An ocean of words have been written about the greatness of LeBron James. I can’t let the NBA Finals pass without throwing some more into the water. Let me borrow a line from Dave Zirin of The Nation: When a 73-win team looks in the mirror and says: “We need the second best player in the world to beat this guy,” it’s point one in a GOAT argument.
I’m still not sure LeBron is the greatest of all time. But he’s in the top three with Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson (or whoever you want to substitute for Magic). He’s the most unstoppable force driving to the basket ever. In his last 12 elimination games he has averaged: 35 points, 11.9 rebounds and 7.25 assists.
The one true blot on his playoff resume is the 2011 Finals loss to Dallas (a bad L, and MJ has no blot like it). But denigrating his 3-5 Finals record is off base. Cleveland lost to the Warriors because it was outside the top 20 in defensive efficiency. No team outside the top 10 has won the title since the Lakers in 2001.
Cleveland needs to find LeBron two more versatile defenders.