'Fourth title will mean great deal for LeBron'

Winning his fourth NBA championship will mean a great deal to LeBron James, according to his former team-mate DeAndre Liggins.

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Liggins, currently playing in the British Basketball League with the London Lions, played 61 games alongside James with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016-17 season. His NBA career, in which he represented seven teams across five seasons, also saw him play for the Miami Heat and alongside Anthony Davis for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Liggins described what it’s like to share a locker room with four-time MVP James.

“He is a great leader. He is very smart and very articulate. He has great charisma, just an all-around great player and great person. He is fun to be around. He always goes about his business the same way. Nothing will change with him. His routine will stay the same. He works on his body every offseason. He is going to keep going until… I don’t know when,” he said.

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James is currently seeking his fourth championship as the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. The Lakers are title favourites and lead the series 1-0. Liggins said bringing home the championship – Los Angeles’ first in 10 years – would be incredibly meaningful for the team and for James himself.

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“(The Lakers winning the championship) will mean a great deal (given the circumstances this season) with Kobe Bryant, coronavirus, playing in the bubble. It will mean a great deal for LeBron, personally. I say that because of his age – he is in a win-now situation,” he said.

A fourth championship would draw James within two titles of Michael Jordan, with whom James is frequently compared. Liggins offered his perspective on James’ feelings about being constantly compared to the Chicago Bulls icon.

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“He wouldn’t say to media that it gets on his nerves. But I know him personally, it does,” he said. “LeBron is his own person, his own player. He is achieving things Michael Jordan did. He probably prefers to take that rather than being compared to Jordan.”

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James’ partnership with Lakers’ team-mate Anthony Davis is a key reason the Lakers are so heavily tipped to take home the NBA title. Liggins said Davis’ offensive talent has been extremely beneficial to the 35-year-old James throughout the 2019-20 season.

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“AD is a great guy and a great player. He is hard to play against because he plays like a guard: he can bring the ball up, he knows how to dribble and shoot. He can do a lot of things that other big men can’t,” he said. “Superstars often get together and don’t gel right away. It’s a big deal to see them gelling and playing well at the right time.

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“AD won (five) playoff games with the Pelicans in total. This year it is a total change for him. He is on the verge of winning a championship and I know it means a great deal to him.

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“LeBron can still do what he does and still dominate the game. But AD is great offensively and he can take that load off LeBron on that side of the ball while LeBron can facilitate and make other players better.”

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