Warriors

Kerr says there's 'no bigger challenge' than beating LeBron

Warriors
LeBron James

The Warriors have been here before -- facing LeBron James on a big stage.

They've vanquished him three times in the NBA Finals and succumbed to him once. Now, the two familiar opponents meet on a smaller, but still grand stage: The 2021 Western Conference play-in game.

The task for coach Steve Kerr and the Warriors isn't any easier. Despite the Lakers finishing in seventh place in the West, LeBron still stands in their way. He's still playing at an NBA MVP level.

"There's no bigger challenge in basketball than trying to beat LeBron," Kerr told reporters on a video conference call 90 minutes before tipoff at Staples Center. "He's not only one of the all-time great players, but he's one of the all-time smartest players, and so when you coach against him, you have to account for him all the time. Late game [After Timeout plays], you've got to know where he. He sort of knows what's happening before everybody else on the floor, sort of like Draymond Green.

"He's a brilliant mind as well as the greatest athlete on the planet, so that's what makes him such a challenge to prepare for. But it's also what makes it fun. This is why we do it. We've met so many times over the years with so many stakes involved. And it's just been an honor and a pleasure to take part in these games. So, we love this and wouldn't have it any other way."

RELATED: Legacies of Steph, LeBron not at stake in play-in game

LeBron and the Lakers are getting healthier by the day, making the Warriors' job harder.

 

But Kerr has two players in Steph Curry and Green who love a good challenge. They also know how to beat LeBron, so there's likely no team in the NBA better equipped to handle what lays in front of them.