LeBron James has seen people question his legacy after adding Russell Westbrook, including Charles Barkley, but Nick Wright believes that’s not fair.
The ‘Superteam’ era is claimed to have started when LeBron made his famous ‘Decision’ in the summer of 2010 to join the Miami Heat with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
Following his four year stint there, James would team up with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in Cleveland, and now he’ll be running the Lakeshow with Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Carmelo Anthony. The stretch of great teams he’s played with is something that make Charles Barkley question James’ legacy.
Charles Barkley says he’s not putting LeBron James over Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant
“The reason I put Michael up there before those other guys. LeBron has stacked his teams. Let’s be realistic.”https://t.co/12iTXWuAhF
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 4, 2021
Nick Wright Fires Back At Charles Barkley Claiming LeBron James’ Legacy Is Hurt By Great Teams
The notion that James has played with great teams is definitely true. Those Cavalier teams with Kyrie and Love were formidable. They’d routinely run through the Eastern Conference, making it to the Finals three straight years with all three.
Miami was the same. During James’ four year tenure with the Heat, they did not miss the Finals a single time, being the class of the Eastern conference. And now, with the Lakers, LeBron definitely has a great team.
Anthony Davis has proven that he’s a top five player in the league when healthy, and Russell Westbrook averaged a triple double for the entire year once more. There is no question about the talent this team possesses, and as a result, people have been calling out ‘The King’ for constantly running with great teammates (like Barkley said).
However, James’ teammates during the early years of his career weren’t as incredible. The Cavaliers teams from James’ first years in the league, 2003-2010, genuinely had to struggle to make the Finals with James often running a ‘one-man show.’
That pressure, of always being the guy, with no superstar teammate to support him, is what led to James leaving Cleveland in the first place. He wanted to win, something that seemed unlikely with Cleveland at the time. Those seven years are what Nick Wright believes disqualifies Barkley’s argument of James always having stacked teams:
“What do you call 7 years when the best teammate LeBron ever played with is Mo Williams? There is no comp in NBA history for what he had.”@GetNickWright on how LeBron James has done more with less than any player all time: pic.twitter.com/9dU3mMklJy
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 6, 2021
Wright’s points are as valid as Barkley’s, but it is a little unfair to speak about those seven years because after those seven years, LeBron has had some great teammates for the next 11 years of his career.
This whole argument is definitely based off the Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James argument for the NBA GOAT as people constantly point out the difference between Jordan’s teammates and James’ teammates to downplay LeBron’s legacy.
However, Jordan did have all-time greats in Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman as well. The difference is Jordan never left his team to join other stars, or recruited them like LeBron has, making people believe LeBron is a notch lower than Jordan.