LeBron James’ run with the Los Angeles Lakers has taken many surprising turns, making it difficult to determine where the four-time NBA champion ranks among the franchise’s all-time greats.
James fulfilled his promise and led the Lakers to their first championship in a decade in 2019-20. However, L.A. has also missed the playoffs twice in the 37-year-old’s four years with the team — even though he’s been in phenomenal form when healthy.
The Purple and Gold’s low years during James’ tenure lead to questions over the 18-time All-Star’s credentials as one of the Lakers legends. His former teammate, Richard Jefferson thinks the 37-year-old forward needs to win at least one more championship with L.A. to land on the franchise’s Mount Rushmore:
It was a Mt Rushmore question. Shaquille, Kobe, Elgin, Kareem, Magic, West, Chamberlain, Mikan .. Bron needs more time and at least another chip to be considered on a LAKER MT RUSHMORE. I won’t speak for the man but I know he respects the Laker Legacy and that’s why he went there https://t.co/XbxgGHKAf9
— Richard Jefferson (@Rjeff24) August 13, 2022
Jefferson made the comment to further elaborate on why James’ merits fall short of Lakers legends such as Kobe Bryant or Magic Johnson, as he argued on the “Road Trippin’” podcast:
“LeBron James has not done enough as a Laker to be on that list,” Jefferson said. “Bron been there now — this is his fourth season, right? They’ve been in there four seasons. Two years, they haven’t made the postseason. One year, they lost in the first round. And one year, they won a championship.”
James does seem determined to win another chip with the Lakers. He reportedly expressed concerns over the team’s competitiveness in a recent meeting with head coach Darvin Ham and vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka.
Pelinka reportedly promised James to use ‘every resource possible’ to make Lakers competitive
In the meeting, Pelinka reportedly made it clear he hopes James will retire as a Laker.
The general manager is also believed to have promised L.A.’s star to “provide him with every resource possible to compete for a championship each year he’s with the organization.”
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