As many already believe, the Greatest-Player-of-All-Time debate, better known as the “GOAT” debate, has mainly been between LeBron James and Michael Jordan. Though some try to slide players like Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar into the conversation; it’s pretty clear that it’s a two-man race. And with Jordan’s legacy already set in stone and LeBron being seen in second-place by most people at the current time, LeBron has to do everything in his power to pass Jordan. Right now, what many believe is holding LeBron back are the number of NBA Championships titles he has won. While Jordan collected six in his time, LeBron is chasing his fourth ring. Though the Lakers may be the favorites to win this series, this is indeed a “must-win” for LeBron and if the Heat manage to find a way to come back to win this series, LeBron’s legacy could forever be diminished.
One of the most obvious things about LeBron’s playoff history is his 3-6 NBA Finals record, especially compared to Jordan who is 6-0. One could argue that Jordan had been eliminated in the first, second and third round more times than LeBron, but one thing is still clear: LeBron has fewer rings. If LeBron doesn’t at least get close to six by the time he hangs up his jersey, then that will forever hold him back in the GOAT debate. This is why, with LeBron playing against his easiest competition in the Finals ever, this series is a must-win for him.
Then, there’s the possibility that the Los Angeles Lakers somehow find a way to lose this series. Not only will critics talk about how LeBron lost to such a weak team (as he did in 2011), but they will also talk about how LeBron blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals, which has only happened one time in NBA History.
If the Lakers lose this series, whenever LeBron is mentioned regarding the greatest players of all time, fans will be quick to mention this finals loss.
It may seem like this finals isn’t as compelling as the last couple, but depending on how it turns out, this finals could forever change LeBron James’ legacy.