NBA

LeBron James: Is joining the Los Angeles Lakers good or bad for his GOAT legacy?

LeBron James is heading to sunny Southern California, to the great pleasure of the Los Angeles Lakers and their fans. However, is going to the City of Angels beneficial for his “greatest of all-time” legacy?

By Neil Harrington

There’s no way of getting around it. LeBron James is the greatest NBA player of our generation. What “The King” has accomplished thus far in his 11 (total) seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and four seasons with the Miami Heat is nothing short of remarkable.

Claiming three NBA titles, one of which brought prosperity to the significant sports drought in Cleveland, is nothing short of Hall of Fame worthy on its own merit. He also boasts a total of seven NBA Most Valuable Player Awards — achieving four of them when it mattered the most from his efforts during the NBA Finals.

Speaking of the NBA Finals, LeBron James has been to nine of them and won on three of such trips — which is flat out impressive.

LeBron James is undoubtedly the most freakish athlete ever to lace up their sneakers, who can play any position 1-5 with relative ease, making the best NBA players look — well, like me on the court.

Stemming from such accomplishments, many people claim that LeBron James is the greatest of all-time, or the “GOAT,” of the NBA.

Not so fast, he still has plenty of work to do.

Before it’s all said and done, LeBron James may become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and have the same amount of rings as Michael Jordan — if things go according to plan for Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers.

One would assume that those two accomplishments, along with his many others, would push him closer to the likes of Michael Jordan and Bill Russell (who has more rings than fingers by the way) as the GOAT, but, doing so with the Los Angeles Lakers may hinder “The King’s” legacy, instead of adding to it — no matter what transpires from here on out.

Staples Center already has a full cast of legends hanging on the wall, with the likes of Magic himself, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, and “the logo” of the NBA; Jerry West.

There’s still plenty of room for King James to join that group of elite members — which may bury his legacy and efforts in the process.

If King James would have stayed in Cleveland, gone to the Philadelphia 76ers, or even the New York Knicks; he would have added to his argument as the greatest of all-time by succeeding in a smaller market to end his career — even by winning just one more NBA title.

Instead, LeBron James is inevitably planning on ending his career surrounded by the comforts of LA LA Land, with Magic Johnson acting his personal magic genie, making every one of his dreams come true — sounds like a commercial for Disneyland, doesn’t it?

Such comforts and pampering will create even more of a clouded vision of his true place among the greatest of all-time.

King James even went on record saying that he wants to be remembered as the greatest of all-time, but his move to Los Angeles tells a different story — that he’s content being great, but not the greatest.

Plus, LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference creates even more separation between the Eastern Conference — creating himself a tougher path towards his goal of reaching the NBA Finals in the process.

With as stellar as the Golden State Warriors currently are and the fantastic roster of the Houston Rockets led by “The Beard,” James Harden, it leaves a tiny window (of opportunity) — and a smaller margin of error for the Los Angeles Lakers to cash in on the talents of The King.

Even if LeBron James pads his statistics and individual accomplishments, he may end his career without adding more rings to his fingers — which hinders his legacy as the GOAT.

If he does achieve his goal of winning not one, not two, not three, but four more rings, he’ll always be viewed as the guy who did so with all the resources that the world can offer — watering-down his accomplishments in the process.

Its a classic lose, lose (lose) scenario for King James and his GOAT legacy. Finishing his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, he will be remembered as one of the all-time greats, but not the greatest NBA player of all-time.

 

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