Draymond Green is a firm believer that former Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James is the G.O.A.T. or greatest of all time. The Golden State Warriors forward also believes that James was the best player in the NBA by 2005, just two years after he entered the league.
“Bron started in ’03,” Green said. “By 2005, Bron was the best player in the NBA. In 2020, he was still the best player in the NBA. He was the best player in the NBA no matter what the game did.”
Those are certainly high praises coming from Green, and plenty of Cavs fans will certainly agree with his assertion.
In his sophomore season (the 2004-05 campaign), James recorded 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists per contest, numbers that are in line with his career averages. Because of his stellar production, the Ohio native made it to the 2005 NBA All-Star game.
What may weaken Green’s claim is that the Cavs failed to make the playoffs in the 2004-05 campaign. Still, the season was a step in the right direction for Cleveland, as the franchise registered a winning record for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign thanks to James’ contributions.
The following season (the 2005-06 campaign), the former No. 1 overall draft pick finally reached the postseason and even helped the Cavs make it to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they were eliminated by the Detroit Pistons.
James averaged 31.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game in the 2005-06 campaign.
In the 2006-07 season, he cemented his superstardom by carrying Cleveland to the NBA Finals despite having a subpar supporting cast. Unfortunately for James, the Cavs were outclassed and swept in the championship series by the San Antonio Spurs.
Today, the former Rookie of the Year is a four-time NBA champion.
Nearly two decades after entering the league, the four-time MVP is still among the best players in the league. Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, he is averaging 25.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game this season. What makes that even more impressive is that he is about to turn 38 in just a few weeks.
Only time will tell how much longer the 18-time All-Star can continue producing at such a high level. Even if his stats dwindle in the near future, James’ legacy is cemented, and there is no doubt that he deserves to be in any G.O.A.T. discussion.