‘Oscar Robertson’: Former Lakers’ Trainer Makes Bold Claim on LeBron James’ Comparison With Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant

Published 09/19/2021, 1:06 AM EDT
Jun 1, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns fans sitting courtside wear face masks due to COVID-19 restrictions as Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball during game five in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


LeBron James is just a couple of championship rings away from matching Michael Jordan and overtaking Kobe Bryant. He is far from done. In fact, chances are that he will dig another contract once his two-year extension with the Lakers ends. 

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So assuming that Bron will have a 22-year career in the NBA, it’s obvious that his GOAT credibility will increase. He can put all those who call him LeFraud to sleep. But as per a former Lakers trainer, Bron is already better than the best.

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Making a solid case for LeBron James as the ultimate GOAT

Gary Vitti, a name that the Lakers family can never forget. The star athletic trainer spent half his life (32 long seasons) with the team and witnessed them winning eight NBA titles and playing twelve finals. He spent his time alongside Magic Johnson and ended his career serving Kobe Bryant. So his opinion on the GOAT debate makes all the sense.

In an interview, the 64-YO discussed LeBron James’ rise with Scoop B Robinson and expressed, “He doesn’t remind me of either one I think he is an enigma.” This, coming from a man who spent a large part of his career building his men to take on Bron’s teams, carries loads of authentic weight.

Jun 1, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) drives to the basket against the Phoenix Suns in the first half during game five in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps tagging the Akron Hammer as an enigma meant a surprise on how he’s still ruling the court at age 36. Who better than a fitness trainer can tell how taxing it can be to perform at the elite level at that age?

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A comparison with Oscar Robertson

After rejecting Bron’s GOAT comparison with the recent legends, Gary shifted back to the early 70s. He added, “I find him to be more of a bigger version of Oscar Robertson. Plays the game the way it’s suppose to be played.”

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Sir Oscar Robertson (often finding a comparison with Russell Westbrook) played for 14 seasons and averaged close to a 25-point double-double. He was a true hard worker on and off the court during his days of glory. He was big, fast, dominant, and a guard who would love to keep the ball possession. Also, his leadership quality was at par with the greats and that served him a reputation even without the ball in his hand.

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On those scales, LeBron James fits really well and his work ethic is still something that takes the youngsters by surprise. So what’s your say, is Bron’s game more comparable to that of Sir Ozzie’s or to MJ? Help us know in the comments section below.

Watch this story – Anthony Davis, Scottie Pippen, and Other Teammates of LeBron James & Michael Jordan Pick Sides in the GOAT Debate

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Sourabh Singh

1686 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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