Along with Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, LeBron James and Kevin Durant have been the two greatest NBA players of the past decade or so.
Both have gotten things done in different ways. While James has been an irresistible force, especially in the open court, and one of the two or three greatest physical specimens in basketball history, Durant has consistently outskilled opponents.
The Phoenix Suns superstar is a silky smooth player who can hit contested jumpers from anywhere, and he can easily drive on defenders, stop on a dime and score.
Chandler Parsons, who played in the NBA from the 2011-12 campaign until three seasons ago, says he feared guarding Durant in one-on-one situations more than he feared James (h/t Lakers Daily).
.@ChandlerParsons and @bansky share their thoughts on Mario Chalmers saying nobody fears LeBron like they did MJ 👀#RunItBack with @MichelleDBeadle pic.twitter.com/M5BaZd4BnI
— FanDuel TV (@FanDuelTV) March 21, 2023
“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 said that by “passive,” he meant that James is more intent on distributing the ball and getting others involved than he is on scorching defenders himself in iso situations.
One criticism James has gotten over the years has been about not developing his offensive skills as much as some have wanted him to, whether it has been his outside jumper or his low post game. Parsons mentioned how the game plan against James has often been to give him a few feet of space, knowing he doesn’t have the deadliest jumper around.
Still, even at age 38 and in his 20th season, there is perhaps no scarier sight in the NBA than seeing James coming barreling down the court or the lane in transition with tunnel vision, looking to attack the rim with a vengeance.