LeBron James… The Never Ending Story

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Did I have to post that?

Maybe, maybe not. But… that is the story of LeBron James career.

Okay so in the first season LeBron was this kind of dirty cop right, but with a good heart. He’s got to search for this kid see, but the kid is dead, or is he? Then we find out he had a kid, but she died. You see, he’s gone through what Joyce is going through but Joyce’s kid is alive you see. And then in season two he becomes a dad again. The third season he’s kind of a shlubby version of you’re favorite spies and cops mixed together and he makes the ultimate sacrifice and he… wait, he’s alive and…

I’ve been waiting too long for season 4 of Stranger Things. Things are starting to get weird.

No, LeBron James is not Jim Hopper. (Although weirdly I wouldn’t mind LeBron doing a parody version of Hop sometime).

No, LeBron is a never ending story.

47 minutes of highlights and it doesn’t even include LeBron’s last two seasons.

His story epitomizes the journey of NBA superstars after the career of Michael Jordan.

From metaphorical womb to metaphorical tomb LeBron’s story has never been his own. He was the prodigy. The Chosen One. Then he couldn’t live up to the hype. He was a failure. A comeback story. Then a failure again. A comeback story, again. All the while being so much more than any of that.

In my opinion he’s been the best player in the league since 08′.

Yet LeBron can never live down what the media and he himself built him up to be. The one who would be better than MJ. How could such a bold claim ever be lived down, lived up to, and, most of all, surpassed?

I mean what was LeBron going to do? Play two careers as good as MJ’s?

(LeBron that is not a challenge damn it)!

No, living up to the what LeBron was claimed to be never really was something that could be possible. MJ was, is, and always will be a singular player. He is the Babe Ruth of basketball except he’s probably better than The Bambino.

Nobody is ever going to let LeBron unequivocally be the best that ever was. Those of us that grew up with LeBron as our favorite player can call him the GOAT all we want, but there will never be a day where LeBron is truly considered the Greatest Of All Time.

So what is even the point?

I mean we’ve seen LeBron do this…

And this…

All of this…

How about this…

Must I go on? Do I even need to remind you? Of this…

How on earth is all of that summed up by the statement that LeBron isn’t as good as another player in the NBA’s history?

For my own part in this it feels even worse.

Why can’t I say LeBron is the GOAT?

He has been my favorite player since 2006. I’ve watched nearly his entire career. He’s in fact my favorite player of all time. So…

What is it?

Is MJ that much better? I don’t think so.

In fact my theory used to be that LeBron was MJ reincarnate in NBA terms.

Basically that we had gone through however many years of NBA basketball up to the era that LeBron joined the league and now it was going to head in the reverse direction. Kobe was a stop gap in between in my opinion. Then LeBron was MJ. Next we would have another Bird and Magic. So on and so forth.

I thought LeBron’s career would mirror MJ’s. He would win his first title the same amount of years into being in the league as MJ. He would win 6 titles like MJ. As many MVP’s. All of it.

(I was in high school if that makes it seem less dumb somehow).

Then he joined the Heat.

He was still my favorite player. In fact I loved those Miami years. They were fun to watch.

But there was no way he could be like Mike from that point on. And…

You know his story from that point on.

The Never Ending Story

So what is this Never Ending Story that LeBron is fulfilling in his career?

Well, first, is how LeBron epitomizes the NBA’s journey after having had it’s most singular player, MJ, leave the game.

The NBA has always been the most fun league to argue over who is the best player. Whether that be in the current day and age or for all time. To have an objective answer is impossible, but…

Why would that matter?

Not only is the debate endless, it is befitting of the sport where one player can change so much about how any single game is played. So why LeBron? Well because while MJ is the most singular player in NBA history (so much so another player tried to copy him beat for beat and we still don’t consider him near as good), LeBron is it’s most singular talent.

We could all see the potential of LeBron. That was clear. Yet how could he be better than MJ?

No matter what nobody can live up to being another Mike for so many reasons, but since LeBron is the first to even come close, and since he is closer to MJ’s day and age than those in the future will be, he gets the brunt of the…

“Well he ain’t as good as Mike” crowd.

Because of who MJ was, because of the marketing around MJ, hell because MJ was called Black Jesus, there is no way anyone is going to be considered what he was. It is, well, a never ending story.

Second though…

It Isn’t Over

I’ve been a fan of LeBron since 2006, like I said earlier. I became a fan because of his performances against the Washington Wizards. I’ll never forget that dribble on the baseline to put in what was nearly a buzzer beater (technically was). I was rooting so hard for him against the Pistons that year.

I watched the ’48 Special’ live. Same with LeBron’s buzzer beater against the Magic in game 2 of the ECF. I watched every single Miami playoff game he played in. I tried to do the same in 2015 when he was playing for the Cavs again.

I’ve watched every single LeBron James buzzer beater more than one time. Yet…

When LeBron lost to the Warriors in 2017 I thought his chances of being the GOAT were over.

The loss to the Warriors in the first game of the 2018 Finals put the nail in the coffin for me.

LeBron would never be able to be as great as Michael Jordan.

He moved to LA and I knew.

And it still isn’t over.

LeBron is still the best player on the planet. The singular talent of all time and the best player of his generation. 18 years LeBron has played the game of basketball for all of us to see. On the biggest stages.

Why do I keep coming back to him as my favorite player? Because he keeps proving that I may be wrong. It’s still possible he could become the GOAT.

So, heading into LeBron’s 19th season, enjoy him while we have him.

Because just like Mike there will never be another LBJ.

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