As we enter the NBA “Bubble” Playoffs, many great players are trying to break through and win their first championship. Players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Chris Paul, Anthony Davis, and Damian Lillard fit into this category.
Kawhi Leonard, a two-time champion and two-time Finals MVP, looks to enter all-time top thirty status. Young stars like Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic are just scratching the surface of their vast potential. They have plenty of time to construct and enhance their legacy.
And then there is one man, LeBron James, who continues to chase a ghost that to the vast majority of sports fans, he will never catch and surpass, no matter what he accomplishes.
Anything less than a championship, his fourth, would be considered a failure for James and the Lakers. If he leads the purple and gold to the promised land, the Lakers would tie the Celtics for the most NBA titles with 17.
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Individually, LeBron would have one more championship than Larry Bird and trail Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan, and Kobe Bryant by one title each. While those aforementioned players are all-time top 10 players, the totality of James’ career has already surpassed those icons.
The Mount Rushmore of the greatest players in NBA history is reserved for James, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabber. Point blank. Period. I have written and said this so many times I should have it engraved on my tombstone.
James is coming off a regular season in which he led the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference while leading the league in assists. All of this in his 17th season. James turns 36 in December and with Anthony Davis potentially signing elsewhere as a free agent in the off-season, his window to win another championship is closing.
Considering all of the roadblocks in 2020, winning this title would be accompanied by an exclamation point, not an asterisk. If James succeeds he would become the first-star player to lead three different NBA franchises to a title.
I am in the minority who believe that “The King” is already the GOAT.
Fun Debate. And Yes, It Is A Debate.
— John Sapochetti (@johnsap25) March 6, 2020
Another title would make my case stronger and perhaps sway some of the haters and naysayers into my bubble. Either way, the ride should be fascinating.
John Sapochetti is Co-Host
Of The “GET OFF MY LAWN PODCAST WITH KEEGAN & SAP” Heard On FullPressCoverage
Follow Him On Twitter @JohnSap25