The Los Angeles Lakers saw years of rebuilding and heartache pay off this summer with the signing of LeBron James in free agency.
James, a three-time NBA champion and 14-time All-Star, offers a breath of fresh air to a franchise currently in the midst of five consecutive seasons without a playoff berth.
Having advanced to a combined eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, James looks to not only propel the Lakers back to the playoffs, but eventually back to the NBA’s greatest stage as well.
Doing so would further enhance James’ standing among the all-time greats. Former Lakers forward Devean George, who was part of the Lakers’ three-peat championship run in the early 2000s, believes James needs to deliver a minimum of three titles to Los Angeles in order to receive consideration for a statue outside of Staples Center, via TMZ Sports:
“Yeah, it’s gotta be more than one championship. I don’t know how many years he has left. Three or four? Maybe if he wins the next three? I think he’s going to bring one before he leaves. He’s going to bring one championship back to L.A., but I think his statue is going to be somewhere else. … He is the greatest player right now, but I don’t know if two (championships) would be enough. Maybe three, he might get one. I think part of the statue is history. I mean, like, there’s so many greats that have long history. I think if he does three then there’d be some consideration. I think one, there would be no consideration. Two, probably no consideration. Three, I think they might be like, ‘Should we talk about it?’”
James, still in the backend of his prime, is already considered one of the greatest players in NBA history. He joins a long list of stars to suit up for the Lakers, which features the likes of Magic Johnson and Kareem-Abdul Jabbar to Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.
Each of the aforementioned names etched themselves in franchise lore with multiple championships over the course of their respective Hall-of-Fame careers, and James looks to become the latest in doing so.
And matter what he manages to accomplish with the Lakers, owner Jeanie Buss said it would not put Bryant’s legacy at risk.