LeBron James is no stranger to the NBA’s Big 3 trend. He’s played against them, lost championships to them and been a part of them.
With the Lakers set to host the Nets and their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving on Thursday, James showed just how familiar he is with playing against such an ensemble.
“Um, have we forgot about KD, Steph [Curry] and Klay [Thompson] already?” James said after the Lakers’ 112-104 over the Timberwolves Tuesday night. “I mean, there you go. There you go right there.”
That Golden State Warriors group is likely the Big 3 that James will never forget, considering it beat his Cleveland Cavaliers for back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018. The most points that trio ever averaged in their three seasons together was 75.8 per game during the 2018-19 season.
Durant (29), Irving (28.3) and Harden (23.9) entered Tuesday’s 128-124 win over the Suns averaging a whopping 80.7 points for the Nets this season.
“It’s always exciting for me to go against some of the best guys in the game — and they got three of them,” James said. “They got three of the best guys in the game. Definitely would love to be full when you’re playing against a team like that and see, like, at that point in the season, how you match up — how you match up against some of the best teams in the league. And, obviously, we won’t be full on Thursday.
“But, other than that, yeah, I love going out there and just being out on the floor with some of the best to play this game.”
James was the centerpiece of his own Big 3 from 2010 to 2014 with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat. All three players were selected within the first five picks of the 2003 NBA Draft and became scoring leaders for their respective franchises over their first seven NBA seasons.
The trio – which was known was the Heatles – led Miami to the NBA Finals in each of their four seasons together and won back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. After losing to the Spurs in the 2014 Finals, James opted out of a contract extension and returned to play for the Cavs.
Los Angeles will be without Anthony Davis, who suffered a calf strain and aggravated the Achilles tendinosis in his right leg Sunday. He is expected to see team doctors when the Lakers return home Wednesday.