Lakers News: Nuggets’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Compares LeBron James & Nikola Jokic
LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Lakers, Nuggets
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is now bringing his championship-caliber three-and-D play to the Denver Nuggets. Denver acquired him during the summer of 2022 as a seamless fit alongside Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets defense.

Perhaps one of the reasons that Caldwell-Pope has been such an ideal fit next to Jokic is the experience he already has playing next to Lakers star LeBron James. James and Caldwell-Pope were also an incredible on-court pairing, and the Nuggets guard believes the two superstars are more similar than people realize.

Caldwell-Pope spoke about the similarities and differences between James and Jokic, joking about one of the few things that separate them.

“I feel like the only difference is Bron can jump higher than Jokic,” Caldwell-Pope said. “That’s about the only difference that I can see. I just love playing with Jokic, willing passer, dominant big man down there. Just seeing him do what he do gets everybody else going, as well.”

Both James and Jokic have been praised for their passing ability and how they increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the players around them.

The Nuggets star was very happy to receive that comparison from his teammate. But not before responding to the vertical comment.

“That’s really offensive. (Laughter). I’m joking. To be compared with one of the best ever or the best ever, I think it’s really cool,” Jokic said. “I don’t know. I think we don’t have a similar game. Maybe we have like a similar global game, if that makes any sense. We affect the game in different ways. But he’s a really good player.”

James and Jokic are undoubtedly two of the NBA’s best players right now. And both are Hall of Fame locks. Jokic is in the midst of his prime, with two MVP award wins in the last three years and the current run with a well-built roster.

James is 38 years old and is still impacting the game at a top-five level. And the two have found their success through their IQ. There’s an argument to be made that James and Jokic are the two greatest non-guard passers in NBA history.

Now, their chess match continues with Denver holding a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals. Caldwell-Pope will see first-hand the adjustments both players make as the series progresses.

Jokic and Anthony Davis exchange praise

Jokic also had high praise for James’ star teammate, Anthony Davis. Both big men went back and forth on praise, with Jokic calling Davis one of the most talented players in the NBA.

“Yeah, he’s really, really, really, first of all, talented. He’s a real threat. He can play in the pocket. He can play iso. He can play on the post. He’s really, really talented, probably the most skilled guy if you think about the size and what he can do with the ball and how good of a mid-range shooter he is and how he’s attacking the glass. I think probably one of the most talented players in the league.”

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