For real, I don’t think everyone comprehends just how good this guy is at basketball. We’re all well aware that he’s an undeniable All-Star caliber player who’s been a legitimate MVP candidate for the last decade, and nobody would dare call him trash, but that isn’t enough. Calling LeBron James underrated might seem absurd, but he is. LeBron James is underrated.
First of all, this is undeniably the best anyone’s ever been in their 14th season. Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe, Shaq… none of them were this good in year 14. LeBron James is 32 years old and still very much in the prime of his career, so it’s easy to forget just how long he’s been doing this. The guy was drafted in 2003! To put that into perspective, other lottery picks taken after LeBron include Chris Kaman, Kirk Hinrich, T.J. Ford, Michael Sweetney, and Jarvis Hayes. Seriously, when’s the last time you heard anything about T.J. Ford?!
In his 14th season in the NBA, LeBron James averaged his career high in assists, his career high in rebounds, his third best field goal percentage, and he led the league in minutes per game. Oh, and he’s still averaging over 26 points per game. Michael Jordan’s 14th season in the NBA was spent as a 38-year old on the Washington Wizards, where he averaged career lows across the board. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as well averaged career lows in every major statistical category in his 14th season and never bounced back.
Moreover, the simple fact that LeBron not only lived up to the hype, but surpassed it, is completely and utterly unfathomable. The guy came into the NBA straight out of high school with the highest expectations of any player in league history. Heck, he may have had the highest expectations out of every single athlete in any sports. And what did he do? He was better than anyone expected. For all intents and purposes, he’s arguably the second greatest NBA player of all time already, and he’s only 32. And MJ’s unanimous hold of that top stop isn’t as safe as it once seemed, either.
He’s a freak of nature. There’s never been someone like this before in the history of the sport. In a league that loves to compare stars of today to the stars of yesteryear, it just isn’t possible with LeBron. Michael Jordan was a great leader, Larry Bird was a mastermind and a floor general, Magic Johnson could see the court like never before, Karl Malone was a low-post bully… I could go on and on. The fact of the matter is that all these stars were great at something. LeBron James is actually the first player to be great at everything. Literally, there isn’t anything he can’t do. He can play every position on the court and he can guard every position as well.
This season felt like a major turning point in LeBron’s career, where he really started to solidify his place in history. I was going to start listing off all the regular season and playoff records that he already holds, but there honestly isn’t enough space to do so. I’ll just link the wikipedia page of LeBron’s list of career records (yes, there’s an entire page dedicated to just his records, and it’s a long one). I urge you to check it out:
Russell Westbrook is great; so is James Harden. Steph Curry is phenomenal and there’s a slew of young players with a ton of talent. However, LeBron James is the best player on the planet for the foreseeable future.
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