LeBron James crowns himself the GOAT because of his 2016 Finals win over the Warriors

LeBron James remembers his title with the Cleveland Cavaliers quite fondly. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
LeBron James remembers his title with the Cleveland Cavaliers quite fondly. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James debate has been raging for years, and now James himself has decided to weigh in.

This might shock you, but he’s a fan of that LeBron James guy.

LeBron James claims he’s the GOAT on his HBO show

10 days after making waves with some interesting comments about the owners of the National Football League, James hit the airwaves again on his More Than an Athlete miniseries with another hot take.

Citing his iconic win over the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals as evidence, the Los Angeles Lakers star said he is “the greatest player of all time.”

A transcript of James’ thoughts:

That one right there made me the greatest player of all time. That’s what I felt. I was super, super ecstatic to win one for Cleveland because of the 52-year drought. Like, I was ecstatic. That day, the first wave of emotion was, everyone saw me crying, that was all for 52 years of everything sports that have gone on in Cleveland. And after I stopped, I was like ‘That one right there made you the greatest player of all time.’ Everybody was talking about how they were the greatest team of all time. Like, they were the greatest team ever assembled, and for us to come back, the way we came back in that fashion, I was like ‘You did something special.’ That was, like, one of the only times in my career I felt like ‘Oh s—, you did something special.’ I haven’t really had time to really sit back and think, but that, that was a moment.

So, clearly, James has identified his win over the 73-9 Warriors in the 2016 NBA finals as the moment that will define his legacy, and obviously for good reason. Averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game while leading a shocking comeback over the most successful regular season team of all time to end a half-century title drought for the most beleaguered sports city in the country will do that.

James doesn’t mention Jordan at all while using his lone Finals win over the Warriors in four tries with the Cavaliers as the moment that elevated him to GOAT-status, but that’s clearly the subtext.

We probably don’t need to fully rehash Jordan vs. LeBron debate here. One side is going to say count the rings, respect the dominance of the 90s Chicago Bulls and politely note the contributions of Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving, among others, to certain titles. The other side will say contributions across the box score should outweigh sheer scoring, eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances is very impressive and that today’s game is harder to dominate in. Both sides have their supporters, and plenty of them are probably sick of talking about it.

James’ comment is just the latest volley in the debate, and probably not the last as he expands his growing media footprint.

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