LaVar Ball Says LeBron James Cannot be the GOAT with ‘Losses’ on His Record

Published 11/25/2020, 2:21 AM EST
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James holds up four fingers after winning his fourth NBA championship after game six of the 2020 NBA Finals. The Los Angeles Lakers won 106-93 to win the series. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


The long-standing debate about who is better – Michael Jordan or LeBron James – is heating up again. After LeBron’s latest LA Lakers championship win, he became the first player to win three Finals MVPs with three different teams. Fans of James are arguing that he has surpassed Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan.

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LaVar Ball, the father of NBA players Lonzo and LaMelo, spoke to Shannon Sharpe on an episode of Club Shay Shay. Ball claimed that there was no way to determine the greatest of all time through debate. He said, “We’re never going to be able to determine it, that’s why we got to still keep talking about it. Because you never can go back into that era and be like ‘yo, this is what I’mma do.’ ” 

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James smiles while holding the MVP and Finals trophy after game six of the 2020 NBA Finals. The Los Angeles Lakers won 106-93 to win the series. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ball is of the belief that LeBron James has a significant advantage due to his size and build and said, “It’s what people did in those eras. It’s what you grow upon. To do the stuff that LeBron does, nobody has been that big and strong.”

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LaVar Ball added that players in the past did not do the things Bron could because of his size advantage. LaVar said, “That’s like saying ‘OK Karl Malone, I need you to go out there and play point’. That ain’t going to happen. Because he doesn’t have skills like that. It’s the same thing. Magic, you big but you ain’t 260 like LeBron. You ain’t jumping like that.”

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LaVar Ball picks Michael Jordan over LeBron James

LaVar also added that for him it didn’t matter how many times a player reaches the finals, but what he does when he gets there. He said, “As far as a player built like that, he’s a monster. But the greatest of all time; how do you measure that? You measure that by your victories and what you did in those victories. I ain’t talking about him getting 12 rings, and you been on five different teams.” 

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LaVar Ball ended by suggesting that Michael Jordan was the greatest of all time because he never lost in the finals. He also added that his sons would surpass Jordan’s greatness and said, “I’m talking about a dude who went to the finals, who was the main guy six times in a row… If you have losses on your record, you can’t be the greatest of all time. That dude ain’t got no losses in the finals. So it’s always going to be Michael Jordan until my boys succeed that.”

While LaVar called Jordan the GOAT, he also thinks that he can take MJ one-on-one. He has often said that he would defeat Michael Jordan in a one-on-one pick up game. MJ drafted his son LaMelo to his Charlotte Hornets team, and one might get to see that game someday.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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