Let me start this off by saying I am not a Lebron James fan, and I have no problem calling out his faults.
He's is the most complete player in the game. I don't think Lebron is the best defender, the best passer, the best scorer, the best leader, the best shooter, etc.
I think the only thing Lebron could be considered as number 1 as in the league is athlete. He is a physical specimen. 6'9", 260 pounds, can run and jump like a deer. There has never been a player to put size and skill together like Lebron has.
He may not be the best player at those things but he is one of the top 10 players at each of those things, which makes him the best player in the league.
Lebron James is a triple double threat every night, You can't say that about any other payer in the league right now except maybe Rondo.
Since Lebron James has such a complete game, we compare every other player to him, but in the past most players were specialist. They were really dominant at one thing or another, or dominant at 2 things. Besides a select few players(Magic, Bird, Jordan, Pippen, Grant Hill, Osacr, Wilt, Jason Kidd, Fat Lever, Penny) you have had no players with complete games like Lebron. Wilt and Russell could have done it but he didn't have that mindset. They'd focus on certain things.
So today we are taking players for granted because of Lebron...Kobe, Carmelo, Durant, Chris Paul. They are all great player but no one will ever say they are better than the Lebron because of the all around game.
I think the most versatile players in the league besides Lebron.. are Pau Gasol, Andrei Kirilenko, Nicolas Batum, and in a year or so we can add Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and John Wall if their games continue to improve.
But seriously we have to give Lebron props and cut other players some slack. Lebron is one of those once in a lifetime players but others players are still great.
I have to show Lebron some love because i'm not always objective about him, mainly because everyone else is so in love with him. He's the best player in the world, and the best player of his generation, but he has spoiled us.
I still think he needs 4 rings to be considered the greatest though.
Doubt it will happen but could you imagine if he won four in a row in modern day basketball? Not going to happen just saying...
Never been a Lebron fan until I moved to LA and everyone seems to hate him so blindly that I naturally started to root for him, which is somewhat taboo on this site. I love the fact that he's an unselfish super star who has made the art of passing "cool" again. I've never been a fan of players that just light up the scoring column IE Monta Ellis and Melo. I rather see a great pass to a teammate than a fade away baseline jumper any day of the week.
He's one of the few players of all time that can score 32 points, grab 13 rebounds, and drop 6 dimes and people will still say, "That's it?"
How many Jordan era players are brought up every single day on this forum and celebrated for their careers and accomplishments? Drexler, Pippen, Shaq, Ewing, Robinson, Bird, Magic, Thomas, Stockton, Malone, etc. No they weren't Jordan, but they weren't somehow slighted.
When the books are closed, Lebron will be where he is, but people will be holding Chris Paul, Melo and others in very high regard too.
Also, don't mention Durant quite yet...it took years for Lebron to be considered a better player than Kobe. KD's got one more scoring title and the same amount of finals appearances than Lebron at the same age.
joewolf...you are one of the most intelligent posters on this site without question. but I would never compare anyone's scoring titles with Lebron's. Although he is a great scorer, he is a ridiculously unselfish player. if Lebron wanted to win a scoring title, there is NO ONE that could stop him from doing it. if he decided to turn 3 or 4 of those 8apg into buckets for himself, he could avg close to 40ppg. his game is just not made up like that though. if you were to do scoring titles by how many total points were created by a player....he'd win it every time.
You make a good point, Lebron can get points when he wants to, but what I was really trying to say is that don't count out KD as a guy who can be mentioned on the same or very close to the same teir as Lebron when their both retired. Lebron is clearly better now, and has many years left in the tank, but I think it's too soon to mention Durant as kind of a 2nd teir star. He could be an 8-10 scoring title guy at 34. Lebron will always be a better rounded player, but Durant has the potential ( key word here ) to be an all-time great too.
and KD will be an all-time great. on the same tier I believe. ironically, thats what this post was about....when we are spoiled...it means we under appreciate things or take for granted. if there were no Lebron these last 2 years...KD would clearly be considered the leagues best player and may even have one title by now.
did you just say you would put melo and CP3 in the same sentence as Lebron when it's all said and done?? MELO WHATS WRONG WITH YOUR BRAIN
what's wrong with your reading comprehension?
When the books are closed, European Baller will be where he is, but people will be holding Greek Baller, Cyclo and others in very low regard too.
random thing sort of. Durant will be to lebron what Kobe is michael jordan as in he cleary is not as good as lebron but he is still an all time great, just as Kobe will never come close to being on jordans level as a player even if he wins another championship. Durant is always going to be compared to Lebron and if in 3 years durant still doesnt have a title he will get the lebron treatment where there is so much pressure on him. Durant will be
I disagree, Durant is obviously great but not hyped in the way Lebron was. Lebron was meant to be the next big thing since he was like 15. Unless Durant Leaves OKC for the Lakers and guarantees 7 championships there won't be the type of pressure Lebron had to endure.
I don't think so. Kobe clearly modeled his game after Jordan. He came in the league trying to be his own version of Jordan. Durant is a different style of player than Lebron. He's not a point forward, gonna be playing minutes at center, and he's never going to be the guy deferring a shot to someone else.
Durant will be compared in accomplishments to Lebron, but he's going to do different things, like leading the league in FT % this season, hitting the 50/40/90 club, he hit 100 steals and 100 blocks this year, individually unique to a different style of game. No slight to Lebron, either, Durant isn't going to average 7 or 8 apg, he's not going to be dropping 50 point triple doubles.
My point is they're different players, Kobe used Jordan as a template, KD didn't use Lebron as his.
Great post. Comparing people of different playing style is hard because so people are just meant to put up well rounded stats which is good but in reality without the big 3, Lebron does not allow other players to play the roles they may be better suited as. Mario Chalmers will never get to grow as a point guard with Lebron there. They are so talent so they are winning but there is a reason basketball is a team game and has roles. I am sure if Kobe wanted to he could be a well rounded player and last year he showed it with some triple double and a few games where he was close. That is not his best role though. Lebron's best role in the playoffs was not to be well rounded but to be a great scorer and when he did in game 7 they helped them win.
Also I think if Grant Hill did not get hurt, you could argue he was on the level on Lebron but was playing under different defensive rules. Grant Hill had a crazy number of triple doubles and he was did not dominate the ball like Lebron did.
The reason lebron does everything is because he is great at everything. Mario chalmers would never be a top 15 point guard, his game fits great around lebron where he can play off the ball and shoot 3s and spread the floor. He has improved at finishing around the basket but you would rather the ball in lebrons or wades hands than his. Lebron is best at facilitating an offense and scoring when he needs to, what hurts the heat is that lebron has to rebound and guard the other teams best players. Thabo sefolosha helps durant by making it so that durant doesnt have to guard the other teams best wing. Overall the heat have fit their team around lebron because he is their best player at everything, durant isnt the thunders best player at everything neither were jordan or kobe (they werent able to guard big men, not a knock, they werent tall or big enough to be able to do so and they werent forced to get 8 or 9 rebounds a game) Lebron isnt the best player at one thing but he the the best player at all of the things
The thing I love most about the Lebron is the way he changes not only every game he plays, but changes the way every team tries to build. I mean, unless you have a LeBron stopper (i.e. a super athletic, strong, small forward), you're getting lit up when you play them. And the beauty of his game is that as he can guard the 4 spot it makes it so difficult for other teams to match up. Look at the Spurs in the finals- do they stick to what they know, 2 bigs, and attempt to have Tiago Splitter guarding Dwayne Wade? Or do they match up, go small, and attempt to beat Miami at their own game?
I definitely agree that people are spoiled by Lebron. Here he is this incredible player and yet people nitpick him constantly. Rings or no rings, he is as dominant a player as any player in the modern era except MJ.
And frankly he has done all this with a perfectly nice personality and zero off court drama except for the "Decision". He is 10 seasons into his career and the one bad off court thing people can say about him is that he left Cleveland and told folks on national TV instead of some other way. (In person to the Cav's owner? Goodbye Letter taken out in the Cleveland Tribune? Press conference? (which the news programs would have aired live, creating the same effect)).
In retrospect, him leaving the Cavs was a given. See original posters view of Lebron being based on how many championships he wins. If Lebron had stayed in Cleveland he probably would have won none and there would be folks calling him a loser because of it. Much like folks are starting to forget how good Barkley was (see how rarely he gets mentioned these days as an all time great). Barkley averaged 4 assists per game and in some seasons was at 5 per game. And he did that while scoring almost as much as Lebron and doing it more efficiently while being a top five rebounder. But no rings means no love.
Lebron wanted the love.
op is a &$#%#&@!, don't try to lecture to anyone, who the hell you are?!?!
i think lebron is still underappreciated, i feel like when its all said and done lebron could have a better career than idk lets just say MJ and people would still not understand that hes better. I believe that no matter what most people are never going to like lebron. If it is all because of that leaving cleveland the way he did thing then that is a stupid reason to hate someone. The man is a living legend and on his way to becoming the best of all time and honestly who knows when we will see a player like him again...I also believe that wiggins is being done an injustice by people saying hes the 'next big thing' (next lebron) Let me say this and let me say this now...wiggins isnt going to be as good as lebron..no way. People need to appreciate watching lebron because in 10 15 years from now everybody will regret not taking the time to realize how good he was while he was playing
please Joewolf, tell me how well Melo is going to be regarded in the future, dont you understand he's just a scorer that can't do anything else? He's overrated by people like you
Probably along the lines of Alex English. I am fully aware of what he is and what he isn't, but what he is just happens to be one of the most dynamic scores of the decade. Obviously you didn't comprehend or read what I said because I clearly stated Paul and Melo were at a lower level, but will still be regarded as some of the better players of this era.
Lebron James and Michael Ruffin are men.
Look I just put Lebron in the same sentence as Michael Ruffin!!
LeBron is still on track for "Jordan Territory". I have said for awhile that four straight rings would be big for him. Not even Jordan could do that.
As it stands, he could get a three peat next year (Jordan had two) and that would also give him four straight Finals appearances which has not been done since Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. ... and those two didn't win three straight.
Next year, LeBron, in my opinion could move up as high as SECOND ALL-TIME if the Heat get back and win another ring and also if he gets another MVP award (three straight hasn't been done since Bird and five MVP trophies in six seasons). Put all those things together coming off the 27 game win streak last year to go along with his second title (beating a Spurs dynasty type team helps too), and LeBron James has a great body of work. He might also get a DPOY too which would also help his legacy.
That kind of season would put him past Bird and Magic in my opinion. It would also give him more titles and MVP awards than Wilt Chamberlain. 3 Finals MVP trophies would put him ahead of Kareem. A DPOY would match what Jordan did and would give LeBron another argument that he can defend and win like Bill Russell.