Proof that Lebron James is the GOAT? Look no further than last night’s personal-postseason-best 51 points in 48 minutes. Even though his dominant performance wasn’t enough—a reversed call, a free throw miss and a JR Smith gaffe lead to a Cavs loss—the case for Lebron as the GOAT is hard to refute especially when you read this piece by National Review’s David French:
There is a certain class of basketball fan who scoffs at this notion. Fans my age and older vividly remember a singular night in June 1998. You know the moment. Michael Jordan slightly pushes off Utah Jazz forward Bryon Russell, rises up, and sinks the game-winning shot to secure his sixth title in six trips to the Finals. The instant the shot went in, I just knew that I was witnessing greatness. No one would be better. No one could be better.
Of course, it’s not easy to choose one over the other. As of now, the statistical measures are so close that you can stare at them until your eyes bleed and you still won’t settle the debate. Jordan has higher career scoring and steals averages. LeBron has better rebounding and assists totals. Jordan has more total points, but assuming no catastrophic injuries, LeBron will pass him next year, in fewer seasons. Jordan did something that LeBron will never do, winning those six titles in six Finals tries. LeBron has done something that Jordan never did, taking nine trips to the Finals (so far), including eight straight (so far).
The argument that Jordan was undefeated in the Finals while Lebron’s Finals record is (again, so far) “only” 3–5 seems particularly convincing to a certain kind of fan. But it ignores the fact that not even Jordan could win on his own, as his failures in the Eastern Conference playoffs prior to Scottie Pippen’s arrival in Chicago will attest. Jordan couldn’t even make the finals without Pippen.
James, on the other hand, has often had to do it all by himself. This year’s finals is déjà vu. Quick, can you name a single member of the starting five of his first finals team? Ladies and gentlemen, here was the most common starting lineup for the 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers: Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Eric Snow, and LeBron. Who started Game Seven Monday night in Boston? LeBron, Jeff Green, Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, and George Hill.
Read more here.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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