What's the difference between Eric Bledsoe and LeBron James? About seven inches and that's it.
Speaking with Matt Petersen of Suns.com, Goran Dragic referred to his new teammate as a miniature LeBron:
He’s a mini-Lebron James. He’s got that big strength so when he's in the open court, he’s unstoppable. Like a lot of fans know, I like to play fast basketball. When I get the ball to the other guy, he’s going to run. We’re going to score a lot of points.
Mike D'Antoni would be proud. Aspiring to score a lot of points? It's like he never left the Phoenix Suns.
More noteworthy than Dragic's offensive ambitions is this "Mini LeBron" moniker Bledsoe goes by. Dragic isn't the first one to coin him a diminutive-sized King. His handle goes back to his Los Angeles Clippers days.
Teammates linked him to The Chosen One on account of his potential. And for what it's worth, ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz wrote that Chris Paul's dad called him "Little Hercules," which is basically the same thing.
Drawing comparison to LeBron is the ultimate of praises, and it's one Bledsoe deserves. Not in the sense that he's the future of the NBA, destined to shatter efficiency records and team up with the next generation's Dwyane Wade. Rather, it attests to his sheer athletic ability, the kind that makes him "unstoppable."
Athleticism aside, however, Bledsoe does have some of the statistical cred to back up Dragic's enthusiastic endorsement.
Last season he became one of just three players in league history to average at least 14 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block per 36 minutes while actually appearing in 20 or more minutes per game.
What's the better nickname for Eric Bledsoe?
So let's not waste time trying to refute Dragic's not-so-original claim. If you want to disparage anything he said, hone in on his hope that the Suns are going to contend for a playoff spot. Unless by "playoff spot" he meant Andrew Wiggins, that's utterly ridiculous.
As for Bledsoe, he was pitted against The King well before he joined the Suns, and Mini LeBron isn't going anywhere anytime soon.