Danny Green has a unique perspective on LeBron James' evolution over the last decade.
They were teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers when Green was a rookie and James was in his seventh season in the league in 2009, and then teamed up again this season on the Lakers. Green discussed James' growth in a recent interview on "The Herd With Colin Cowherd."
“Knowing and seeing him from then to now, 10 years later, he definitely is bigger and stronger than he was then," Green said. "He’s more of a grown man. He still was in the prime time of his career when I was there my rookie season. I think he’s just smarter. He knows how to win. He’s a better pro. Not that he wasn’t then. He was just very good at beating people with his athleticism. He’s still very athletic now. He knows he doesn’t have to at this point."
James, 35, was having an MVP-caliber season before the NBA was suspended March 11 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was averaging a league-leading 10.6 assists, 25.7 points and 7.9 rebounds a game for the Lakers, who were atop the Western Conference with a record of 49-14.
"He’s smart enough to know his angles and choose his moments of when he needs to use it," Green said. "He learned how to win, going to Miami and winning some championships. Coming back and winning another one in Cleveland, which is ridiculously amazing. And now bringing this organization back to the level when Kobe [Bryant] was around. He’s definitely the same type of athlete -- but a smarter, veteran individual.”
James is a three-time NBA champion, winning two titles with the Miami in 2012 and 2013 and one with Cleveland in 2016. Green is a two-time champion, winning one with San Antonio in 2014 and another with Toronto last season.
Both players have an opportunity to win three tittles with three different teams if the Lakers win another championship when the season resumes.
Green said he has been working out in a private gym during the pandemic. He also ordered some weights and equipment for his house.
He added that James, of course, has also been staying in top form.
“I know LeBron is working out more than anyone else, more than ever, staying in shape,” Green said. “He’s always ready. I have no worries about any of my teammates.”