It’s time to give the King his due. In one of the final questions he was asked following his 4th NBA championship win, LeBron James demanded respect. He wanted respect for his team, for management and for his damn self.
So let’s give it to him. LeBron is hands down the greatest NBA player of all time.
Michael Jordan still has more rings. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar still has more points. But, LeBron won a championship in the craziest year in league history. Not only did he face the pressure of succeeding despite the tragic death of close friend Kobe Bryant, but he also had to do it in the middle of a pandemic.
So let’s take a second, and congratulate the NBA on an absolute Herculean feat. Playing three months of basketball in a bubble and not having a single COVID-19 case? That’s goddamn impressive.
The only thing more impressive, however, is LeBron going God-mode in the playoffs. He willed the Lakers passed the Portland Trail Blazers, averaging damn near a triple double. LeBron put the clamps down on Houston in Round 2. On top of that, he had two triple doubles to knock Denver out of the playoffs. Oh, and he dropped a cool 40 to win his 4th NBA Championship.
In a normal season, all of those feats would be absolutely legendary, but this postseason had additional layers that we need to consider.
COVID-19 aside, the dominating story early on in the playoffs was the league going on a short hiatus due to the police shooting death of Jacob Blake. LeBron was one of the more vocal voices, calling for change.
Behind the scenes, LeBron also played a pivotal role calling for action. He was one of the loudest voices in the room calling for the playoffs to be cancelled. Players eventually voted to continue the postseason, but LeBron’s call was definitely heard. After all, they only did so after James met with his team and changed his mind.
LeBron may only have won his 4th chip and his 3rd Finals MVP on his 3rd team, but he did so while trying to spark change in a politically tumultuous periods in our history. Not to mention, he did so as we face an international pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than a million people worldwide.
MJ might have more rings, but LeBron has something more. He has one of the greatest accomplishments in NBA history. Winning a championship in the longest season in league history is a feat of its own, but to do so while facing major societal issues leaves me speechless.
It’s time to give the King his due. LeBron over MJ, any day. That’s undisputed.