The Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks face off on Thursday night, but that doesn’t mean that Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo can’t recognize the greatness of his competition. Especially when that competition is LeBron James, arguably the greatest basketball player to ever step onto the court in the NBA.
After the Bucks practiced on Wednesday, Antetokounmpo spoke about LeBron with respect and awe. James is about to turn 35, and that longevity is one of Antetokounmpo career goals.
"It's crazy. Obviously, for me, that's one of my goals to be able to play at a high level for the next 10 years, but he's about to turn 35 this month and he's moving like that, playing like that, and just playing smart. It's insane to see what he's able to do, but he's LeBron James, he's different. He's an alien. So you expect it from him, but yeah, it's crazy."
After dealing with a torn groin last year, James is back to being a dominant force. He doesn’t quite have the oomph that young guys like Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic have, but the James we’re getting at almost 35 years old is still astonishing.
James is averaging 25.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this season, which are both in line with his career averages, which are already excellent. He’s also averaging 10.6 assists per game, which not only leads the league, but is currently his career best. Last year’s groin injury seems to be a distant memory.
Both James and Antetokounmpo will have to bring their best when they play each other on Thursday night. Both teams have matching 24-4 records and they each sit atop their respective conferences. It’s the first of two meetings the Lakers and Bucks will have this season, but with how these teams have been playing, we may see them face off several more times in about six months, with even more on the line.
More from Yahoo Sports: