After four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and fulfilling his promise to give them their first NBA championship title, LeBron James decided to leave his hometown team, Cleveland Cavaliers, for the second time. In the recent free agency, James signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers will be LeBron James’ third team since being drafted the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. Like what he did to the Cavaliers and the Miami Heat, James is expected to help bring the Lakers back to the NBA Finals and end their eight-year title drought. Some people believe that winning a Larry O’Brien Trophy with the Purple and Gold will strengthen LeBron’s chance of being considered as the G.O.A.T.
However, for former New York Knicks shooting guard John Starks, LeBron James will never be better than Michael Jordan. Speaking with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson on Scoop B Radio (h/t Amico Hoops), Starks believes changing teams to chase championship rings is hurting LeBron’s legacy.
“Mike did all his championships on one team and guys wanted to play for him,” Starks said. “Mike didn’t move around, didn’t want to move around. He wanted to play against the best. He felt like he didn’t need to go chase players to join his team to beat the best because he felt like he was the best, and I think that’s the difference. I think that’s probably going to hurt LeBron when you look at it in that perspective against Michael, [Larry] Bird, and Magic [Johnson]. Those guys stayed with one team and they won with that team.”
After spending the first seven years of his NBA career with the Cavaliers, LeBron James decided to leave in 2010 NBA free agency to form the Heat’s “Big Three” with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade where he succeeded to win two NBA championship titles. In 2014 offseason, James returned to the Cavaliers where he posted a 1-3 NBA Finals record against the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors.
Unlike LeBron James who has a 3-6 record, Michael Jordan never lost in the NBA Finals and won six NBA championship titles with only one team, the Chicago Bulls. Most people believe that championship record should be the basis when it comes to the G.O.A.T. Starks may have shared the same sentiment with some NBA fans, but it is unlikely to put an end to the conversation about the best basketball player in NBA history.