LeBron James finally has a clear path to becoming the unquestionable greatest player of all-time, if you're into that kind of thing. Because of extenuating circumstances caused by the pandemic, LeBron has a chance to threepeat under the most difficult circumstances in NBA and maybe sports history.
LeBron already won the first leg of this possible triple crown when the Los Angeles Lakers won the most unique NBA Championship in history earlier this month. It was LeBron's fourth title and it was won under extreme circumstances of the Disney bubble.
Now the Lakers are looking at the shortest offseason ever. Of course, so is every other team. The NBA wants the season to start around Christmas and be around 72 games long. Danny Green has already said that LeBron probably won't play the first month if that's the case. Who cares. If anyone ever earned a month off, it's LeBron, but I don't think he'll just sit. He'll probably treat that first month as a normal preseason. And really, that's all the Lakers and the NBA need. The Lakers will figure out a way to load manage LeBron and Anthony Davis and still make the playoffs.
Whatever the Lakers look like next season, they'll have LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Maybe the Clippers - who looked like complete frauds two months ago - will add some pieces and be the betting favorite. Maybe the Heat, who just lost to the Lakers in the Finals, will be the favorite. Maybe the Milwaukee Bucks, who lost to the Heat, will run through the East again. LeBron should still be considered the most likely outcome.
So maybe the Lakers win two titles in 8 months, presuming the season ends in June like normal. And then they have a regular offseason. (Unless James and Davis decide to play in the Olympics. Wouldn't that be something?) Then it's back to the regularly scheduled basketball and a run at a third title in 20 months. If anyone can do it. If anyone is superhuman enough to do this, it's LeBron James.
One last hurrah, times three. The very end of his prime at 37-years-old in his 19th season playing his his 11th NBA Finals in 12 years. If he gets to six titles and then just focuses on playing with his son? That's the legacy that is unimpeachable.
It sounds impossible, but so did winning one in Los Angeles at the age of 35. LeBron, healthy, contends for a title until we see him not contend and we haven't seen that. If anyone can navigate the NBA bubble, it's LeBron. If anyone can navigate a truncated season on short rest, it's LeBron. Michael Jordan came out of his second retirement at 37. LeBron won't even be considering his first.
That's it. That's the argument. Can you even consider it a longshot at this point?