LeBron James is the best basketball player I will ever watch
**Editor’s note: This post is the opinion of one writer and does not reflect the opinion of the rest of the staff, especially not the opinion of the head editor.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. That headline is a bold and sweeping statement, you might say.
I don’t think it’s all that far fetched. And I’ll explain why.
LeBron James just won his fourth MVP, and came within one vote of being the first unanimous selection ever. It’s also his fourth selection in five years, the only person to win that many MVPs in such a short time span since Bill Russell did it way back when. And to be frank, the person that voted for Carmelo Anthony instead is an idiot (it could be Dan Le Batard, which would explain a lot).
James averaged 26.8 points, 8 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals and shot a career-high 56.5 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point range this season. To sum that up, he averaged almost a triple double and absurdly made more than half of his shots despite being the focus of every defensive scheme. I think he could have averaged 40 PPG if he didn’t have Dwayne Wade on the same team and enjoy setting up his teammates so much. He was the catalyst for Miami’s 27-game winning streak. He will likely be the catalyst for their second straight NBA championship.
And those remarkable stats don’t even come close to capturing the impact he has on the court. There’s not a stat for how awesome his court vision is. Nor is there one for his ability to guard all five positions, switching on to anyone he needs to and helping off his man to clog penetration lanes. Nor is there one for how he demoralizes opponents with his dunks.
James is simply awe-inspiring to watch. It’s as if God decided “I’m going to create the most amazing athlete ever” and unleashed him on the NBA, chuckling to himself along the way at those who try to stop him. It’s not just that James is 6’8 and 250 lbs. – lots of players check in at that height and weight. It’s the insane combination of speed and strength at that size that he has. If he was running at the basket full-speed and I tried to take a charge on him, I would for sure be in the hospital. Or dead, like Jason Terry.
All of this is a long-winded way of saying that James is the best basketball player that I will ever watch. I say that besides the fact that I was able to catch some of Michael Jordan’s final years with the Bulls when I first started watching the NBA. No doubt, Jordan was amazing, and I will never forget the game against Utah in the ’96 Finals where he had the flu and still scored 38 points and led them to a championship. But every time I watch LeBron I can’t help but acknowledge he is the best I have ever seen.
This post is not meant to compare LeBron and MJ and argue which one is the best. I don’t believe that we can fairly compare them, as we’ve already written about in the past. I don’t think that I can fairly compare them given that I was a little bit too young to witness Jordan’s prime. I think more than anything it’s meant to help people feel comfortable in giving credit to LeBron if they want to. My belief is that many people believe LeBron is the best they have ever seen, but they don’t want to admit it. It’s taboo to say that any basketball player could possibly be better or more enjoyable to watch than Jordan.
It’s understandable. But I don’t think that I, or anyone with a decent knowledge of the NBA, should have to adhere to it provided what we are witnessing and will continue to witness with LeBron. I believe that he has given me the right to say that he is the best player I have ever seen, and as far as I am concerned, will ever watch. Whoa, whoa, whoa all you want, and if you disagree, let’s chat again in five years when he has three more MVPs and NBA titles on his resume.