No active player in the NBA is more decorated than LeBron James. The four-time NBA champion and 19-time All-Star has continuously shown new depth, breaking records and charting new courses in the process.
He has, over the years, set himself apart, making a legitimate claim to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. It will be a well-deserved one at that, no doubt. His impact on the game has been undeniable, and so has his footprint off the court, too. While he is highly respected within the basketball community and around the world in general, his ability to scare players on the court has been questioned.
In his latest podcast release, Shaquille O'Neal shared that the LA Lakers forward was not feared by his opponents on the court. He, however, stated that he was dangerous to go against but was never feared. He acknowledged that James was respected and admired but not feared, and as such, players were confident going up against him.
"LeBron is my guy, but nobody was ever scared of LeBron," Shaq said. "So, if you're not scared of a guy, you just have much more confidence. That's a dangerous guy to play with. They respect him, but they don't fear him 'cause I can tell, I watched him playing against them, they not scared."
This thought process has also been expressed by Stephen A. Smith in one of his "First Take" broadcasts. He shared that James was respected, being too great not to be, but not feared.
“LeBron James is too phenomenal and too great not to be incredibly respected, but in my estimation, from the people that I've spoken to covering the league, he’s never been feared."
Shaquille O’Neal believes players are more afraid playing against Giannis Antetokounmpo than they are against LeBron James
On "The Big Podcast," with Spice Adams, Nischelle Turner, Shaquille O’Neal shared interesting information about LeBron James. While he stated that the face of the NBA is not feared on the court, he revealed that the Milwaukee Bucks talisman, Giannis Antetokounmpo, is one player opponents dread going up against.
To drive his argument, he went on to give a description of what players see when they see him coming down the paint. Giannis has been commended for his aggressiveness on the court and his beastly nature in the paint, birthing the sobriquet "Greek Freak."
"They fear Giannis now," he revealed. "They fear Giannis cause they can see in his face when he coming down the damn lane full court. They can see, yo, this guy not playing."