“He just leads the path for us,” says Antetokounmpo, who hopes to follow in James’ footsteps and remain one of the greatest players at such an advanced age.
LeBron is cruising to the first assist title of his illustrious career, and has Los Angeles trailing only the Greek Freak’s Bucks for the NBA’s best record.
“It’s amazing. He’s 35 and playing at a high level,” Antetokounmpo said Wednesday as his Milwaukee Bucks prepared to face James’ Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. “He just leads the path for us.
“A lot of times we think that, ‘OK, we’re going to retire at 35,’ but seeing a guy at 35 being still top-three best player in the world, that makes us want to be there. Makes me want to be there one day, so I’ve got to keep taking care of my body, eating the right way, being healthy, and as I said — he paved the way, and hopefully we can just follow.”
Antetokounmpo knocked down a career-best five 3-pointers in the teams’ previous matchup on Dec. 19 to help Milwaukee win 111-104, but he expects this one to be different, with possible NBA Finals implications on the line.
“Just go there and just play good basketball. As I said, the Lakers are gonna come play hard. We know that. I watched the game last night. They played extremely hard. They played through Anthony Davis, LeBron was facilitating, guys were shooting the ball, they were running to the corner, they were playing good basketball,” Antetokounmpo said. “And they lost the first game, so they’re gonna come out and try to win the second one.
“But at the end of the day, we gotta do what we do, which is defend and run to the corner and run to our spots, move the ball, take the open shot, make the right play, drive the lanes. We’ve done this two years now — a year and a half, almost two years — and things take care of itself. So as a leader, I just gotta do that, and as a team, we just gotta stay on track.”