LaVar Ball has made a lot of bold proclamations since stepping into the media spotlight, but even his most ardent followers might have a hard time following his latest one given the degree of certainty with which Michael Jordan, and not LeBron James, is widely considered to be the best player of all-time.
Ball doesn’t dispute that in his latest remarks, but the man who once claimed he could’ve beat Jordan one-on-one thinks that James could surpass the Hall-of-Famer and nearly undisputed GOAT if he does one simple thing: Join the Lakers in free agency this summer.
How would that help elevate James above Jordan? Ball explained his line of thinking during an interview with Delfi TV in Lithuania:
“People keep saying, ‘How does LaVar know LeBron is coming?’ Because he’s a businessman. You did everything in Cleveland. You win five more championships in Cleveland, who cares? You already won one for your town. You’ve been to the Finals too many times and not won enough, to be considered better than Jordan. The only way you can be considered better than Jordan is everywhere you went, you’ve won a championship. Went to Miami, won a championship. Came back to Cleveland, won a championship. Go to the Lakers, third team, and win some championships. Now you’re better than Jordan.”
Whether or not one believes either of LaVar’s arguments to be true, James would certainly have a more interesting case to surpass Jordan as the NBA’s all-time greatest player were he to win a title with every team he had ever joined. It potentially would be the best display of the way his mere presence tilts the balance of power in the NBA during his era.
Still, James winning a championship with the Lakers wouldn’t be a given. The Golden State Warriors might be the best team in NBA history right now, and the Houston Rockets are another strong contender that would be in Los Angeles’ way, and that’s just in the loaded Western Conference.
If James was able to recruit a player like Paul George to join him, as has been oft-rumored, he might have a better chance to knock-off one or both of those teams, but it would still take some luck.
Is James willing to leave his hometown again and bet his legacy on something that would take that much good fortune? Maybe, but LaVar probably makes it sound like more of a certainty than it is.