The conversation on who is the NBA’s Greatest of All Time will NEVER have a final answer, but it’s great for a basketball discussion between basketball fans. A common theme is that LeBron James has an actual shot at ending the whole argument and become the undisputed GOAT in basketball. How can he do it?
For years, only one man has been seen as the GOAT. That is Michael Jordan. Occasionally, the names of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant and other legendary players are thrown in to the debate but the discussion always ends with His Airness.
That is, until James decided to chase the ghost that played in Chicago and started building his resume for the GOAT title. The ride hasn’t been smooth though for the King.
Multiple chokes in the NBA finals, an inability to come up clutch during big moments, controversial decisions and the fact that he’s 3-6 in the finals are the factors that’s been keeping James from being the consensus GOAT.
Despite all of his failures, a lot of people are still considering him as a strong contender. At the age of 35-years-old, James is still playing at a very high level. Averaging 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and leading the league in assists with 10.6 per game this season. A level that most players can’t even come close to. He’s also in a great position to win another Most Valuable Player and another championship ring.
So, if he’s going to be the GOAT once his career ends, how is he going to do?
At the age of 35-years-old, James probably has a limited window of time left before we see his skills decline. Now you might say “but CD, he has already surpassed all expectations and was able to maintain his game from year one to year 17”, good point but you have to remember the fact that HE’S A HUMAN BEING.
So, for the sake of argument, let’s say he has two to three years left of high-level basketball in his tank.
Within those two to three years span, James has to win another MVP title, two more titles and surpass Abdul-Jabbar in the all-time scoring list.
James currently sits with four MVP title under his belt. Another one would mean he would tie the black cat, Jordan and the man who invented the Skyhook, Abdul-Jabbar for the most MVP titles in history. If he won’t be able to match Jordan’s six rings, he should at least match him his total of MVP trophies won.
Now you may argue that MVP titles isn’t really a big deal since the trophy isn’t always given to the best player in the league. But Jordan’s five MVPs and Kareem’s six are an important part of their enduring legacy.
James needs to do that for the fifth time in his career. No more robbery whatsoever, just prove that he is indeed the best player in the league at the age of 35. While he has a strong case this year, reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has also run roughshod over the entire NBA.
James will also have to win at the very least two more titles while being the main guy on that team. The reason for this is simply because his six finals losses match the amount of wins Jordan has in the finals. James has also been swept twice in the finals.
If James can win another title in Los Angeles, he’ll accomplish a feat that no other legend has ever done, which is win the title for every team he played for. Winning two titles while being the man of the team at the age of 37-years-old would become another feat that no man has ever done. This would definitely add to his resume for the GOAT title.
Lastly, the kid from Akron, Ohio will have to dethrone the great Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time scoring leader. Now he doesn’t have to do it withing two or three years but he will have to do it before he retires. As of the moment, James is third in all-time scoring list with 33,655 points. Ahead of him is Karl Malone with 36,928 points and the legendary big man with 38,387 points.
If by any chance James pulls these factors off, it’ll be hard not to consider him as the GOAT. His career may not have been as clutch as Jordan’s career but the saying “stats don’t lie” will be his biggest argument for the throne.
These are just factors that, in my opinion, would put King James at the top of the mountain. I personally think it’ll be impossible for him to achieve this but then again, he has been proving every critic wrong since day one.
What do you think about LeBron’s chances to become the GOAT? Sound off in the comments below!