Former NBA Champion, Who ‘Defined the Triple Double’, Rated LeBron James Over Michael Jordan for One Big Reason

Published 05/24/2022, 10:00 PM EDT
LeBron James has been making waves on and off the court. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Lakers superstar LeBron James is always on the fans’ and analysts’ “GOAT” debate with Michael Jordan. Most fans consider Jordan as the greatest because of the way he achieved success with the Chicago Bulls. In his early years, he suffered defeats in the playoffs. But he eventually helped the Bulls win 6 titles and made them a dynasty. 

Most importantly, he didn’t jump ships to win an NBA title. And that is the exact reason a lot of fans think that LeBron isn’t the “GOAT”. Like Jordan, James was a huge talent but couldn’t win a championship with his hometown team Cleveland Cavaliers. He did will them to the finals in 2007 but was swept by the San Antonio Spurs. 

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Then LeBron joined Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and the Miami Heat in 2010 and formed a super team. This gave the Heat instant success as they won the NBA title in 2012. And LeBron’s long wait for a championship came to an end.

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But the city of Cleveland did not take LeBron James’ decision to join the Heat well. A lot of neutral fans and analysts thought James’ need to join a super team to win a title was weak and not something Jordan would do. But not Oscar Robertson, he was a fan of ‘King James.’

Oscar Robertson shows his support for LeBron James

Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson is one of the greats of the game. And when Barkley said that James can’t match Jordan, he didn’t take it lightly. The “Big O” said that James was in a class by himself. And said that he would be the face of the team irrespective of wherever he plays.

Oscar also didn’t agree with people talking about James’ legacy. He said that a legacy of a player can’t be discussed while he was still playing.

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Robertson said, “All this legacy stuff people talk about before a guy even finishes playing, it is just TV talk… They talk about you. They burn your jersey. Man, just grit your teeth and go harder for them. Just keep going harder. Keep going as hard as you can and wear them out.”

He encouraged James to go harder, even when fans and analysts talk about him. And asked him to continue his path and wear them out. Fast forward to 2022, LeBron went back to the Cavaliers and helped them win a title. Then signed with the Lakers and won a championship.

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Long before they knew what to call a triple-double, Oscar Robertson averaged it over an entire season. He has won one NBA championship in 1971 with Kareem Abdul Jabbar and the Milwaukee Bucks. In 1962, he became the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season.

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Bagavathi Eswaran

194 articles

Bagavathi Eswaran is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He has been playing the game of basketball for more than 20 years now and has also been following the NBA for more than 10 years. After not being able to go pro, this former college player decided to join the IT industry.

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