LeBron James is no longer a young pup. He may not be the best player in basketball. Or the second-, or even third-best player. His trade value is dropping. The Los Angeles Lakers may not be able to get as much back for him should they decide to totally retool and deal the future Hall of Famer.
Ric Bucher dove into the topic for Bleacher Report, and brought us this tremendous passage.
One Western Conference GM said he would be interested in trading for James to contend with the defending champion Golden State Warriors, but he wouldn’t swap his best player for him because it would defeat the purpose. Translation: James can’t single-handedly lead a team to title contention, especially in the Western Conference. He needs a fellow star next to him, along with the right coach and supporting cast. “He’s not good enough anymore to take four cadavers and get to the Finals,” the GM says. “Not in the West.”
No need for serious fact-checkers to get involved here. This is quite true. And I’m betting James plus a team full of actual dead people couldn’t get to the NBA Finals from the Eastern Conference side of the bracket.
As with all things LeBron, we need to run this preposterous idea through the Michael Jordan Content Machine.
First, the question: could Michael Jordan make the NBA Finals with four cadavers? Doubtful. Though he did carry his teammates, history shows that it was Scottie Pippen who came to Jordan’s rescue when his health was non-optimal.
The second question: what would James have to accomplish, as the only living player on his team, to surpass Jordan? Nothing short of winning a few more NBA titles will satisfy the RINGZ crowd. But one has to think if James won a single game effectively playing one-on-five, the conversation would change. Others would need to see him reach the playoffs. Or win twice.
Embrace this debate. Tell me how the James haters would dismiss that accomplishment. Honestly, I’d love to see it happen. Unfortunately, there’s probably some health code against littering the hardwood with the deceased.