“LeBron James? There are hundreds of them in Africa!”

LeBron James is one of the most physically dominant players in NBA history. Moreover, at 39 years old, he continues to look his young opponents in the eye on an athletic level. But for a great leader, there would be at least a hundred men like him in Africa.

NBA superstars LeBron James and Joel Embiid during a game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Philadelphia 76ers

For several years now, foreigners have taken the NBA by storm. Luka Doncic , Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid… All these big names enter the race for the MVP title season after season, and above all, they win rings. The first three also share a big point in common: their learning of basketball in the European system.

If Embiid was born and raised in Cameroon, it was in an American high school and university that he trained, just like his compatriot Pascal Siakam. They are proof that the African continent is full of great talents in all sports, but they just need better infrastructure to fully realize their potential.

Africa, continent of the future for the NBA?

This is something that Raptors boss Masai Ujiri knows full well, and this is the reason why he is interested and involved in the development of basketball in Africa. For him, as he explained during his appearance on Tony Parker’s show on Skweek , there would be hundreds of LeBron James biding their time on the oldest continent.

 

I always say this thing, and I say it in a very respectful way: in Africa, there are hundreds of LeBron Jameses walking in the streets, they just never had the chance to touch a ball. Some are 50 years old, others 15 or 25. But this physique, the way they are built… I’m sure I can find 50 guys as strong as LeBron in Africa.

It’s no secret that LeBron James has based much of his domination on his extraordinary athletic qualities. He is more imposing, faster, more solid than a large majority of his opponents, which has always allowed him to rule the roost. But for Masai Ujiri, in Africa, there are many people who could look the King straight in the eyes at this level.

So this is the reason why he is trying to develop basketball on the continent. Football is and will remain the dominant sport for a long time, but with examples like Joel Embiid and Pascal Siakam, some young people could be inspired, in Cameroon or in other countries. Europe dominates today, but who knows, in 30 years it might be Africans at the top of the hierarchy.

Africa is a land full of resources, just waiting to explode onto the scene. For Masai Ujiri, with good development, the continent could take the NBA by storm and release several LeBron James.

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