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LeBron James: Greatest of All Time

June 2nd, 2018 · No Comments · Basketball, NBA

We have at least three more games in the 2018 NBA playoffs to mull this, but over the past weeks and months I have come to believe that LeBron James is the league’s GOAT — greatest of all time.

Is he better than Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Bill Russell? Absolutely, I am confident he is, and I saw them all play.

Better than Michael Jordan, widely considered, these 20 years past, the greatest player?

Now he is.

In this batch of playoffs, James keeps putting up remarkable statistical lines, and not of the egocentric sort.

He is regularly playing 48 minutes and scoring 40-plus points per game (a career-playoffs-record 51, against the Golden States Warriors last night), at the age of 33, when he ought to be on the way down from his talent zenith.

Instead, he seems to be more overpowering, game by game.

Rather than finding shortcuts to shift the load, as players like Bryant and Jordan did during the latter years of their illustrious careers, James has taken on a ever-greater role, taking advantage of his perhaps unparalleled strength and stamina to stamp his impression on a game.

As Steve Kerr put it, when speaking of James, after the Warriors’ controversial 124-114 overtime victory in Game 1 of the NBA Finals:

“They have a guy who is playing basketball at a level that I’m not sure anybody’s ever seen before, when you consider everything he’s doing.”

I believe the only reasonable argument against James is “only three NBA championships” — compared to the six for Jordan.

Jordan won six rings, but all of his championships came with Scottie Pippen on the wing and Phil Jackson (at the time, considered a coaching genius) on the bench.

James has never enjoyed the kind of support, save perhaps for his first couple of seasons in Miami, when Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were still elite players — and it’s not entirely clear Bosh was elite, once James took his talents to South Beach; Bosh becoming a sort of enhanced role player.

How can basketball fans watch James carry around the Cleveland Cavaliers on his broad back and not shake their heads in admiration?

He is making the difficult seem routine. He is making the impossible seem entirely possible.

I have never seen a more dominant player, and if he never wins a third title I will still believe that.

LeBron James. The best.



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