There never has been a more polarizing figure in NBA and possibly the history of sports than LeBron James. In most cases, he’s one of two things: your favorite or your favorite to hate. Some feel as though he is the greatest to play, and some say he isn’t, simply because he’ll never surpass certain players who played in Chicago, Boston, and LA, partly because of the nostalgia and aura around them.
What if I told you LeBron is the GOAT? Don’t mark me off yet. Through the thick, deep embroiled hatred for LeBron, it may put some fog around five major reasons as to why he could be considered the greatest of all-time.
1. All-Around Statistical Dominance
LeBron doesn’t excel at racking up specific statistics, but he is an excellent all-around player. He is seventh all-time on the scoring list, and likely to finish top five if he plays as long as expected. He is also twelfth all-time in assists, and he leads all forwards in that category. In fact, the only players ahead of LeBron are point guards. LeBron is also twentieth all-time when it comes steals recorded. These are three stats LeBron is top-twenty all-time in, as compared to Michael Jordan, who only has two statistics within the top-twenty all-time. Jordan, all-around, doesn’t measure up statistically.
2. LeBron Can Play Any Position
Now, I’ll indulge you with the biggest media cliché, but also the biggest truth. I know, you’re tired of hearing it, but LeBron really can play or defend any position. He has the ball-facilitation skills to play the point, the handling and scoring aggressiveness to play the shooting guard and small forward positions. He also has the strength, power, and post finesse to play both the power forward and center positions.
Never before has there been a more versatile athlete in the history of the NBA. There are players than can play maybe two or three positions, but only LeBron can play five.
3. Consistent Dominance
LeBron James has missed the playoffs only twice in his career, and those were his first two seasons in the league. As it stands, LeBron has been to the NBA finals six straight times, with a chance to make it seven. There is only one certainty in the NBA, and it’s LeBron James being in the finals. That’s the impact the King has on a team, whether that be the Cavs or the Heat.
4. Winning Impact
As we all know, LeBron played the first seven years of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In five out of seven years, he had led them to the playoffs. He even lead them to maintaining the best record in the league on two occasions, including his last season.
Once LeBron left, the Cavaliers went from yearly playoff contenders, to competing for the first pick on a yearly basis. The Heat on the other hand went to the Finals every year LeBron was there, winning 2 Championships. When LeBron left the Heat, they suffered a fall to a lower seed, and eventually out of the playoffs. This alone should show you how much impact LeBron truly has on a team.
5. Physical (and Mental) Ability
There has never been a more physical prototype in the NBA than LeBron. He has a strong figure, and stands at 6’8. While being a large player, LeBron is also one of the fastest players in the league. His vertical ability isn’t to be undermined either as LeBron has the ability to do anything and everything in this league. His basketball IQ is very high, as he consistently is known to be able to find the open man or the best shot, and in turn that translates to leading a winning environment.
There you have it, the case that we’ve been watching the greatest basketball player of all time since 2003. Some may agree, some may not, but in the end, it may become a fact that LeBron James is the greatest. People may use finals records to knock LeBron down, but you have to look at the impressiveness of his stretch of appearances, as rings are a team accomplishment and he carries those teams.
(Image Credit: Getty)
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