Even though he is entering Year 19, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James remains widely considered to be the best player in the NBA.
Father Time has yet to come for James, the perceived frontrunner for the 2020-21 MVP award before a high ankle sprain derailed his regular season. Despite his age, people in the basketball community still hold James in high regard, with games like NBA 2K putting him at the top of their player rankings.
Even though James is in the twilight of his career, he continues to rack up accolades and awards, which only strengthen his case as the greatest NBA player of all time. Although that is a controversial debate, there is no denying that James belongs in the conversation.
Younger players like Cade Cunningham grew up watching James dominate the league as a rookie, so it was no surprise that in an appearance on the “Da Windy City with Mark Carman” podcast, Cunningham named James as the GOAT:
“It’s hard for me to put somebody ahead of LeBron cause LeBron is the best player I’ve seen with my eyes,” Cunningham said. “Trust me I’ve seen all the Michael Jordan stuff, dude is different. I can’t argue with the fact that you think he is the GOAT but in my eyes I say LeBron.”
The caveat here is that Cunningham was born in 2001 and thus grew up watching James instead of Jordan, so his opinion is a bit skewed. However, when comparing resumes between the two all-time greats, there is a statistical case for James given where he ranks in several major categories compared to Jordan.
Most people will point to when arguing in Jordan’s favor is his six championships and undefeated Finals record, where James has managed to win four titles in 10 Finals appearances. Despite the lower ring count, one can argue that making James eight straight Finals is more impressive, but fans will always point to results over the process.
It is a futile conversation because everyone’s criteria for the GOAT are different, but fans and the media must acknowledge that James has done enough in his career already to be knocking at Jordan’s door.
LeBron James working out with Russell Westbrook and Phil Handy
James is well-regarded for his work ethic, and he was recently captured already working in the gym alongside the newly acquired Russell Westbrook and Phil Handy.