LeBron James is widely considered the best perimeter defender in the NBA. LeBron James is the NBA MVP. LeBron James is killing it in the NBA Finals, slowly swatting away every last critic. Enter Serge Ibaka, who decided to poke the beehive with a stick for no reason.
Here’s what Ibaka had to say about James, via Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD:
“LeBron is not a good defender. He can play defense for 2-3 minutes but not 48 minutes. LeBron can’t play (Durant) one-on-one.”
Oh, Serge. Clearly no NBA player can lead his team offensively and guard the league’s best scorer for 48 minutes. But to call LeBron a poor defender is plainly false. But more absurd is the timing of such a comment. Down 2-1, the Thunder are in a must win situation. Yes, must win. No team has come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals. It’s already troubling that Miami is closing out tight games, which undermines our stringent application of the “closer” title to Kevin Durant, and Kevin Durant alone. LeBron might not have MJ’s anger, that “blow every slight out of proportion for motivational purposes” capability, but why would Ibaka even go there? Now LeBron will just key in on Durant even more.
What do you think of Ibaka’s comments?
Follow Dylan on Twitter at @DylanTMurphy.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.