Lebron James will be the best player ever in the NBA
The NBA is the most talented basketball league in the world, and when it comes time to choose the world’s best player, only a mad man would think otherwise of LeBron James’ claim to that title. James is the most physically dominating, game impacting player of his generation. He has led the league in points per game, been runner-up for defensive player of the year, and racked up more MVP trophies than he could fit on his mantle thus far in his career. In fact, there have been times when it appears MVP voters simply got sick of announcing his name, letting another player have the trophy for a change.
Despite all his accolades and accomplishments, the debate of who deserves to be called the G.O.A.T., Greatest Player of All Time, always appears to end the same way. It seems Michael Jordan has a trump card when it comes to any matter of well thought out debate. Mention titles and people will say he has six. Bring up points and people will say he averaged the most of all time. However, at the end of the day whenever LeBron James decides to call it a career many people will have to rethink the responses they’ve come so accustomed to repeating.
LeBron James is still in the prime of his career. At his current pace LeBron is going to smash the career points record held by Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar. Likewise, at his present clip, James will surpass Jordan in career rebounds and assists; obviously there is more than one way to affect the outcome of a game. LeBron will also have made more trips to the finals and attended a superior number of all-star games by the time he’s through.
It would be astonishing if James equals or even surpasses Jordan’s six NBA championships, but it isn’t altogether impossible. He still has many years of good basketball left. James isn’t afraid to take a reduction in salary or to pass the ball, if it’s in his team’s best interest, so even well past his prime LeBron may find his way onto a number of contenders. Keep in mind that James has already made more Finals at this age than Jordan had, and the NBA today is far more competitive and parity driven. James practically willed a below average supporting cast of Cleveland Cavaliers to the championship series in the 06-07 season.
At the end of the day, the NBA is a different world now than it was in the 1990s. However, let us not fall into the habit of saying everything and anything older is better. The league today is more athletic and more physically demanding than it ever has been. The athletes are quicker, more highly skilled and the level of competition is much greater as a result. The NBA has gone global, meaning teams scour the entire planet looking for top-tier talent. It’s difficult to compare players like LeBron, Jordan or even Wilt Chamberlain, especially when the games we’re comparing have changed as well. When the dust settles, and the fantastic career of Lebron James has had a few years to be objectively appreciated, maybe then we’ll finally have an answer to the question always being asked. Who is the greatest player of all time?
Who do you think the G.O.A.T. is? Let me know in the comments below…
Landin Murphy covers the NBA for MFST, stay tuned for more articles from him.