Stephen A. Smith has been making big statements in recent days amid the NBA shut down and the coronavirus crisis. With the season suspended, the debates can be about hypothetical scenarios for when the season returns or in this case, which player is the best in the league or who is the most similar to the legends of the past.
The ESPN’s analyst recently claimed LeBron James was the best player in the world, not Kawhi Leonard, explaining Leonard wasn’t at the King’s level. Now, SAS has made an even bigger statement when he said Kawhi is the most similar player to none other than Michael Jordan, the greatest baller of all time.
KAWHI is the closest thing in Sports today to Michael Jordan!!! Here’s why pic.twitter.com/6k62fIGKjk
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 27, 2020
“I’m only looking at style in terms you’re an assassin in scoring plus you defend. I would say that player is Kawhi Leonard,” Smith said. “I’m not saying he’s the best ‘cause you know I don’t feel he is. I think it’s LeBron… but LeBron is a different kind of player than Michael Jordan was. LeBron is more of a facilitator even though he’s a career 27 point per game scorer. He’s not that assassin like that. Kawhi Leonard either scores or he defends. He doesn’t necessarily make players around him better.”
If you think about it, Leonard and Jordan’s styles of play are similar and very different to what LeBron James does on the court. The King is indeed a facilitator, a player who can maximize the talent he has around him, something that not many can do.
As for Kawhi and MJ, they are indeed killers, players who would take things personally and murder their rivals ruthlessly. LeBron can do that, too, but that’s not the biggest part of his game.