Credit: AFP, ZUMAPRESS.com - Scanpix
Credit AFP, ZUMAPRESS.com - Scanpix

AS Monaco superstar Mike James sat down with Olympiacos Piraeus forward Shaquielle McKissic on the Players' Choice podcast several days ago where he talked about his experience in the EuroLeague and the NBA.

Mike James

Mike  James
Position: PG, SG
Age: 31
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 84 kg
Birth place: Oregon, United States of America

During the episode, James was asked about the playoffs series between the teams this year. After sharing a story about Kevin Durant flying over to watch the final matches, the player then noted some things he did not like.

"It did piss me off that nobody picked us to win and most people picked us to get swept. I thought there was no way in hell I would ever get swept, not as the main player," James explained. "I knew that wasn't going to happen. I was just ready to play."

"As I said, I'm a basketball head so I watched every interview they did before the game, every interview the coach did, I even watched the interviews before we played them during the regular season," the guard told. "I'm a little bit sadistic I guess. I watched everything and I was talking to Spanoulis the whole time, talking shit."

Having talked about the series, James was then asked to name his EuroLeague players Top-5.

"I feel like whatever the highest tier is, that's me. That's just my opinion," James said. "[Nikola] Mirotic, Shane [Larkin], Will [Clyburn], [Vasiilije] Micic. Without me, the fifth one gets a little goalposty. It's just a lot of people that are around the same. Like that's one tier, and then's the next tier."

Mike James' EuroLeague Top-5:

  • Nikola Mirotic
  • Shane Larkin
  • Will Clyburn
  • Vasilije Micic
  • Mike James

In the last part of the podcast, James finally gave his opinion about the Top-5 of the NBA as well.

"Me and Kev just did this and had an argument about it, so I have an idea of what I'm going to say. For one, I'm biased, so Kev [Durant]. At two, this is kind of where we had an argument," James said.

"I'm not gonna say any numbers. So in my Top-5 I've got Kev, Bron [James], [Joel] Embiid, Giannis [Antetokounmpo]. Then I have to think," he continued. "Between Luka [Doncic], Steph [Curry], [Nikola] Jokic, it's a little rough. It's a little rough for me in that area."

Having a difficult time deciding on who the fifth player is, James remembered the times when he played against young Luka Doncic in the EuroLeague. That seemed to have swayed his last pick.

"Luka is nice, man, a lot of skill. Just a lot of everything. We're lucky he's not athletic," James joked. "I'm probably going to say Luka. Jokic and Steph are a little bit below those other five but, obviously, they're still amazing."

Mike James' NBA Top-5:

  • Kevin Durant
  • LeBron James
  • Joel Embiid
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Luka Doncic

Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry was notably not in the Top-5, and James was immediately asked about his decision to omit the current Finals MVP.

"I have to look at your game and how you do it. Steph how he plays and how he gets his stuff off, he's just kind of one-dimensional at times if that makes sense," the Monaco guard explained.

"He's not the primary ball-handler a lot, and for a point guard that kind of bothers me. But he does score off the dribble, he's a superstar, so at this point when you're picking your Top-5, you're drawing straws, you're just kind of nit-picking," he said.

The reigning two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic was also not in the Top-5. James explained his thought process.

"I think those other five can do whatever they want to do on any team in the world right now," James named his reasons. "If we put Luka, Embiid, Bron, KD, and Giannis on any team in the world, they are going to be who they are as soon as put them there."

"I don't know about that for Steph," James continued. "It's a little murky for Steph. He's still going to kill, he's still going to be Steph but I think he maximizes him at that team."

Full Players Choice podcast with Mike James:

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