When he signed with the Miami Heat, LeBron James promised he would make history. And he did.
After the San Antonio Spurs routed LeBron’s Heat with a 4-1 series win in which the Spurs’ margin of victory in their four wins were 15, 19, 21 and 17 points, LeBron James’ Heat helped the Spurs reach 12 total games in the postseason by 15 or more points—an NBA record.
Other LeBron promises? Not so accurate.
During their introduction party in 2010, in which LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were brought out amid plumes of smoke for their adoring fans and lifted into the air via forklift, LeBron said he would win at least 8 championships with the Heat.
Lest you thought he was just joking or exaggerating, LeBron specifically emphasized that “when I say that, I really believe it. I’m not just up here blowing smoke…b/c that’s not what I’m about. I’m about business.”
Not only that, but remember LeBron said they would win 8 championships “easy.”
“The way we gonna challenge each other in practice, once the games start, I mean, it’s gonna be easy.”
“I mean, with me and D.Wade running the wing, I mean, Pat [Riley] could come back and play like he was back in his Kentucky days,” James boasted, laughing. “Just throw it up there and we’ll go get it.”
The Heat thought they could just buy themselves 8 championships in paying $327.7 million to James, Wade and Bosh.
But then the Dallas Mavericks ruined LeBron’s prediction in his very first year of seeking “easy” championships.
And the Spurs should have beaten the Heat last year, being just a Kawhi Leonard missed free throw away from winning the championship.
And of course, you know what happened this year.
LeBron the G.O.A.T.?
Any talk of LeBron being the Greatest Of All Time (or G.O.A.T.) looks as ridiculous now as casting Bill Murray to play Rambo.
LeBron is now 2-for-5 in the NBA Finals in his career. For those who are in remedial math, it means he has a LOSING record in trying for championships.
Michael Jordan was 6-for-6. For those in remedial math, that means Jordan NEVER lost an opportunity to win a championship. Not once.
LeBron is 0-for-1 in three-peat attempts. Jordan was 2-for-2.
LeBron couldn’t win in Cleveland so he had to find a different team who could buy him some superstars to help him win two championships. And even WITH his superstar free agent buddies, LeBron still lost twice in the NBA Finals. That means LeBron has LOST as many championships with the Almighty Heat as he has won (2-2).
Heck, the vaunted Heat haven’t even won 70 games in a regular season, unlike Jordan’s Bulls. Wait, I thought “once the games start, it’s gonna be easy.” LeBron made it sound like the Heat should be regularly finishing the regular season 82-0.
LeBron the Greatest Of All Time? Seriously?
After the Heat beat the Indiana Pacers to advance to this year’s NBA Finals, Pacers head coach Frank Vogel took the hype down one notch but still hailed James as “the Michael Jordan of our era,” and the Heat “the Chicago Bulls of our era.”
What an insult to Michael Jordan and the Bulls.
Last night’s championship-clinching Game Five shatters Vogel’s bone-headed claims to a million pieces. In that game, LeBron had 31 points and 10 rebounds. But it was arguably the quietest 31 points in recent NBA Finals history. While James had 17 Jordanesque first-quarter points, James did an un-Jordanesque disappearance the rest of the game, allowing the Spurs to roll all over his team for a third consecutive game—also something Jordan never allowed to happen.
“Need better supporting cast”?
After the Spurs kicked the Heat up and down the court to clinch the 2014 NBA championship, some commentators said the Heat needs to get a better supporting cast for LeBron.
Wait up. Really?
A better supporting cast? LeBron said the Heat could win “not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven” but eight or more championships with a 65-year-old man as the supporting cast. And that he “really believes it.” But now the Big Three need a better supporting cast?
Excuse me while I muffle my laughing.
The Heat paid $327 million to three superstars (that’s more than the economy of many entire countries)—and they still need a better supporting cast?
How do these commentators keep their jobs?
I bet those commentators did not even realize what a slamming indictment that is on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Why would the alleged Greatest Of All Time plus two other superstars STILL need a better supporting cast to win championships? Since Pat Riley is not playing, their supporting cast is already better than what James said he needed to win 8 championships.
And BTW, what kind of supporting cast did Michael Jordan have during MJ’s six championship years?
During the Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant years (and keep in mind that Grant was only an All-Star once; Bosh is a nine-time All-Star), the Bulls’ Top Three played with the likes of B.J. Armstrong, Scott Williams, Cliff Levingston, Will Perdue and Craig Hodges. Only die-hard Bulls fans would remember those names—and those were the most “famous” of the supporting cast. Rory Sparrow, Bobby Hansen, Dennis Hopson, Chuck Nevitt, Ricky Blanton, Jo Jo English, Joe Courtney, Ed Nealy, Mark Randall and Darrell Walker were also part of the supporting cast. Any of those ring a bell, much less strike fear in an opponent?
During the Jordan, Pippen and Dennis Rodman years (and keep in mind Rodman was only a two-time All-Star compared to Bosh’s nine All-Star appearances, and Rodman didn’t have anywhere near the offensive talent of Bosh), the supporting cast consisted of Randy Brown, Jason Caffey, Jud Buechler, Jack Haley, John Salley, Dickey Simpkins and Bill Wennington. Any of those names sound like a strong supporting cast? In fact, the best bench player the Bulls had then was Toni Kukoc—and Jordan didn’t think Kukoc was much help either.
Put it this way: if LeBron, Wade and Bosh played with Jordan’s supporting cast, the Heat probably would be lucky to win 50 games.
Now LeBron, D.Wade and Bosh need a better supporting cast to win championships? If that’s true, then LeBron, D.Wade and Bosh better refund Heat owner Micky Arison all those millions they were paid to “easily” win championships.
Rumors have it that the Heat want to buy themselves a fourth superstar free agent in Carmelo Anthony. I say, go for it. It’s clear that LeBron is definitely NOT the G.O.A.T. but actually needs all the superstar help he can get.
So go for it, Pat Riley…buy yourself a fourth superstar free agent. Demand the salary cap get pushed up so you can keep buying more superstars (is Kevin Durant available?) and sellout All-Star free agents like former Celtic Ray Allen. Buy a fifth superstar and a sixth superstar while you’re at it. Maybe LeBron needs a complete roster of free agent superstars to win those eight championships. After all, championships are bought, not built, right?
LeBron goat, not G.O.A.T.
Jordan pointed this out after LeBron and Bosh joined Wade in Miami, saying:
“There’s no way, with hindsight, I would’ve ever called up Larry [Bird], called up Magic [Johnson] and said, ‘Hey, look, let’s get together and play on one team.’ …In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys [not join them].”
Even if LeBron won eight championships with the Heat, he still wouldn’t be the G.O.A.T. because he needed to team up with other superstars to do it. As Charles Barkley put it, LeBron taking his talents to South Beach automatically took him out of that conversation of being the G.O.A.T.
And LeBron failing to win championships even WITH the other superstars solidifies LeBron as the goat, not the G.O.A.T.