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Friday, October 26th, 2012 at 7:00 pm  |  89 responses

LeBron James Wants to Be ‘the Best of All Time’


As the game’s best player enters his 10th NBA season, LeBron James has only one goal in mind now that he’s finally become a champion: to reach G.O.A.T. status. From the AP: “I want to be the best of all-time,’ James said. ‘It’s that simple.’ He expressed similar sentiment last year, and the year before that, and probably all the way back to high school in Akron, Ohio. He always wondered if a championship would change that perspective. He now has his answer. ‘Not really, honestly,’ James said. ‘I haven’t had much time to really just think about what actually happened. At the end of the day, there’s still going to be people that say, well, he’s not going to be able to win two. He’s not going to be able to do it again.’ [...] The Heat are generally considered favorites to win another title this season, though the external expectation does little to faze James. At this point, he knows championships will define whether it was a good year or not, much as it was for the stars before him like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, some of the few on whom the spotlight has shone brightest. ‘The target, that doesn’t change for me,’ James said. ‘I’ve had a target, champion or not champion, since probably `05. And now that we’ve won one, the target, it’s no different for me.’”

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  • shockexchange

    LeBron, The Shock Exchange knows you have come a long way in attempting to master “The LeBron Rules … Keys to Stopping LeBron James,” but let’s not get carried away now.

  • Junior Taylor

    Why not? I don’t expect a player of his caliber to think differently.

  • R32

    Whether you like him or not, we’re all witnessing something special..

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    People should stop saying that he has to win 6 to be compared to Jordan. While he is widely considered the GOAT and rightfully so, we need to remember that there was never a peer for him while he was winning. LeBron has won now with Kobe still playing and now has Durant as competition much like the Bird-Magic era. If he wins 4 and adds more regular season MVP awards and is the Finals MVP of all the Finals series he wins, I wish someone would try to say that they don’t belong in the same sentence. Add that to the fact that he will probably keep his 27, 7 and 7 average for the foreseeable future. If he wins 2 more, I think he will deserve to be thought of as greater than Kobe given the fact that Kobe will end up with only 2 as the best player on his team (Dwight is the best player on that team now). We all will have to wait and see. But the opportunity for LeBron to tie Jordan is there.

  • Rasheed

    “I want to be the best of all-time,’ James said. ‘It’s that simple.’

    yeah, sounds simple enough…

  • Smik

    Its surely possible it can be done as LBJ’s talent is through the roof, the Heats lineup & bench is really strong & versatile so chances are really high for the next 2 years. LBJ honestly needs to atleast 3-4 rings or even current player KB 5 rings before you can easily put him there with the greats in the top 5. But by sheer physical Girth LBJ is unmatched

  • LakeShow

    He needs at least 4…

  • Junior Taylor

    I don’t think LeBron needs 4-5 rings to be considered a Top-3/5 great because quite a few people have Bird/Wilt in their Top-5 (even in their Top-2) and those cats won 2/3 rings. Sheeeeeeeit…I have Hakeem in my Top-5 and he “only” won 2.

  • shawn

    u clearly never watched nba when Jordan won his rings. just shut up

  • robb

    I’d hate Lebron if he had lesser goals.

  • chosen1

    Sorry, but this is a stupid goal He should be focusing on being the best of his era and the best at his position. LeBron’s goal sounds good, but it misses the mark. Jordan just focused on perfecting his game and winning basketball games, He wasn’t worried about being the best of all time,

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Or I watched every game. Who tells someone to shut up in a comment section? What are you, ten years old? Name Jordan’s rival during the 90s.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    It’s stupid because it’s not the same goal that Jordan had?

  • roscoe

    Clearly bron bron has been chatting w/ mario chalmers & finals failure, kd, too much.

  • Dymez

    Not a damn thing wrong with him saying that. That’s what I would want my superstar to set his standard to. This is the same standard Jordan set for himself when he came in the league as well — look where it got him. At worst, LeBron would fall just short and still end up being one of the greatest anyway.

    Do I think he’ll get there? I doubt it, but it’s possible. 1 more MVP, 3 more championships while being Finals MVP, all while averaging the same numbers each season that he averages now and he’ll put himself in the conversation. One thing Michael has over all of those who at one time dared to dethrone him that makes it impossible to pass him even if you match him in titles; he never lost an NBA Finals — never even played a Game 7.

  • surety

    Lebron has fallen short of expectations several times already during pivotal playoff series. Orlando ’09, Boston ’10, Dallas ’11. To be fair, his teams were favored to win in all three of those series. I think that he is unquestionably the best player in the league, but those past shortcomings will have some negative impact on how his career will be viewed when it’s all said and done. What’s really interesting is that if he played in those series at all like he did in last season’s playoffs, he’d have at least two rings by now.

  • ramzi

    Barkley, drexler, magic, isiah thomas, David Robinson, Ewing, Bird, Shaq, Olajuwon, Malone, Stockton, Payton, Kemp, Webber, Mourning, These guys eat nowadays superstars for breakfast

    Late 80′s early 90′s basketball was best ever

  • ramzi

    except lebron of course he definitely is something special but not as special as mike

  • Bubbles

    Wake me up when lebron averages 37/6.2/4.6 with 2.8 steals and 1.5 blocks a season, or 32.5/8/8 with 2.9 steals and 54%, then we can start comparing the two.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    Just because his rivals didn’t play the same position, doesn’t mean they weren’t rivals. Barkley was pretty damn good, so was Hakeem (unfortunately, they never met in the Finals), so was Drexler, so was Ewing, so was Reggie, Payton, etc.

  • Caribbeancop

    Good humility there. it will surely come to pass with positive strong work ethics

  • Redd

    I thought he wanted to be the worst of all time..

  • AM3

    Surprising no one.

  • justin05

    I’m torn because Lebron might be my favorite player in the league but I grew up as a Lakers fan. For Lebron to add to his legacy he would have to beat my team these next two years and I don’t believe it will happen. Now if LBJ gets MVP those 2 years and signs with the Lakers in 14 then we’re talkin’. He would finish his career with an absurd amount of MVPs and 3-4 rings. That’s pretty damn good for the competetion that is in the NBA right now.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    Co sign 110%

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    Exactly. Jordan is in a class of his own

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    Jordan played for keeps

  • TR

    I think LeBron is already third best I’ve ever seen after Jordan and shaq.

  • danpowers

    he got all the tools and a team good enough around him but it is not very probable that he or anybody could make the jump to overhumanly greatness that jordan did when he turned from superstar to goat mode.

  • Drig

    Just curious if you’ve got the same top 5 as me :

    1. Magic
    2. Jordan
    3. Bird
    4. Hakeem
    5. Wilt

  • Drig

    Magic, Bird and Isiah were already on their way out when MJ started winning titles lol. Try again.

    Shaq played a year or two while MJ was winning. Nope.

    Rest of the players, yes.

    But tell me who could handle Durant, Westbrook, Cp3, DWill, Kobe, Wade etc?? Most guys you mentioned were rightfully bigs. MJ had almost no competition on the perimeter outside of Drexler and at times Mitch.

  • Slick Ric

    Man please…..this dude inst surpassing Michael Jordan. If Dwight is fully healthy, he’s not even going to repeat. People are quick to bring up that Kobe doesn’t match up to MJ statistically….NEITHER DOES LEBRON. I’m not sure if lebron can pass Bird who’s just as good statically as this guy and had the intangibles.

  • flimo

    Okay LeBron, call me when you average a triple-double over a season, or have 11 rings. Or just simply have more than one playoffs, where you don’t suck in clutch.

    Good luck till then.

  • flimo

    That’s not the real question. The 90′s are stacked with all-time greats. The problem is, the leage expanded rapidly, but international talent were nowhere yet. Jordan was easily the best in the 90′s, and had another superstar in Pippen, and quality role players. The competition usually had 2 superstars too, but none of them were Jordan’s caliber. So yes, there’s was no real rival, AND there was no team with three superstar caliber to fight the Bulls effectively. However, in the 80′s, where teams had 3-4 superstars, like Lakers, Celtics, etc, Jordan plain simply sucked. 0-8 against a prime Bird in playoffs, for example. So, while the 90′s were a great are considering individual talents, lacked great team’s comparable to other eras, except the Bulls. Therefore Jordan’s dominance in the 90′s doesn’t automatically means, he was the GOAT. He’s clear top five, and best retired SG yet, but not much more.

  • flimo

    You didn’t seen too much, did you?

  • iNferno

    Fair enough

  • Yi-Cheng Chen

    i hope the heat dun turn out like the dallas mavericks after they’ve won a championship.

  • http://www.facebook.com/edmondvillanuevadmd Edmond Christopher Wong Villan

    no matter what, he will be regarded as one of the better players of the league. Stop hating and just appreciate the talent.

  • Cameron

    You’re kidding right?…Magic over Jordan?. WTF?

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Jordan didn’t suck in the 80s…his teammates sucked. He had a hard time getting through Detroit and he lost against Bird and the Celtics. But during his prime years, there was no player regardless of position that was really close enough in skill/talent/mindset to challenge him. The reason I think he is the best of all time is because of his dominance on both ends of the floor and the fact that he was 6/6 in the Finals. But I say that LeBron could tie him with MVP awards and separating himself from the competition considerably the way Jordan did in the 90s. There were superstars in the 90s, but Jordan was on a level by himself…the way LeBron is putting himself on a level by himself. If he maintains that level and wins more MVP awards, he and Durant end up meeting in the Finals a couple of times (which I think they will), and LeBron continues to beat him, the MJ-LeBron discussion will be better than the MJ-Kobe discussion that people used to have.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Regardless of position, none of those players you mentioned ever beat him in a series so they weren’t rivals. His only true rival in his career was Isiah and the Pistons and the Bulls eventually got through them before Mike hit his prime. During the championship runs, he only played one team twice (the Jazz). It was clear that Jordan was by himself on a different level. In order for it to be a rivalry, players/teams have to beat each other like the Lakers/Celtics and Bird-Magic rivalry.

  • Armando

    OK. No arguing that early Mike put up insane stats, but to say those were his best seasons is arguable. Those Bulls teams were not very good for sure with Dave Corzine, Gene Banks and Earl Cureton logging heavy minutes. But Mike really didn’t become the GOAT until the 90s imo. James has a shot, but if we only look at accomplishments, why are noone comparing James to Bird, at least for now? Stats: Very similar across the board, with Bird being the better rebounder and shooter. Defense: Bird was considered elite the first half of his career, whilst he was considered mediocre later in his career. With James it’s the other way around. Both are exeptional passers. Both has 3 MVPs at this stage. After 9 seasons in the L, Bird had also won 3 ‘ships. James has 1, but is younger. Both start as oversized SFs, but really just played/plays basketball (whatever it takes). Just saying that I think the Bird-James comparison is better than the Bird-Nowitzki comparison (has never made sense to me apart from both being tall and blond, which has nothing to do with basketball). I still think Bird is the best small forward ever, but eventually, probably very soon (maybe this season), that title will belong to James.

  • The Philosopher

    LONG… LIVE… THE KING.

  • ramzi

    When Jordan started winning titles they were on their way out, but we aint comparing anyone looking only at the seasons they won titles in maannnn get outta here, Jordan proved he was better than them before he started winning titles they just had better teams.

    Shaq was drafted in ’92 man thats six year while Mike was winning get outta here.

    The Glove can check anybody in your list, as can Joe Dumars and I have a feeling Scottie Pippen can make Durant cry there is no defender nowadays like Scottie Pippen back then, Mitch and Drex of course, Kevin Johnson, Penny, Kidd and John Stockton now you try again

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    The Heat were favourites v Mavs and that didn’t happen. LBJ may be the greatest right now… but the Heat’s rule is over. OKC team ball for the win.

  • flimo

    6/6 in Finals, or not loosing in Finals is overrated. It means, when the Bulls weren’t the best, they failed earlier. I can’t see how playing and winning 6 Finals in 15 years shows more dominance than playing 12 in 13 seasons, and winning all but 1.

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Nope. Wilt ain’t s**t… c’mon u and I both know he would be average at best today… just like Mikan… just like Havlicek

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    You mean 5 more championships with finals MVP. Jordan was finals MVP every time!

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Hear hear

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Why do u always talk about yrself in the 3rd peson man? It’s kinda weird and a bit creepy. Yr like that midget dude in Seinfeld

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Doesn’t yr keyboard have spellcheck

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Um… what about going to the NBa finals v SAS ??? TParker ate his ass for f**ks sake!

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Um… ate his ass doesn’t read quite like I meant.. well u know what I mean

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    kill yrself.. save humanity

  • Matt

    Typical close minded laker fan

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Did you watch the Bulls and Celtics series 2 seasons ago? Or the Pistons series in 07? Or the Orlando series in 09? There are more examples of him coming through than there are of him failing.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    That Orlando series in 09 wasn’t on him. He played his behind off. His teammates let him down. He averaged 35, 9 and 7 that season in the playoffs. Nothing more he could have done.

  • Trueballer4life

    Lbj is on his way to become the greatest! The mountain top is huge but I think he can do it”

  • Robert Salazar

    This guy sucks he is the biggest cheater of all time no wonder he didn’t go to college

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bishop.SeanMagicJuan Sean MagicJuan

    As of right now
    1. Jordan
    2. Wilt
    3. Magic
    4. Kareem
    5. Bron

    If you have any one of these players in their prime, they should take your team to the Finals.

  • pposse

    its nice to know lebron is still the same ole same ole…still immature. As much of a step forward he took last year, he takes one back with his mouth this year. Dude should have reserved those comments after taking 3 rings. You win one and now you are talkin about being the best of all time? cmon now, your skeptics already have soo much fuel for their arguments against you…lost twice in the finals, team up with two top ten players for your ring etc etc. just stop talking you are vying for second best of all time

  • Dymez

    No. Not every player has to win 6 championships to be in the discussion for best of all-time. You can win 3 or 4. But it’s not JUST championships that makes someone great. Jordan has done a lot to get the nod; MVPs, scoring titles, DPOY, steals titles, the list goes on and on. No other player has dominated across the board like that. LeBron can do some of these things in the time he has left, and if he does pick up 1 more league MVP and wins 4 more championships, that will put him in a room that not a lot of people are in.

  • Slick Ric

    …You fools saying MJ had no competition, don’t you know Great centers are more valuable to winning championships than any other position? Ewing, Robinson, Hakeem, Shaq, Alonzo was his competition. You ask for perimeter players? KJ, Tim hardaway, Penny, Grant hill, Stockton, Payton, Clyde Drexler, Reggie miller, Dominique Wilkins, mark price, steve smith. We already know about Barkley, Malone etc…

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Truth.

  • pops

    Bron isn’t top 5 yet close to top 10 though.

  • Rainman

    Good luck, bud.

  • axel

    where is Kobe at? He is Top 5 over Lebron at this point.

  • Drig

    Wilt was an athlete far ahead of his time. And he sure as hell could’ve held his own against anyone. Shaq included. Hakeem included.

  • aod

    no no no lmao who in their right mind would put kobe top 5 all time ridiculous

    1.jordan
    2.wilt
    3.russell
    4.magic
    5.kareem
    6.bird
    7.shaq
    8.duncan
    9.kobe
    10.olajuwon

  • Drig

    Jordan was not better than them till ’90. Hell, an aging Magic toyed with MJ in game 1 of the ’91 Finals. Toyed with him. Phil realized that and put Pippen on him and turned the tide of the series man. And Bird was his equal in every regard but slowed down more once his back started giving up.

    You’re probably the only guy I’ve met so far who think Shaq was a rival and was at his peak when Jordan was in the L lol. He was a behemoth no doubt but by the time he got a title contender squad after he got to LA, Jordan was already out. They met once in the POs.

    So Gary Payton can check, Westbrook, DRose etc. without handchecking……. something which no other more athletic PGs were unable to do……Fine.

    Scotty Pippen can make Durant cry at best as much as LeBron did vs Durant in the Finals…….which isn’t much.

    Kidd is as much from MJ’s time as Grant Hill is from LeBron’s time……..i.e. not even close.

    Kevin Johnson, Penny, Stockton, Mitch etc. were all second level stars and not superstar level players. No disrespect.

    Without handchecking, locking down a superstar is almost impossible. And 90s guys ain’t gonna change that.

  • Christian Dereks

    lebron is my guy, he’s the main reason i still tune in to the NBA. However just like kobe he’ll never be considered G.O.A.T .MJ because of his influence on the game still to this day,the players,how they play,the shoes,pro game,college and international.mike is basketball without him the NBA would not be where it is today.

  • Drig

    Why exactly is Russell 3rd above Shaq and Hakeem? If it is because of the rings + stats+longevity, why is Kobe below Shaq and Bird??

  • RKJ92

    Thats a joke right? Lol…

  • aod

    the finals MVP is named after Russell for a reason , and hakeem only has 2 rings

    Shaq – 3 finals mvps

    Bird – 3 mvps and 2 finals mvps

  • justin05

    Because I want them to win? lol. No, just a real Lakers fan.

  • justin05

    Leave this website and save everyone else. I assume most of us don’t like immature comments like that one.

  • Dagger

    Yes. The league wasn’t exactly devoid of talent in the 90s.

  • flimo
  • http://www.facebook.com/officialjohng John Gustanar

    #Tellem

  • http://twitter.com/SafeOnTheTrack Safe

    True dat

  • http://twitter.com/SafeOnTheTrack Safe

    Everyone forgets that he has bosh and wade on his team, he doesn’t need to put in 35+ every night, if the team needs him to, he’ll do so. Or did u forget game 4 of the Pacers series?

  • pposse

    cause MJ never went against an LA Laker team with Magic Johnson?!

  • pposse

    preach on ramzi let em kno!

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Once. That’s not a rivalry. They played once when Magic’s run was coming to an end.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    LeBron doesn’t have intangibles? He came into the league passing like Magic Johnson. 45, 15 and 5 in Game 6 against Boston. 40, 18 and 9 against the Pacers in Game 6. 30, 10 and 6 throughout last season’s playoffs. If he’s going to keep playing like that in the playoffs and his team wins more championships, Kobe will be moved out of the way pretty quickly. Larry rebounded better. But LeBron has a higher FG%. A couple more seasons like this past one or his other MVP seasons and he’ll eventually be known as the best SF to ever play.

  • blackthought

    its fair 4 him 2 say he wants 2 b considerd the goat. but he needs to win 6 2 b in the conversation, and the loss 2 dallas realy hurt the record. and jordan was a trendsetter in many ways (mvp/def. player – marketing – never lost in the finals – game 7 (whats that?)). so lebron needs to surpase the feats of jordan (just because mj did it first) – but handsdown the best player of his generation.

  • http://twitter.com/gbustamante11 Gil Bustamante

    Not to hate on Lebron, he’s no doubt going to be one of the greatest ever but not the greatest ever. Kenny Smith said best (On “Open Court”) that Michael is in a class of his own simply for the fact that he didn’t have the luxury that Lebron or Kobe had. He was the only one on his team that would be double teamed all the time. He carried that offensive burden his entire career and still managed to be all defensive first team, I think pretty much every year he was in the league. It was different era back then (hand checking allowed). Michael changed the game, they placed rules so that he didn’t have an advantage (illegal offense).

  • JustAFan

    Lebron James is probably one of the most physically gifted player in history, if not the most. But to be “Greatest of All-Time?”. Just when you thought he’s learned his lesson from the whole “Decision” fiasco, choking against the Mavs, he once again opens his big mouth. James is back to his old self, talking about being the best. Easy to pat his own back now that he has a ring on his finger. But did he forget that he left Cleveland high and dry to go running, looking for teammates to cover his behind? Better send more than a thank you note to Mr. Wade and Mr. Bosh Lebron, because without them, that ring you have on could have easily been an early 1st round exit. Lebron might have to be reminded by names like, Wilt, Bill, Magic and Larry. And yes, the actual Greatest of All-Time, Mr. Michael Jordan. And there’s this guy who could very well be in the same breathe as His Airness, The Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant. You could argue that he had Shaq, but Bryant fought hard to be the number 1 guy. He deserved the 3 rings he had with Shaq and he earned the next 2 he got. Lebron may very well have the edge on Jordan and Bryant with respect to physical gifts. But Lebron is no where near their heart and mental toughness. Jordan and Bryant are assassins on the court, killer instincts that no other player posses. You don’t get to be the greatest when your standing on the shoulders of others. Lebron’s talent is off the charts, I couldn’t agree more. But it takes more than talent to be The Greatest of All-Time Mr. James.

  • JustAFan

    True, we all witnessed something special, how could we not when you put 3 franchise players on 1 team. Greatest of All-Time? I just find that like a slap on Magic, Bird, Kobe and Jordan’s face.

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