For the Mavericks coach, LeBron James’ longevity and his ability to stay at the highest level make him the greatest player of all time.
The MVP race is not the only topic of the moment for players, coaches and TV consultants. Thanks to Jason Kidd, the debate about the « GOAT », the « Greatest Of All-Time » is back on the table. For a few years, the discussion had disappeared from the radar, and everyone agrees that it is Michael Jordan.
Except that LeBron James makes some doubt it. At 37 years old, he is the best scorer in the NBA by combining the regular season and the playoffs, and he is well on his way to overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record in the regular season, which was thought to be untouchable.
« I think LeBron will go down as the greatest player of all time, » said Jason Kidd, who was interviewed before the game against the Lakers. « When you look at his stats and what he’s done on and off the court. No one has realized that. You have to take the whole picture. He’s the greatest player of all time. »
« No one at 30-plus has played like him. »
It should be remembered all the same that Jason Kidd and LeBron James are close. They were teammates in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, and they won an NBA title together when Jason Kidd was an assistant with the Lakers.
« He’s a competitor. He’s the best at what he does, and he’s aware of what’s ahead. It doesn’t scare him, and he’s a beautiful human being. I’ve learned a lot in my two years with him, but I also learned a lot from him when I played with him on the Olympic team. »
For Jason Kidd, LeBron James’ longevity is exceptional. « He’s going to take over every record. I know when he was growing up on the Akron side, he didn’t imagine becoming the best scorer in NBA history. All he thought about was winning, and he did that too. »
« His focus is second to none. He’s aware of the moment, he knows what he’s doing at any given time and he’s always preparing. We all dream of having that physique and mentality, but he takes care of himself. He spends money to make sure his physique and his head are ready to work, and he comes to practice every day and he always delivers. (…) The way he plays at 30-plus is incredible. A lot of us at that age just hope nothing goes wrong. He unfolds… No one at 30-plus has played like him, but that’s just him. He’s always going to set the bar high. »
And what does he think of this failed season for the Lakers, 11th in the West as of last night?
« This year has not gone as they wanted, and injuries are a big part of it, » answers Jason Kidd. « I think LeBron is going to start preparing – after this season is over – for the next season to put himself in a position to win a title, and that’s what he’ll be judged on. That said, at his age, if he does win the scoring title, it will be pretty cool to see that trophy next to the best passer’s award. And if he doesn’t achieve that goal of winning a title, he’ll get back to work the following year.