by Eldon Khorshidi | @eldonadam
So, LeBron James is finally an NBA Champion. With the enormous monkey off James’ back, the conversation now shifts from “Will he ever get a ring?” to “How good is LeBron? How many rings will he win? What’s his ceiling…does he even have one?”
James is a flat-out monster on the court, on his worst day a top-2 player in the world. With his Olympic success this summer, he is now only the second player ever to win the NBA championship, NBA MVP trophy and a gold medal in the same calendar year, something only Michael Jordan can relate to. Not right now, but at some point in the distant future, there may be some other things that only LeBron and MJ can relate to. And, who knows, maybe one day there’ll be some accomplishments that only LeBron can relate to. When asked how James’ legacy stacks up against the G.O.A.T.’s, teammate Dwyane Wade said LeBron has a long way to go. Wade thinks LeBron could—maybe, just maybe—surpass Jordan, but believes LBJ has got his work cut out for him. And then some.
More details, via ESPN.com:
“Dwyane Wade isn’t ready to put Miami Heat teammate LeBron James in Michael Jordan’s category. Not yet anyway. “I don’t know if (James) has the ability to surpass (Jordan) or not,” Wade told ESPNChicago.com on Thursday during a promotional event for his Wade’s World Foundation. “That’s yet to be seen. My version as LeBron being on par with Michael is this: They’re both on the golf course. Michael’s on the 18th hole. LeBron is somewhere on like the fourth hole. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s on par to get to the 18th hole. “I think everyone knows that (James) is a phenomenal, phenomenal player. He’s one that we haven’t seen, with the makeup of a 6-8 guy who runs as fast as any point guard, jumps as high as any center, and has the ability that he has to do so many things. But Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time, that’s who everyone shoots for. So it’s going to be hard to surpass that.” Wade, a Chicago native who told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel last week that James was “on that level” as it pertained to Jordan, played an instrumental role in James signing with the Heat two summers ago. James capped a remarkable year earlier this month with an Olympic gold medal for Team USA. Before that, he won his third league MVP, his first NBA championship and an NBA Finals MVP. “He’s now playing with that confidence, that swagger that you need, and he’s right in the smack of his prime. We’ve all seen it from all the best players in this game, all the future Hall of Famers, that age — 27, 28, 29 — that’s like the best years, and then after that if you stay healthy, then you have even more great years like a Michael Jordan, like a Kobe (Bryant) has had, when they reach their 30s.”