"Looked like the youngest guy": Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal awestruck by LeBron James' exploits vs Pelicans
LeBron James continues to defy Father Time in his 21st season in the NBA. James remains one of the best players in the league and has been the most important player for the LA Lakers. Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal were in awe of "The King" for his exploits on Thursday against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The "Inside the NBA" on TNT crew, alongside ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, Malika Andrews, Bob Myers and Adrian Wojnarowski covered the 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament semi-finals. The Lakers beat the Pelicans 133-89 in the second game of the doubleheader to book their ticket to the championship game.
James led the way for the Lakers with 30 points, five rebounds and eight assists, going 9-for-12, including 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. Barkley and Shaq had nothing but praise for the four-time NBA champion, who's the oldest player in the league this season:
"You know what's amazing?" Barkley said. "The oldest guy out there looked like the youngest guy out there."
"He sure do."
LeBron James went on a run in the second quarter to give the LA Lakers a double-digit lead. Coach Darvin Ham decided to give him a breather and took James out of the game. The New Orleans Pelicans made their run and trimmed the lead down to just two points.
James had no choice but to return and take over the game once again. The Lakers look rejuvenated and full of energy with "The King" on the floor. They completely blew the Pelicans in the third quarter and effectively put the game away by outscoring them 43-17.
LeBron James downplays win over the Pelicans, says no pressure for Saturday's final against Indiana
LeBron James was happy that the LA Lakers got the win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday. James is looking forward to the championship game against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday but downplayed their victory because it's only December:
"Listen, it's still December," James said. "I'm not getting too crazy about the whole thing. I understand this thing has been great, the In-Season Tournament.
"It's still December, you know? It is another game for us to get better, and we want to try to win that game because we're a team that wants to get better every single game, every quarter, every possession. We have another opportunity to do that."
The Pacers are no slouches, as they beat the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks to get to the NBA Cup Finals. The championship game is set for Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.