By Tre’ Smith
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Early in his career, LeBron James was compared to Michael Jordan, he called himself the chosen one and he wore number 23. Adding to the comparisons was the notoriety both brought to middling Midwestern teams in the NBA. LeBron James is synonymous with Cleveland.
The Cleveland Cavaliers grew into contenders and LeBron James morphed into the best player in the NBA. Many people fell for LeBron and his talents, but there were many more who weren’t convinced. While there was plenty of talent, LeBron James simply could not win.
Real basketball fans understand why Michael Jordan was never a realistic comparison for LeBron James. But, real basketball fans should also see greatness is in LeBron James and he doesn’t care about Michael Jordan or any comparison. While Michael Jordan did something LeBron James will never do, winning six out of six NBA Finals, LeBron did something Mike will never do, going to the Finals five straight times.
Last night, LeBron James showed that his legacy is one all of his own, but he has been showing this to the world his entire career. When the world expected LeBron James to do what every other NBA great did, staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he unapologetically signed with the Miami Heat. Teaming up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, LeBron James brought glitz and glamour for four seasons.
During the early stages of LeBron James’ run with the Miami Heat, the argument could have been made that he was riding Dwyane Wade’s coattails. Four NBA Finals appearances and two championships later, LeBron James is recognized for what he did in Miami. When the time came for LeBron to reup, he bolted back to Cleveland and the city fell in love with him again.
LeBron James faced a very difficult season with the Cleveland Cavaliers this season. Despite the roster also boasting superstars like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, the Cavs simply couldn’t get it together. But, during the final stretch of the season, LeBron James buckled down with the Cavs and they closed the season strong, making the playoffs for the first time since 2010 and they cruised past Boston, later defeating Derrick Rose’s Bulls in six games.
Facing the Atlanta Hawks, LeBron James and the Cavs were favorites to win the series. But, nobody expected them to sweep the number one seed, but LeBron James plays the game by his own rules. This is the gist of it all, LeBron isn’t trying to live up to the standards of any NBA great, as he is preparing for his sixth NBA Finals appearance, he has solidified his position as the greatest player of the 2000s/2010s era, sorry Kobe.
No, LeBron James will never be Michael Jordan, he will never be able to live up to that legacy. Likewise, Jordan was never able to go to five straight Finals, or lead two different franchises to the NBA Finals in consecutive years. Last night, solidified what LeBron James has known and been doing all along, making his own legacy, now in terms of the all-time greats, he is nearing Bill Russell territory.
So, with the long-winded rant over, where does LeBron James stand against the all-time NBA greats?
Watch highlights from LeBron James last night below:
Follow Tre’ Smith on Twitter @MicrowaveNC.