Fresh off another loss to the Miami Heat, many are starting to question if Giannis Antetokounmpo is a good enough number one option to win a title. It seems like a ridiculous take considering he could end up being the back-to-back MVP of the NBA but it’s been thrown out there. Former NBA player Richard Jefferson suggested that Giannis could just be the next Scottie Pippen, who is the most famous number two player ever.
Those comments from Jefferson led veteran NBA analyst and player Jay Williams to suggest the Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James once played a “Pippen” role to Dwyane Wade when he was with the Heat. That suggestion did not sit well with LeBron and he had a fiery response:
Explain to me what the fux I gotta do with this subject matter! I’m over here minding my damn business preparing for Houston. And by the way I ain’t never been nobody but my damn self! S***!
Explain to me what the fux I gotta do with this subject matter! I’m over here minding my damn business preparing for Houston. And by the way I ain’t never been nobody but my damn self! 👑 Shit!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 3, 2020
It’s Weird to Suggest That LeBron Was Pippen
This is far from the first time that LeBron has clapped back at the media but he’s got a point. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to suggest that he wasn’t the top guy in Miami. In fact, Wade’s number went down once LeBron arrived and he seemed to accept his role as the number two. It makes a lot more sense to say that Wade went from being the number one guy to a number two.
Wade is pretty comparable to Pippen in that situation. LeBron is the one who led the Heat to two Finals wins. It wasn’t because of Wade. By the time LeBron got there, Wade was already starting to decline. He was still an All-Star level player, but LeBron was playing like an MVP. The superstar probably didn’t need to respond but it’s hard to see Williams’ argument as valid.
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Is Giannis Destined to Be a Number 2?
This brings us back to Giannis. There’s no doubt he’s arguably the most athletically gifted player in the NBA. Also, you don’t win an MVP if you don’t have an absurd amount of skill. However, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that it’s really hard to win a title with a big man being the best player on a team.
Anthony Davis recently learned this. Every year, he put up godlike stats but the New Orleans Pelicans never sniffed the Finals. Now that he’s playing second fiddle to LeBron, he could be bringing home a title for the first time in his career. It’s hard not to see the parallels between Giannis and Davis. Now, the “Greek Freak” has been able to lead his team to more wins than Davis was ever able to but at a certain point, he might need to make a change. He clearly would like to stay in Milwaukee but if they lose to the Heat, he’s probably going to at least start to think about making a change. Going to a team like the Golden State Warriors and being the number two guy to Stephen Curry wouldn’t be all that bad for him.