What could be said about LeBron James that has not already been said? It is almost impossible to find something. But after looking through his career, you can still find more and more impressive stats each day about the longevity and the elite play of LeBron James over the course of his long career. Most people old enough to be in college can not even remember when LeBron’s career first began. LeBron James is the NBA, it is impossible to think about basketball players without talking about him, it is impossible to talk about NBA championships without talking about one of his teams, and most importantly it is impossible to talk about the greatest athletes without mentioning him.
People have been debating who would be the “next Michael Jordan” ever since Jordan left the league. Names like Kevin Madden, Toney Mack, and even Grant Hill were called that, but none of them got close to Michael. Until Kobe Bryant appeared, no one got even close to being in the discussion with Michael.
In 2003, LeBron James was called to be the next Michael Jordan, and in 2008 there were already more mentions of “who is going to be the next Lebron?” than mentions of “who is going to be the next Jordan?” in 2008. By that time, he had won a Rookie of the Year award, had been in four All-Star games, had been a two time All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (MVP), had a bronze and a gold Olympic medal, two times named in the All-NBA first team and one time, a NBA scoring champion, and had been in the NBA finals once. However that 2007 finals trip was a big accomplishment for LeBron, his best teammates that season being Zyrdunas Ilgauskas, Daniel Gibson, Drew Gooden and Alexandar Pavlovic. LeBron led that team in minutes, points, and assists in the finals against the San Antonio Spurs who had Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. That was going to be the first of 10 NBA finals LeBron would play, but being in such great shape he could make it to another one. In 2009, he would win his first MVP trophy, he would make it to his first of four consecutive NBA All-Defensive teams, and also be in his third but second consecutive All-NBA first team (where he would stay until 2018), and we still have 14 years to go.
After winning his second NBA MVP trophy in the 09-10 season he moved to Miami to be with his 2003 draft classmates Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. In that first year in Miami, he lost in a six game series to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA finals, he would lead his team in steals and assists per game in that series. That would be the first of eight consecutive NBA finals he would play. In 2012 after winning his third MVP trophy, LeBron led the Heat in minutes, rebounds, assists, and points per game in a five game series against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the finals, that was his first finals MVP and first championship ring. After being the finals MVP, Lebron won an Olympic gold medal in London. He came back from London to win his last MVP trophy and make his fourth in a row and last appearance in the NBA all-defensive team. After beating the Indiana Pacers in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, Lebron would take revenge on the Spurs. Although many people say LeBron owes that championship to Ray Allen, LeBron led the team in minutes, assists, rebounds, steals and points per game.
In 2014 LeBron returned to Cleveland to join Kyrie Irving following a loss in the previous NBA Finals to San Antonio. LeBron would once again take the Cavaliers to the NBA finals. The Cavaliers lost to the newborn dynasty of the Golden State Warriors in a six game series, in which LeBron averaged 35.8 points per game and led his team in minutes, assists, rebounds and points per game. In 2016, the Golden State Warriors had just had the best regular season in NBA history goign 73-9 and everything looked in their favor, Steph Curry was the first unanimous MVP of the season, they had home court advantage and they started winning the series 3-1. LeBron would lead the Cavaliers to a historic comeback and would finally give Ohio, his home state their first NBA championship. LeBron was named the Finals MVP after leading his team in almost every statistic. LeBron would lose the next two championships to Golden State and LeBron decided to leave Cleveland to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
After ten straight seasons of being part of the All-NBA first team and participating in the finals for eight years in a row, LeBron would experience a season in which injuries would only allow him to play 55 games, which would still allow him to be in the All-Star game and in the All-NBA third team. In a strange 2020 and in the pandemic-forced bubble, LeBron would return to the All-NBA first team. He would lead the Lakers to beat prime Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic in the conference finals. The Lakers would beat the Miami Heat 4-2 in the finals, and yes in his tenth trip to the NBA finals, Lebron would once again win the finals MVP after leading his team in minutes, rebounds, assists and points per game.
LeBron’s championships are not the only statistic that can be used on why he is the greatest player of all time. James can also pride himself of having the fifth highest scoring average in NBA history, and he is only 0.06 points away from Kevin Durant who is fourth and 0.14 away from Elgin Baylor. Lebron has the most clutch time points of all time, having over 2600, and there is only one more player with over 2000, Kobe Bryant. Lebron has 81 game winning or tying shots in the last minute of the game or over time,
he is second behind Kobe. He also has the most winning buzzer beaters in NBA playoffs history with 5. LeBron broke the record on February 7th against the Oklahoma City Thunder in LA. The arena was packed with celebrities and dedicated Lakers fans who had circled the date as the potential date for LeBron to break one of the NBA’s most important records and LeBron did not disappoint with a 38 point performance.
This is not only an article to tell you about LeBron James being the all time scorer, but an article to honor the career of one of the greatest players if not the greatest basketball player of all time. Breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record is another medal for a King that has done it all in the league. Ladies and Gentleman applaud him, cheer him, enjoy him, because we don’t know how much of a career he has left and there will only be one LeBron James.
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