"That's Larry's whole game" - Why Gilbert Arenas believes Larry Bird would beat LeBron James in a 1-on-1

LeBron James and Larry Bird are two of the best small forwards in NBA history. However, playing generations apart has prevented people from seeing the legends face off on the court. Still, it's fun to imagine how a 1-on-1 contest between LeBron and Larry would have turned out.

If you think Bird would edge out James in such a matchup, you're in the same boat with Gilbert Arenas. The retired point guard appeared on Vlad TV, where he explained how Nikola Jokic and LeBron are more team players rather than 1-on-1 types of guys. When asked who would come out on top between Bird and Jokic, Gil said that the Boston Celtics icon could even take James.

"Larry Bird would probably beat LeBron 1-on-1," Arenas said. "Because 1-on-1, it takes away from everything LeBron has, right? His physical strength, his speed, and all that power he has going well. In 1-on-1, you are talking about one, two dribbles. That's not his game. That's Larry's whole game."

Not downplaying his tormentor

Arenas likely wasn't just being petty by calling the star who ended his three consecutive playoff runs while suiting up for the Washington Wizards. In those series, the three-time All-Star saw LBJ perform plenty of highlight reel plays.

Still, Gil's point has merit, as the four-time MVP is known more for his all-around skills and hasn't displayed the same killer instinct that had made the likes of Bird, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant popular. Arenas even once said that LeBron had the mentality of Magic Johnson and MJ's jumping ability.

It shouldn't take away, though, from James' legacy. After all, there's a reason why he was able to climb his way to the top of the Association's all-time scoring leaderboard.

As for Bird, the "Hick from French Lick" had a lot of aces up his sleeves when attacking defenders, which made up for his lack of quickness and athleticism. Furthermore, he could shoot from anywhere on the court and even with a hand in his face.

Couldn't even defeat Beasley

To reinforce Arenas' choice and opinion about James, keep in mind that the 19-time All-Star reportedly couldn't beat former Miami Heat teammate Michael Beasley when they played 1-on-1. However, that might be more about Beasley's skills—Josh Hart, who played with both LeBron and B-Eazy, described the latter as the most talented hooper he's ever seen.

Still, if the "King" couldn't even get past Beasley, who is an extremely talented scorer, to be fair, it's difficult to see him defeating "Larry Legend."

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