such is the dominance of the LeBron-Davis duo that it is a reference to the best tandems in history….
« Those two guys were obviously unique. They were a unique duo together. They were the best duo we’ve ever seen, » Davis said. « They won multiple titles. They were both dominant. I know they got a little confused because they both wanted to dominate…. They both wanted to be great players and they both wanted to win, and that’s why they were able to put it all together. But you know, both of those guys were selfless. They were both very demanding of themselves that their teams win. »
Who is Kobe, who is Shaq?
The requirement with oneself and this ability to pull the team up are the marks of the greatest players.
« I think me and Bron are the same. We’re both guys who want to win no matter what, » Davis continued. « We both want to make sure we do whatever it takes to help our team win. When you have two selfless guys… It’s not always going to be pretty. Sometimes we’re not going to agree but we know it comes from a good place. When you have two guys who want to win as much as we do and want to dominate every game, it leads to games like tonight where two guys, like us, are able to score, get rebounds, and serve others. That’s rare to see… We know the team has something unique with the two of us and we’re just trying to capitalize on it. »
Naturally, the journalists asked them, each in turn, to define who is Shaq, and who is Kobe. The answer of Davis first: « He is Kobe because he has the ball in hand, and I am Shaq because I play in the post ».
LeBron’s answer is different and more nuanced: « Well, I guess if you assume that Shaq had that combination of size, power and speed, you can compare him to my game during my career. And if you’re talking about elegance, shooting ability, and playing in the paint with your back to the hoop or out wide, I guess there are some characteristics of AD’s game that are comparable to Kobe’s. But what characterizes all four of us is that winning mentality. I can’t even believe I’m here talking about AD and I, and Kobe and Shaq. »