Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas appeared to throw some not-so-subtle shade at Lakers star LeBron James on his podcast this week.
Arenas believes that NBA players don’t fear James because he’s an “all-around player.” Instead, Arenas believes players fear opponents who can erupt for high-scoring outputs in any given game.
“Did anyone fear Magic Johnson? No. Did anyone fear John Stockton or Karl Malone? No,” Arenas said on Gil’s Arena. “The fear comes from what that person’s capability is as an offensive player. … So, Michael Jordan was feared. Allen Iverson was feared. Kobe (Bryant) was feared. Guys who have the ability to score 30 to damn 70 points, they’re feared. LeBron James was an all-around player. Even though he gave you 40, it wasn’t the same 40. … I’m not afraid of a guy who’s gonna give me 29/9/9, I’m afraid of a man who’s gonna go for 60 if I’m not careful.”
Arenas went on to compare James to Jordan, Iverson and Bryant, saying the latter three were feared because they were capable of a massive scoring outbursts. His co-hosts named Steph Curry as an example of someone who is feared for the same reason today.
Ironically, James now holds the title of the top all-time scorer in NBA history. This season, James is averaging 29.5 points per game. The Lakers star has scored 30 points or more in 22 of his 47 games to this point. His season high is 48 points.