Love him or hate him, LeBron James is still the best player in basketball -- and he knows it.
In a recent chat on "The Real Ones" podcast, Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson detailed one recent encounter he had with LeBron (during the Warriors/Lakers play-in game), in which he was reminded by the "King" of his status as the best player in the world.
“I went into that game like, I belong here, I’m here,” the Warriors forward said. “I was starting to gain my own confidence naturally, but then after we played the [Phoenix] Suns a few days before that, Chris Paul came up to me and was like ‘Man, I respect you, I respect dogs, I respect your story, how you got in this league.’ I got words from [Kevin Durant], a lot of guys from around the league, James Johnson.
So I came into that game like ‘M——–a, I’m here, I belong here and I’m here to play, I’m on the Warriors, I’m one of the guys on the scouting report.’ There are some guys that ain’t even on the scouting report, let alone even talked about on the scouting report. When I was talking s–t to him … I’m mad because I let him score. I should have fouled him instead of letting him score.
But it’s LeBron James, one of the best players in the world. But I’m like ‘I’m here. What’s up? You gotta score on me, you gotta show me.’ He showed me, but that felt fun to be able to talk s–t to LeBron and after he scored on the way back down, he was like ‘Man, that was great defense but I’m the best player in the world.'”
Toscano-Anderson was doing his best to slow down LeBron James, a task that is nearly impossible for even the NBA's best defenders.
And while he was doing an admirable job, James is just too good, and it was his strength and talent that won out in the end.
Of course, the most interesting part of it all is hearing how LeBron used his status to flex on his competition with trash talk. Can you imagine all the other things he's said on the court?