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WATCH: Mario Chalmers says ‘nobody fears LeBron James’ anymore

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USA Today Network

Former Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers believes no one in the NBA is scared to play against Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James anymore. James’ former Heat teammate also feels that players feared Michael Jordan throughout his era of basketball.

“Nobody fears Bron. Nobody’s like ‘Damn, I gotta go play against Bron tonight.’ Nobody said that,” Chalmers told Playmaker during a recent interview. “I don’t know why. Because I seen people be scared when they actually lined up to him but they’re not scared thinking about that matchup, right?”

Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Lakers have eighth-shortest odds to win the championship. With James healthy, players are still going to prepare for the four-time MVP. But does Mario Chalmers make a point?

“You hear anybody from that era talk about going against Jordan, there’s a fear,” added Mario Chalmers. “So, when you have people that fear a player, then that’s telling you something different already. Like, Jordan is just that guy.”

Jordan won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, along with six Finals MVPs, Defensive Player of the Year, three All-Star Game MVPs, and Rookie of the Year. The Hall of Famer retired as a 10-time scoring champion and nine-time All-Defensive First-Team member as well. Jordan was feared on offense and defense, needless to say.

Retired Heat guard Mario Chalmers believes ‘nobody fears LeBron James’ anymore in the modern NBA

While LeBron James is much older now at 38, the 19-time All-Star is still one of the best players in the league today. Through 47 starts, the Lakers forward is averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 36.1 minutes per game. Plus, he’s shooting 50.1% from the field and 30.8% beyond the arc.

In Los Angeles’ 140-132 win over the Houston Rockets on Jan. 16, the 18-time All-NBA member scored a season-high 48 points in 36 minutes of action. James finished 16-of-26 (61.5%) shooting from the floor and drained five 3-pointers. Jordan was more feared than Bron, but Mario Chalmers is probably exaggerating a bit on this take.

On Feb. 7, in the Lakers’ 133-130 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the future Hall of Famer scored his 38,388th point to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Abdul-Jabbar’s record lasted for almost 39 years.

Furthermore, LeBron James has remained out since Feb. 26. Of course, the Lakers superstar is working to overcome a right foot tendon injury. The 20-year veteran has missed a total of 25 games so far this season. Mario Chalmers thinks players no longer fear James. But one thing is for certain, the Lakers are much worse without him and Anthony Davis.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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