It’s nothing new to see LeBron James work with players on opposing teams during the offseason. But he may just have a new protege in the making.
After Tuesday night’s loss to the Cavaliers, Bucks guard/wing/point guard/man of many talents Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t just say he’d love to learn from the King during the offseason. He went even further with the idea.
“If I had the chance, the opportunity to work with him, of course I would,” he said. “You’d have to work with him. He’s one of the best players in the world. One summer working out with LeBron, you can learn a lot. It would help you moving forward. If I had the chance, of course I’ll grab the opportunity to try to work with him.”
Why wouldn’t those workout sessions happen? Would a hectic summer schedule prevent him from connecting with James?
“It’s not up to me. It’s up to LeBron,” the 21-year-old responded. “I think LeBron has 150 times more things to do than me over the summer. If he has time, I’ll definitely have the time.”
Antetokounmpo is hardly the first player to say he wants to get mentored by James, even if they aren’t on the same team. The Pacers’ Paul George made similar comments to Basketball Insiders during 2014.
James recently got criticized for working out with Heat guard and former teammate Dwyane Wade during an off day in Miami. But apparently, the national reaction to his rendezvous with Wade won’t deter him from taking some other “opponents” under his proverbial wing.
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“Absolutely [Giannis and I can get together],” James said to cleveland.com. “Y’all know I got an open-door policy.”
Antetokounmpo has just the type of skill set you’d have to imagine James could help develop. He’s multitalented, able to play the point, able to score at the rim, able to create for others. He’s a wonderful rebounder for someone who can play essentially any position that can station itself away from the basket. And it might just end up making James better in the process.
The young Bucks star has some skills to develop, mainly his shooting, but he’s still just 21 and is averaging 16.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game on the season. Imagine if LeBron could somehow improve on that already formidable arsenal.