LeBron James is probably one of the best players NBA has ever seen. Given his talents, it’s not a surprise that James is often in the GOAT debate with other legendary players like Michael Jordan.
Ever since his debut in the NBA, ‘The King’ has been compared to MJ. Though these comparisons have led to critics writing James off as a generational talent, it has not phased him. ‘The King’ still remains at the top of his game despite it being his 18th year in the league.
Gilbert Arenas explains why LeBron James is the GOAT
But former Wizards’ superstar Gilbert Arenas has a different train of thought than others. In a recent interview with Whistle, Arenas explained why LeBron James is the GOAT over the Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
He said, “The reason I feel LeBron is the GOAT is because during pressure times he still makes the actual right decision versus what us fans and the public wants him to do. That’s what separates him from Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
“If you give Jordan and Kobe those Cavs teams, they would not have made it to the playoffs, they would not have made it to the championship because Jordan would have averaged 60 and said the ‘hell with it’.”
Arenas also explained why LeBron is the center of so much criticism. He said, “I think that we were spoiled by Jordan. The grace he brought to the game, his fierceness, the way he ended the game and when Kobe came, we see Jordan like- what ends up happening is when you have a player like LeBron who comes into the game who doesn’t have instincts of Jordan and Kobe, they are going to take the last shot no matter what.”
“We feel that if you are the best player, you are the star. When you are compared to Jordan and Kobe, you should be Jordan and Kobe like which is not necessarily correct.”
Arenas added, “Jordan and Kobe possess something LeBron does not have, which was a first step which made them one-on-one players. LeBron came in as Magic Johnson, meaning his vision is his key. He believes in his teammates, which gives them the sense that they believe in themselves too. Jordan would have just averaged 60 and said to hell with it.
“He wouldn’t have still gave the ball to J. R. Smith after what JR Smith has done. But he still believes in his teammates, they still believe in themselves in crucial time and that’s what makes LeBron the GOAT.”
Can LeBron surpass MJ as the GOAT?
LeBron James recently signed a two-year extension with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now his contract ends in the 2022-23 NBA season, when he will be 39 years old.
We have already seen how destructive the duo of James and Anthony Davis can be. The Lakers have made sure that their other star is also locked in a lengthy contract which ends in 2023-24 NBA season.
This gives three more years to the duo of LeBron and AD and a championship window of three more years. If the duo continues to perform like it did in the 2019-20 season, there is no doubt that the pair can win multiple championships.
LeBron already has four NBA titles. If the Lakers win at least two more, it will take his tally to six championships, equaling his idol Michael Jordan’s record.
‘The King’ hasn’t slowed down much. Over the years, he has broken multiple records. Considering how he is performing as a 36-year-old, he is primed to break more.
Can LeBron surpass the feats of his idol?