Gilbert Arenas and LeBron James have faced off several times over their careers. In fact, between 2006 and 2008, the Wizards and Cavaliers faced off three times in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, essentially sparking a small rivalry between the two ball clubs.
While Arenas no longer plays today, he did speak about his playing history with King James, describing what it was like to face off against him in the playoffs.
(via VLAD TV)
"We were facing a guy that we didn't know. I hung out with him a lot so I knew he was very intelligent. He was very smart, he did play chess mentally. So when we used to play cards at his house, he'd sit on the couch and his tv setup was like a bar where you just sit and watches games, watching film."
"So I seen what his mind was doing from day one. So, you know, going into that series, we got outsmarted by someone we didn't really think about. We didn't know how intelligent, how he moved pieces around. When he wanted to attack, he had certain people go get subbed out which subbed out some of our pieces which made the games smaller. He pulled his center, so we pulled our center. Now our backup is smaller than LeBron so now when LeBron goes to the basket, no one's there to protect the rim. We didn't actually understand what was going on until after."
James has amazing talent and skills at a level never seen before. But perhaps his best attribute is his mind, which he constantly uses to gain an edge over his opponents.
Whether it's memorizing his opponents' plays, manipulating the rotation to his advantage, or simply thinking five steps ahead on the court, he is a master at outsmarting his competition.
Really, it's no surprise at all to hear Arenas rave about his incredible mind.