The King was here, you just didn’t see him
When LeBron James entered the NBA in 2003, I was some snot nose 12 year old who did not know my ass from a hole in the ground.
I don’t pretend to know what I saw when watching Jordan, Duncan, or Kobe because I was too young to fully capture it. All I have are numbers, highlights and research to distinguish the players of the past. Any 25-year-old who says otherwise, I am farting on them and walking away because that is crap.
Based on hype alone, this guy was going to be great. He was being compared to Michael Jordan. He was the chosen one. He was the next big thing in sports.
In his debut at 19 years old, LBJ dropped 25 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals. Again, this kid did that to grown men at 19 and fresh out of a high school. Pretty damn impressive.
It was not until around 2006-07 when my young mind really began to absorb what I was seeing. So LeBron was my king. It didn’t take much convincing for him to become my favorite player. It came at a perfect time because LeBron was making his way to superstardom. He was my Jordan. I continued to follow him closely from Cleveland to Miami and now back to Cleveland.
Before the LeBron haters get their panties in a wad. No I am not that douche who pretends to love the Cavs or the Heat. I just really like LeBron, just like I love watching Stephen Curry. Just like I love watching Aaron Rodgers. I appreciate talent unlike you. In the words of the illustrious Chris Jericho…shut up, you stupid idiot.
After finally bringing a championship to his home city of Cleveland which desperately needed it, the narrative has changed.
Today, I wake up and see that so many people talking about how LeBron is finally up there with Jordan and where he fits in the discussion. Except maybe Skip Bayless, but we all know that guy is a half step above a wet rag.
I said before the finals that I have LeBron on the Mount Rushmore of the NBA and nothing changes regardless whether he wins or loses.
Before I go on any further, let’s take a look at some numbers…
3 NBA Championships
3 NBA Finals MVPs
7 NBA Final Appearences
6 Straight NBA Finals Appearances
12 All Star Appearances (irrelevant because it is fan voted)
10 All NBA First Team
2 All NBA Second Team
5 All NBA Defensive First Team
1 All NBA Defensive Second Team
Rookie of the Year
NBA Scoring Champion
AP Athlete of the Year
While achieving all of those accolades, I have had the kitchen sink thrown at me when I start talking about LeBron’s legacy.
“He is not clutch.”
James was always compared to Kobe Bryant in terms of clutch measure because Kobe had that killer instinct you hear everyone talk about. So we will use the Black Mamba as a statistical reference here.
His regular season numbers when the game is on the line is not favorable. In fact, it is pretty piss poor. Over the last 10 seasons, LeBron is 5 of 47 on shots in the last five seconds of the fourth quarter or OT. A mere 10% on those looks. Kobe is around 27%. Again, regular season numbers.
Playoff LeBron, different story.
Prior to the 2016 playoffs, LeBron was 13 of 27 on last second buckets for the tie or go ahead. Kobe was 10 of 37 for his career. Jordan was 9 of 18.
Playoffs matter a hell of a lot more than the regular season so if we are talking clutch, the numbers speak for themselves and The King is right up there with the best of them.
Thanks, there goes that argument. You suck.
“How many rings?” (Yay, my favorite person).
If this is your only argument, I want you to do me a favor and turn off First Take because you’re killing the 12 brain cells you may actually still have.
I get it. In the NBA, rings are important. They are not the end all be all. Robert Horry has six. Bill Russell has 11. So does Sam Jones, you don’t even know who that guy is.
At the end of the day, it is a team game and you’re only as good as your weakest link.
Before jumping ship to Miami, LeBron made it to the finals and played pretty darn good for that matter with a roster consisting of Larry Hughes, Eric Snow, Boobie Gibson and Sasha Pavolic. Big Zeke (Zydrunas Illgauskas) was just starting to come into his own.
Know why he consistently made deep playoff runs? Because LeBron makes every person on his team infinitely better. He made Mo freaking Williams an all star. That is what a true leader does.
“He is overrated.”
Yeah and Grizzly Adams had a beard. I may pop-up power bomb you if you ever utter those words to me.
“He can’t take over games.”
Tell that to game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2006-07 when he scored 29 of the last 30 points to seal the game for Cleveland.
He can do it, but he knows there a thin line between taking over and being selfish. LeBron has never been the guy who wants to score 45. Whenever you listen to him answer questions on why he doesn’t take over, he always responds that it is important to get his teammates involved. That is ultimately why guys want to play with him rather than someone like Carmelo Anthony.
In game 5 of the NBA finals from 5:38 in the third to 2:59 in the fourth when he subbed out, LeBron scored or assisted the score on 35 of the 36 points during that stretch. He can and always has taken over games. He just isn’t arrogant enough to need the points in his box score. He has no problem feeding a hot hand or making sure the rock is spread around the floor.
There’s more to basketball than “getting buckets” you dunce. You know, defense, rebounding, spacing, just ask James Harden.
How many times have you seen LeBron make a monster chase down block that shifted the momentum? I have seen it many times. Case in point, game 7.
His defensive presence alone is enough to make guys fold under pressure. After all, he can guard anyone from your point guard to your center. Down low, perimeter, he can do it all.
“He had to leave for a title.”
The Decision is one of the most criticized choices in all of sports. When LeBron announced that he would be taking his talents to South Beach, the world erupted in hate.
First of all, that little program raised millions for charity so there’s that. If you hate on that, you’re just an awful person. “Only God can judge me.” God told me you were awful.
Let’s not forget the real villain in this, Cavs owner Dan Gilbet. Guy was a total G-string through the whole process. I remember reports saying that LeBron marched into his office the previous year and said get me help or I have to consider other options.
Sorry dude, broke down Shaq and Antawn Jamison aren’t cutting the mustard. Plus who wants to play in Cleveland anyway? Ask Joakim Noah.
The fact people say he had to join up with two other stars annoys the crap out of me.
First off, Boston Celtics anyone?
Second, people act like the other greats didn’t have talent at their disposal during their respective runs.
Remember when Jordan left Chicago, yeah that team still won 55 games.
LeBron leaves Cleveland, they go from 61 wins to 19 wins. The Cavs never touched the playoffs again…until LeBron returned of course.
LeBron became the third player in NBA history to snag a triple double in Game 7 of an NBA Finals. LeBron is also 2-0 in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
The last two seasons in Cleveland may have been his best yet in terms of playoff performances. He averaged nearly a triple double in both finals appearances and has no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
He can go on to appear in the next five finals and win two of them and you still have the same idiots who will never concede that LeBron is arguably the best basketball player of all time.
Congratulations, you missed out on 13 years of a fantastic career because you were too busy fanboying for Jordan or Kobe. It is cute how you tried to protect your favorite player’s legacy, but LeBron is kicking down the door.
As for those of you who are starting to come around, you still suck and it only took you 13 years to figure out how great LeBron really is.
PS. I called Cavs in 7. See ya.