Lakers' LeBron James Humbled by Kobe-Shaq Comparisons with Anthony Davis

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis (3) and LeBron James (23) shake hands in the final moments of their 114-108 win over the Denver Nuggets in an NBA conference final playoff basketball game Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

After the Los Angeles Lakers took a 2-0 series lead on the Miami Heat in the 2020 NBA Finals on Friday, Lakers star LeBron James addressed the comparisons he and Anthony Davis have been receiving to Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.

According to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk, LeBron said: "Watching the Kobe-Shaq duo was the most dominant duo I had watched ... they were very dominant on both sides of the floor. To be in the conversation with those two guys, myself and AD, is very humbling."

James and Davis have imposed their will on the Heat thus far in the NBA Finals. James is averaging 29.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game in the Finals, while Davis is putting up 33.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per contest.

With the Heat missing both center Bam Adebayo and guard Goran Dragic because of injury currently, it seems likely that LeBron and Davis will continue to dominate en route to the Lakers' first NBA championship since 2010.

The Lakers are also set up well to continue being championship contenders in the coming years, something Kobe and Shaq were able to do during their heyday.

With Bryant and O'Neal leading the way, the Lakers won three consecutive titles from 2000-02. Shaq was the Finals MVP each of those years, but Bryant played a big role in his own right.

In those three playoff runs, Shaq averaged 29.9 points and 14.5 rebounds per game, while Kobe averaged 25.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.

As has been the case during this year's playoffs, the Lakers' supporting cast didn't matter much from 2000-02, as they simply had to stay out of the way, limit mistakes and let Shaq and Kobe go to work.

While Shaq was the right choice for Finals MVP from 2000-02, it will be a tougher choice this year should the Lakers win it all, as LeBron is averaging a near-triple-double, while Davis is averaging more points and rebounds per game.

Regardless of who is crowned Finals MVP, there is no question the Lakers are back and poised to be championships contenders for the foreseeable future as long as Davis re-signs.