Former NFL Star Calls Out Iman Shumpert For Saying LeBron James Ruined Basketball: “The LeBron that Left Cleveland Did Not Run the NBA. That Was Kobe Bryant”

Published 12/23/2021, 12:30 PM EST
MIAMI, FL – JUNE 25: LeBron James participates in the Miami Heat 2012 NBA Championship Celebration at AmericanAirlines Arena on June 25, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/WireImage)


LeBron James has come under the media’s microscope once again after his former teammate, Iman Shumpert, accused him of ruining basketball. While LeBron has so far chosen to remain silent on this issue, several current and former sports athletes spoke out in his defense. Among them are the former NFL stars Marcellus Wiley and Emmanuel Acho.

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Wiley and Acho are hosts of the “Speak For Yourself” show. In their most recent episode, they responded in LeBron’s defense with some exceptional statistics and facts. This is what they said about LeBron James.

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Former NFL star shoot down Shumpert’s claims about LeBron James

While reacting to Iman’s comment on LeBron ruining basketball, Emmanuel Acho said, “Our problem is we have revisionist history. And we also operate with hindsight bias. The bias of realizing LeBron went to four straight championships with the Heat, the bias of realizing that LeBron then became a back-to-back NBA MVP with the Miami Heat, but that’s not the LeBron James that left.” 

CLEVELAND, OH – MARCH 20: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat celebrates after scoring the game-tying basket in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on March 20, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Heat defeated the Cavaliers 98-95. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Following which he asserted, “Let me remind everyone that the LeBron James that left did not run the NBA that was Kobe Bryant. The late great Kobe Bryant.”

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Was Shumpert right in claiming LeBron ruined basketball?

Kobe Bryant was in the prime of his career when LeBron left Cleveland for the first time. So it makes little sense to say that he used his influence to “ruin basketball”. Since LeBron was only an upcoming star, who had only been to the NBA Finals once when he left Cleveland for the first time.

MIAMI, FL – JUNE 25: Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James participate in the Miami Heat 2012 NBA Championship Celebration at AmericanAirlines Arena on June 25, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/WireImage)

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Do you feel Acho is right in pointing out that James had not reached his prime when he left Cleveland? Let us know what you think about it.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

491 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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