Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is widely considered to be one of the greatest players to ever step on an NBA court. Fellow league legend Allen Iverson believes that James has done enough to now be considered the best ever overall.
“LeBron, I think, to me is the best overall basketball player that we’ll ever see,” Iverson told Marc J. Spears of andscape.com. “If you look in the dictionary and look up basketball player, there’ll be a picture of LeBron. But for me it’s so different because Mike (Michael Jordan) was everything to me. He gave me the vision. He made me want to play basketball. He’s my everything. I wanted to actually be like him, like the commercial, ‘Be like Mike,’ I really wanted to be him. I’m still starstruck every time I see him. I’m still nervous every time. Because he’s Mike to me. He’s my guy. So there’ll never be no one at the top of my list besides Mike. But LeBron is just everything that you want in a basketball player. He’s a total package. He’s God’s gift to the basketball world.”
As most NBA fans know, the debate pitting James up against Jordan has been raging for well over a decade now. Though the Chicago Bulls legend and his six championships still has James and his four beat, James is starting to rewrite the history books in such a way that the debate seems to be changing.
As of earlier this month, James is the all-time leading scorer in NBA history. He passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s previous record of 38,387 points in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in early February. Jordan is fifth on that list.
James also currently claims the No. 4 spot for all-time assists. That fact is a great representation of Iverson’s point. It’s mind blowing that the all-time leading scorer is also one of the greatest passers in the history of the game.
Even though Iverson is confident that James is the best overall, he also does make it clear that Jordan will always be his top guy. The simple fact is that for many — especially players and fans from Iverson’s generation — Jordan will always be the greatest of all time. No matter what James does would likely change that.
However, James will continue to make the conversation more interesting the longer he plays. That is especially true if he can manage to win another title or two before hanging it up for good.
A title still seems like something of a pipe dream this season. Despite their improved roster following a flurry of trades at the trade deadline, the Lakers remain five games under .500. They’re sitting at the No. 13 seed in the Western Conference and are 3.5 games back from the No. 6 seed, the final seed to advance straight into the playoffs.
For his career, James is averaging 27.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Those numbers are a perfect representation of just how well-rounded of a player he has been throughout his storied NBA career.
James and his new scoring record will be celebrated at the All-Star Game on Sunday night.