Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has never shied away from praising his opponents. Or from offering an honest opinion of them.
Such was the case after the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Warriors 120-94 on Wednesday night, knocking Golden State down to a 2-10 record. Afterwards, Kerr offered some serious praise for Lakers star LeBron James, saying the four-time MVP is “probably the best athlete to ever walk this planet.”
That’s high praise from anyone, but it’s especially high praise from Kerr, who won three championships playing alongside Michael Jordan.
It’s also hard to argue. Forgetting basketball, and just focusing on athletic prowess, James is about as impressive of a specimen as has ever existed, in a highly athletic sport. He has the height of a small forward, the strength of a center, the speed of a point guard, and the combination of body control and leaping ability that would have landed him numerous slam dunk contest victories, had he ever chosen to participate (which I very much wish he had).
What he did with that athleticism isn’t too shabby, either. And after recording 23 points, 12 assists, and 6 rebounds against the Warriors, it’s pretty clear he’s far from over, even in his 17th NBA season.
That said, defining and ranking athleticism is always going to be a subjective task, so everyone’s views will differ. As for me? I’d call the best athlete ever a tie between James and Serena Williams.
Who’s on your Mount Rushmore of athleticism?