Fourth championship puts LeBron in rarified air

Anthony Martin, Staff writer

When talking about the NBA (National Basketball Association), LeBron James is one of the most disliked players. This past season was LeBron’s 17th season in the NBA. Throughout his career, he has been compared to the greatest players to play the game.

When the NBA 2019-2020 season began, fans were stating that the Lakers would not make in far in the playoffs and that LeBron was washed up. After losing their first game to the Los Angeles Clippers, fans lost hope for the Lakers. LeBron and the Lakers quickly turned up the heat to prove the haters wrong.

Despite LeBron’s great performance during the regular season, fans were still unsure if LeBron and the Lakers would be able to pull out a championship. This, along with the death of Kobe Bryant, fueled the Lakers to work as hard as they could to make both Kobe and the organization proud.

LeBron went on to win his fourth championship with the Los Angeles Lakers. Before the NBA Playoffs started, Lakers fans were comparing LeBron to Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant won his fourth ring with the Lakers also, so people were speculating if LeBron would do the same. Kobe beat the Denver Nuggets in the Western Finals in 2009 and LeBron beat the Denver Nuggets in the Western Finals in 2020.

Kobe Bryant won his fourth title and fourth finals MVP in 2009 and LeBron won his fourth title and fourth finals MVP in 2020. With these coincidences, fans were claiming that history was repeating itself. Statistically, LeBron James now sits among the best NBA players in NBA history, but there will always be fans that do not want to accept the fact and bring him down as an average player.

What remains to be seen is if LeBron will get his fifth ring, which Kobe got in 2010 with a win over the Celtics. The other sticking point is that Kobe is 5-3 in the finals (losing to the Pistons in 2004 and the Celtics in 2008), where LeBron still has a losing record at 4-6 in the finals. While he may match Kobe with five rings, does his having a losing record in the finals harm his legacy at all will be the forever question.