Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is regarded by countless people across the league as the greatest basketball player of this generation.
However, at 37 years old, James is running out of time in the league, even though he is still capable of putting up otherworldly numbers.
Right now, there is still no consensus as to who will take over the league next. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic could be next in line. After all, he has won the last two MVP awards.
Additionally, Draymond Green believes Jokic has one of the best basketball IQs in the NBA. The Golden State Warriors forward even compared Jokic’s basketball IQ to that of James.
“I was in a five-round heavyweight battle,” Green told ESPN regarding what it was like to defend Jokic earlier this postseason. “That’s coming with Iron Mike-like power punches. But only against LeBron James does that come with having to outthink someone at such a level that it’s almost higher than a level that you can even reach.”
Green added more praise for Jokic.
“Every possession was a chess match,” he said.
It’s certainly lofty praise from Green, who won the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award and owns four All-Defensive First Team selections.
Even though the Warriors lost just one game to the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs, they found it difficult to contain Jokic. The 27-year-old Serbian averaged 31.0 points, 13.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 57.5 percent from the field in the series.
Jokic certainly made Green and other Golden State players work hard on defense. It may have given Green some flashbacks to when his team had to try to stop James in four consecutive NBA Finals from 2015 to 2018.
James was still a part of the Cleveland Cavaliers then, helping Cleveland win its first NBA championship in franchise history in 2016. The Warriors took three titles during that four-year span.