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Why Lebron Is the Best Basketball Player of His Time

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Ajit Kanwar

March 19th, 2018


Mr. McFarlane

Why LeBron is the best basketball player of his time

        Imagine being in the stands of a high school game, watching this 6’7, 225lb kid absolutely crush the opposing team. This kid looked like the man among boys once he got into the NBA and was the pride of Akron, Ohio. This player would bring glory to the state of Cleveland with the prized championship they could never embrace before. This player was called the “Chosen One” when he was only 18 and was expected to be the best basketball player ever.  This is the story of LeBron James, Small Forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron is the greatest basketball player of his time due to his ability to dominate and impact the game with his skills, being able to prove himself as the best and, amassing several accolades during his time in the league.

        To be a player who stands out in the NBA and even be considered as one of the best, you must have extraordinary basketball skills. LeBron is both an amazing scorer and world-class defender. On offense, LeBron can be put at any position on the floor, from Point Guard, which focuses on finding teammates for passes, to Center, which primarily stays close to the net for easy buckets and rebounds. This can be accredited to his 6’8 280lb frame. LeBron is all muscle and runs like the wind. In his career, LeBron has averaged 27 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds[1]. In addition, LeBron has never averaged under 25 points a game[2], never missed any games due to injury and has accumulated more than 30,000 points in his career, putting him 7th all-time on NBA career points leaders. [3]With numbers like this, LeBron can change the tide of a whole game and even the performance of a whole team. Once LeBron left the Cavaliers in 2010, they entered a rebuilding phase and were only a shell of what they were with LeBron. They went from being in the playoffs for 3 consecutive years to watching the playoffs at home. Things were pretty ugly in Cleveland for a while when LeBron had left, proving how necessary his offensive skills were to the Cavaliers. Another notable skill of LeBron’s is his defensive prowess. Just as LeBron can play any position on offense, he can play anyone on defense. Whether it be a 7’3, 300lb Center or a 6’1, 220lb Guard, LeBron can lock up any player and give them a hard time to create plays or score. LeBron’s most iconic moment was a block on Andre Iguodala in the dying seconds of a Game 7 NBA Finals to get him his 3rd championship. Along with on skill courts, LeBron is also a fantastic leader. He can lead a team full of role players to greatness. This could be proven by how he led his mediocre Cavalier team in 2007 to the NBA finals, beating a team of veterans and former champions in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Detroit Pistons. Though LeBron had lost the finals that year, there could be no other player who could lead an NBA team to the Finals at only age 22. LeBron has a case for being labeled as the best basketball player of his time as he can dominate on offense and lock up anyone on defense.

        Alternatively, in sports, it is hard to be the perfect player under so much media attention and so many fans and critics watching. But LeBron was in a league of his own. LeBron has been one of the only NBA rookies who lived up to his hype and never cracked when under immense pressure, consistently proving why he is the best. LeBron stays grounded and focuses on his game while his critics continue to degrade him.  As a freshman in high school, every scout or fan expected LeBron to be the best high school basketballer even when he was facing teens who were 3-4 years older than he was. And he did just that, he became Mr. Basketball for Ohio 3 times and was named to the McDonalds All American team[4], which has the best high school players in the country. This made some of his haters into believers, that LeBron was the real deal. LeBron did what he did best and that was show people that he is the top basketball player they have seen. Many players who were hyped up in high school didn’t end up being the best once they went pro. Take for example OJ Mayo. He was supposed to be the next Kobe Bryant since he was one of the best college basketball players in recent years. Once he got to the NBA, he was less than average at best and was overall garbage. LeBron is the opposite of that. LeBron was expected to be a once in a generation player before he even stepped foot on an NBA court, and he did end up being that, one of the top 3 players in basketball history, winning championships and MVP awards. When LeBron left Cleveland to play in Miami, he became the most hated player in sports, and with all the hate he got, he was unphased. He continued to be the best player in the league and even won the MVP twice while playing for Miami in addition to becoming an NBA champion on the team. With all the doubters hoping LeBron failed at any time in his career, hoping he tripped and fell just so they can make him the scapegoat of the NBA teams he was on, he still fought like a warrior and proved he was the best. This further strengthening his case of him being the best player of his time.

Moreover, LeBron has earned many awards and accolades that better his “basketball resume” to be the greatest ballplayer of his time. In his 14-year career, LeBron has been a 14x All-Star, 3x NBA Champion, 4x MVP, 3x Finals MVP, 03-04’ Rookie of the Year, 08’ Scoring Champion, 11x All NBA First team and 4x All-Defensive NBA First team[5]. His 2016 NBA championship was most likely his most prized championship. Being down 3-1 and one game away from losing to the Golden State Warriors, LeBron channeled his inner strengths to absolutely explode. James, the Ohio native, fulfilled his promise to bring a championship to Cleveland. He also did something which not even Jordan or Kobe, the other greats, could do: he led the finals series in points, rebound, assist, steals and blocks. Furthermore, LeBron was facing the best NBA in history ever, the 73-9 Warriors. “He’s such a force physically, so powerful,” said the coach of the 73-9 Warrior team and 3pt legend, Steve Kerr. LeBron’s accolades reflect his hard work and dedication to his craft and with all those accolades, LeBron is fitting to be called the best player in basketball for his time.



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