Myles Turner didn’t think LeBron James was on Kobe Bryant’s level until he actually played against him

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read

Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner used to think that Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James wasn’t on the same level as franchise legend Kobe Bryant, but the 27-year-old recently explained that everything changed once he actually played against the future Hall of Famer.

Turner has spent his entire career with the Pacers, but Lakers fans have heard his name plenty in recent seasons due to rumors connecting him to Los Angeles. Those rumors have died down, making it seem less likely that the former lottery pick will ever get a chance to be James’ teammate.

Regardless, Turner clearly thinks a lot of the four-time MVP. The big man’s first matchup against James came during the 2015-16 season, so that may have been when his opinion started to shift. Turner also made it sound like James left a particular impression on him during the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

Between the regular season and playoffs, the two players have met 26 times in the NBA, and James leads the head-to-head series 18-8.

James is still producing even as he ages. Last season, he became the NBA’s all-time scoring leader, and for good measure, he averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game.

Turner doesn’t have the resume that James does, but the Pacers veteran has had a very nice career so far. He’s often regarded as one of the league’s elite rim protectors, a distinction he has certainly earned after leading the league in blocks per game twice. He holds career averages of 13.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per contest.

James and Turner will certainly face off a few more times before the 38-year-old exits the league, giving Turner more opportunities to appreciate how rare James is as a player.

Of note, the Lakers and Pacers will play twice in the upcoming campaign, and both games will take place with less than a month remaining in the regular season. Those matchups could have major playoff implications for both teams depending on the way things unfold leading up to the battles.

For as much respect as Turner as for James, he likely won’t have any problem locking in when he steps on the floor against him this season.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.