Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is a champion and Finals Most Valuable Player for the fourth time in what has been a storied NBA career.
James became the only player to win the Finals MVP Award with three different teams, with his first two Finals MVP trophies coming when he played for the Miami Heat and his third with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the 2020 Finals against the Heat, which the Lakers won in six games, James averaged 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 8.5 assists, as he won the award unanimously over teammate Anthony Davis.
After the game, James was asked by SportsCenter’s Scott Van Pelt about how the LeBron James of today, now in his 17th year in the league, would fare against the LeBron James back when he won his first championship and Finals MVP with Miami eight years ago. James had a definitive answer.
LeBron James says 35-year old LeBron would dominate 27-year old LeBron.
"He would dominate him." pic.twitter.com/XLvCqRX3U8
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 12, 2020
“You don’t even know your game,” James tells Van Pelt about the younger version of himself. “You haven’t even scratched the surface. You have no idea what you are capable of. So I think if you line up 35-year old LeBron with 27-year old LeBron, he would dominate him. He would dominate himself from eight years ago.”
LeBron has chosen the wisdom he gained over the years over the superior athleticism that he possessed back during his days with the Heat. In his first run to the title in the 2012 Finals, James averaged 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 7.4 assists as Miami dispatched the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games.
His numbers then are almost identical to his numbers in these Finals, but James firmly believes that he has a better understanding of his game now that he has played more years and won three more championships.