LeBron James winning 5th ring after ousting Nuggets in 1st round can win over Jordan fans in GOAT debate

LeBron James has staked his status as the GOAT, but fans of Michael Jordan are not convinced.


LeBron James winning 5th ring after ousting Nuggets in 1st round can win over Jordan fans in GOAT debate

LeBron James

Basketball fans are still split on the debate between LeBron James and Michael Jordan in the GOAT rankings. Many consider the Chicago Bulls great to have done enough to cement his status as the greatest of all time. However, for LeBron James, a unique situation has cropped up in his 21st season. Something that might make those Jordan fans move over to the Los Angeles Lakers superstar’s corner.

ADVERTISEMENT

LeBron James is known league-wide as one of the best postseason performers in the NBA. The narrative could have been different if he had the sort of teammates Jordan or other title winners who stopped him, had on their squads. Even at the prime age of 39, James is touted as a player who can lead his team to a title. Provided he has the timely help from his teammates.

Despite not having the team he would have preferred, his Los Angeles Lakers are still considered hot favorites to return to the NBA finals, 4 years after winning their 17th ring. If he does win his 5th title at this age, it will make fans consider him to be close to Jordan. However, there is one more major obstacle which if he overcomes, will surely make fans tip their hats in his favor.

The kryptonite Denver Nuggets in the 1st round

Last year, the Denver Nuggets stopped the Los Angeles Lakers’ dream run from the play in spots in the Western Conference Finals. Since sweeping the men in purple and gold, the reigning champions have gone on to win every game to date. To many, it means that the Lakers have no answer to Nikola Jokic and co.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Denver Nuggets have had the Los Angeles Lakers' number so far
The Denver Nuggets have had the Los Angeles Lakers’ number so far (image via Laker Nation/X)

That is where LeBron James’ playoffs start. Despite entering the final games of the regular season on the verge of avoiding another matchup against their kryptonite team, the Lakers will square off against the Denver Nuggets in the 1st round. Many have already written off James and his teammates. While some are suggesting to at least try and avoid another sweep.

However, the all-time leading scorer and his superstar teammate Anthony Davis are looking forward to this matchup. They are motivated to settle the score with the team who have humiliated them to some degree. Even head coach Darvin Ham suggested that the scores between them reset to zero with this battle.

Analysts and fans believe that if LeBron James can lead his team to a famous series victory over the benchmark team of the league, it will only go on to make the case for him as the GOAT. After all, who better to remove from the path than the team who have made the Lakers look clueless over the past year and a half?

Take care of the next playoff rounds

If they manage to beat the Nuggets, the Lakers could be taking on either the Minnesota Timberwolves or the Phoenix Suns in the 2nd round. Both teams have managed to trade wins and losses with the Lakers. Therefore, either of them is not that major a problem for LeBron James and Co. If the Lakers can finish the series early, it will help to get some rest for the oldest player in the league.

ADVERTISEMENT
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers can win against the rest of the Western Conference playoff teams
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers can win against the rest of the Western Conference playoff teams (image via NBA)

The Western Conference Finals will be the next stop for the Lakers. There, they will face either of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the New Orleans Pelicans, the Los Angeles Clippers, or the Dallas Mavericks. The most telling fact against all those teams is that the Lakers have managed to beat every one of them throughout the season. Therefore, the Western Conference Finals should not be a major problem.

Yes, the continuous pounding against the best teams in the West can take a toll on the 39-year-old. However, the Lakers are clicking at the right time. They have been on a winning run over the past 2 months and have a few key role players return healthy. Therefore, dispatching those teams early can reap dividends on the way to James’ 5th title.

Possible NBA Finals matchup against the league-leading Boston Celtics

After winning against all those obstacles, LeBron James will most likely face the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. The league leaders pose a different challenge altogether. Having a starting 5 who are All-Star caliber players. Plus, a bench that can go toe to toe with that of the Lakers. However, the Lakers have won the last game against the Celtics this season, without James on the squad.

LeBron James can beat the Boston Celtics with his big game performances
LeBron James can beat the Boston Celtics with his big game performances (image via Open Source/X)

It gave a glimpse that possibly, LeBron James and his teammates could win against a team that looked invincible all season long. Moreover, James and Davis have consistently performed well in big-game situations. Something the Celtics have not shown so far despite appearing in consecutive playoffs over the years. It could all culminate in James winning his 5th title.

ADVERTISEMENT

LeBron James the GOAT

With a win over the Denver Nuggets and a 5th NBA title, many ardent fans of Michael Jordan might start to change their mind about who is the GOAT. If in the process, LeBron James manages to win the Conference Finals as well as the NBA Finals MVP, then fans will have no further arguments to make.

After all, what more can one expect of a player playing in his 21st season and at the age of 39? LeBron James can rest easy knowing that his lifelong dream has materialized.

In case you missed: