Former NBA forward Chandler Parsons revealed that he feared guarding Kevin Durant more than Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James during his time in the NBA.
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“There’s harder matchups one-on-one,” Parsons said. “When I was playing I feared guarding Kevin Durant more than I feared guarding LeBron James just because of his ability to score in iso, the way he can break you off. The way you can play great defense, he can shoot over you. LeBron is more passive.”
Parsons did clarify that there is fear when James is coming downhill at a player as a defender, but he essentially believes that Durant is the tougher one-on-one player to guard.
James, who became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer this season, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, is one of the most gifted players in NBA history, yet his game is much more than just scoring the ball.
The four-time champion is an elite passer that averages 7.3 assists per game for his career. In the 2019-20 season, James actually led the NBA in assists per game.
Durant is a lethal scorer, and one that has a unique skill set for someone as tall and lanky as he is. The former league MVP is an elite jump shooter, especially from the midrange. He’s a near impossible one-on-one guard due to his ability to rise up above defenders, as Parsons mentioned.
It doesn’t seem like Parsons was trying to take anything away from James, but instead he was explaining what it is like to guard each player.
Whether players fear James or not, he’s one of the greatest players in league history and has four NBA Finals wins to show for it. He’s also been to the NBA Finals 10 different times in his career.
This season, James has appeared in 47 games for the Lakers and is averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 50.1 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from beyond the arc.
He’s currently out of the lineup with a foot injury, but he is expected to return at some point this season.
Parsons and Mario Chalmers have talked about players not fearing James, and that may be something that drives the Lakers forward in his recovery. Los Angeles certainly hopes it does and that James can lead the team to another NBA Finals.