However you want to slice it, LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players of all-time. We'll spare you the laundry list of accolades and championship runs, but he's in very, very elite company.
At the height of his powers, LeBron was unstoppable in the playoffs. The Ringer's Bill Simmons believes that Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 2022 playoff version, is now on the same level as 2018 NBA Finals James.
"I can't put anyone above him [LeBron], but I can put Giannis right next to him though. I know that's a crazy thing to say because LeBron is either the second or third best player of all-time."
Simmons centered the argument as "apex Giannis" versus "apex LeBron".
"Giannis is side-by-side with him from a peak performance standpoint."
Against Simmons' beloved Boston Celtics, Giannis averaged 33.9 points per game, 14.7 rebounds per game, and 7.1 assists per game. It was a sight to behold.
"That's why, LeBron and Giannis to me, since MJ, are the two guys where you're just completely helpless...Shaq had some of that too..but with LeBron and Giannis, 2018 LeBron, and 2022 Giannis, your best chance is 'I hope that misses.'"
Simmons labeled LeBron's Game 1 performance in the 2018 NBA Finals as the best game he's ever seen in person, and thinks that Giannis' 2022 playoff output and impact is equal to that of James.
"LeBron, I think he finished with 51, he completely overpowered the Warriors which was a great Warriors team that had Durant at his peak, Curry in his prime, Draymond, Klay and the only other elite guy on the Cavs was LeBron and he went toe-to-toe with them and probably should have beat them...he figured out this power point guard game that nobody knew what to do with."
The Cavaliers lost the game (thanks J.R. Smith!), but it indeed might be LeBron's magnum opus.