Richard Jefferson Thinks LeBron James Isn't A Lakers Great

LeBron James
Wikimedia | Doppelganger.decoy

Ernesto Cova

LeBron James is undeniably one of the greatest players in NBA history. You could even say that he's a top-10 athlete in sports history, and few people would be able to put together a coherent argument to dispute that.

But as great as he is and as much as he's accomplished through his career, he still needs to earn his stripes with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He Hasn't Done Enough Yet

LeBron James
Giphy | SB Nation

At least, that's what his former teammate, Richard Jefferson, seems to think. Per Jefferson, James is still a ways away from being a Lakers great, as the team hasn't found much success since his arrival:

“LeBron James has not done enough as a Laker to be on that list. Bron been there now — this is his fourth season, right? They’ve been in there four seasons. Two years, they haven’t made the postseason. One year, they lost in the first round. And one year, they won a championship," Jefferson said on his podcast.

James Breaks Records With Contract Extension

LeBron James
Shutterstock | 4559857

James just signed a two-year contract extension worth at least $97 million. That number could rise to $111 depending othe salary capes. With that deal, he's now the highest earner in NBA history, topping Kevin Durant with $532 million in fully-guaranteed money.

Needless to say, that's a hefty price to pay for a player who'll turn 41 years old by the time his contract expires. Nonetheless, it's not like all players can do what LeBron James does at his age, not even when they're younger.

He'll Continue To Make History

LeBron James
Shutterstock | 921176

Also, this contract all but guarantees that LeBron will continue to climb the NBA rankings at an unmatched pace. He'll become only the 10th player to be on the floor for at least 20 seasons, and is just a handful of points away from becoming the league's all-time leading scorer.

James can top Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's incredible record by midseason. He also ranks at the top of nearly every major category in the playoffs, which is unsurprising considering he made the NBA Finals eight years in a row and ten times overall.

But Do They Have Enough To Compete?

LeBron James
Wikimedia | Sportzeditz

But then again, this extension will also raise some questions and criticism. For starters, the Lakers were already in a tight spot, salary cap-wise, so they needed James to take a pay cut next summer to bring in more talent.

That seriously hampers their ability to do so and surround Anthony Davis with the pieces he needs to thrive for years to come. So, yeah, James has earned every penny of his deal, but will it help or hurt the Lakers down the line?