After several years of battling with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, the 2020-21 NBA season marks Dennis Schroder's first time on the same side with the 4-time MVP. The German has a renewed perspective on James, confirming that he is indeed a “leader” and a “legend” of the game.
After their convincing 121-107 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, Schroder shared his thoughts on what's it been like playing with James so far.
Schroder on LeBron: "What he brings to the table every night is just amazing … I’ve played against him a bunch. It’s incredible to see. Now playing with him … such a good person as well, trying to help, being a leader. He’s a hell of a teammate, hell of a player, a legend."
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 31, 2020
To recall, Schroder played for the Atlanta Hawks in his first five years in the NBA, facing James' mighty Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs twice. In 2015, they got swept in the Eastern Conference Finals. And in 2016, they also got booted out in four games in the Conference Semis.
It would definitely be understandable if Schroder had hated James' guts for most of his career. For the longest time, teams in the East were basically stonewalled by James-led teams before his move to Los Angeles. Note that James holds the record for most consecutive NBA Finals appearances with eight. Players like DeMar DeRozan has admitted that it was frustrating to reach the Conference Finals several times only to be booted out by James.
The good thing for Schroder is that he's now in Los Angeles, dishing dimes to James instead of defending him. So far, the 27-year-old has been doing really well. In the Lakers' win over the Spurs, the German had 21 points, four rebounds, and four assists. He shot 9-of-15 from the field and 3-of-5 from deep. His knack for scoring the ball has complemented his teammates very well thus far.