LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have the second-best record in the NBA right now. They have a five game lead in the Western Conference standings. LeBron is averaging 25.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and a career high 10.7 assists. It is almost impossible to criticize him, but Skip Bayless finds a way on a daily basis. Today he went back to the Kawhi Leonard well to take some shots at LeBron.
This continues to be one of the most ridiculous criticisms ever levied at a player. Kawhi played four more minutes and took six more shots. Kawhi sat as his team took a 35-point lead into the 4th. LeBron played as his team took a 14-point lead into the 4th and left with 5:32 remaining in the game. They both scored a bunch in their final quarter in games that weren't ever in doubt.
Obviously, not all minutes are considered equal, but those extra few minutes don't really matter when LeBron has already played 300+ more minute this season than Kawhi. LeBron doesn't require load management. Kawhi does.
BONUS CONTENT: Kawhi is in his ninth season. Comparing LeBron's ninth season to this Kawhi season, James averaged more points on fewer shots, had more rebounds, assists, blocks and had a higher Effective Field Goal Percentage than Kawhi does right now. He also had the same number of steals per game and shot the exact same percentage (.362) from three. LeBron was MVP that season and his team won the title. Kawhi can still win a title, but he's not even a top-5 MVP candidate right now, and it's hard to imagine he will be given how many games he misses; LeBron played 62 of 66 games for the Heat that season, and Kawhi is on pace to play 62 of the Clippers 82 games this season.