Hot Takes: Is LeBron James the Goat?

LeBron James will most likely go down as one of the best players of his generation. There is no denying the talent and skill that James has shows throughout his career. But is that enough to make him the greatest NBA player of all-time? He is one of the most decorated players in terms of awards and stats. He is a three-time NBA champion, a four-time MVP, 15-time all-star, and he has been on an all-NBA team 14-times. That is a handful of the accolades that James has earned thus far in his career. Most likely, he will earn more accolades as his career goes on. He does have a chance to go down as the best player of all-time.

Do I think LeBron James is the greatest of all-time, or the GOAT? No. My choice is Michael Jordan because of the passion and his will to win. I also believe that Jordan was a much more skilled player than LeBron. Jordan is always going to be considered one of the best players to ever play the game of basketball. After all, Jordan has never lost a finals while LeBron has lost six. I would put LeBron James third all-time in terms of the GOAT discussion. I would put Kobe Bryant ahead of James. Kobe has only lost in two of his finals appearances. In my opinion, Kobe is the closest thing to Jordan. They both had very similar offensive skills, from the turn-around jump-shot, to the constant will to win. The only thing that sets Jordan apart from these two superstars is defense.

LeBron was obviously a great defender earlier, and a little later in his career. LeBron has averaged 0.8 blocks per game, as well as 1.6 steals per game for his career. Some solid numbers for his career. As of late, LeBron has become non-existent on the defensive side. In a recent game against Los Angeles Clippers, young stud Kyle Kuzma shoved James to get to defend Clippers Danilo Gallinari. This is just one of the instances from this season. This has been happening for a couple of seasons now. LeBron doesn’t even really hide it anymore, he isn’t trying on defense anymore. He is purposely leaving assignments to stay near or in the paint to grab a rebound. There is the argument that he is saving himself for the offensive side, but that shouldn’t be a factor. Michael Jordan never took games off like this. If he did, he was a lot better at hiding it. Also, LeBron doesn’t have to save himself for offense as much as people believe. Before the injury bug bit the Los Angeles Lakers, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma were both healthy on the floor. These two are more than capable to handle some of the offensive load.

LeBron James is one of the best players in the modern day era. But to call him the GOAT seems wrong to me. Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant never took games or possessions off. They were both playing to win games, and win championships. They go ahead of LeBron for me because of this and their ability to lead their teams. All three of these players are going to be, or are already in the Hall of Fame. They are all great offensive players that have struck fear in the defenders eyes when driving down the lane. But being a two-way player is what makes Michael Jordan the GOAT for me.

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