LeBron James: Here’s When I Knew I Was The NBA ‘GOAT’
“That moment I was like, ‘I am the greatest basketball player people have ever seen.’”
LeBron James isn’t just content to be called King James, he also believes he is the NBA GOAT.
At 37, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar proved he’s still a dominant force by leading his team to a 163-160 win over Team Durant at the 2022 NBA All-Star Game—a performance capped off by James’ victory-sealing, one-legged jump shot.
He then then joined longtime GOAT rival Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and Magic Johnson in being honored as one of 75 greatest players of all-time for the NBA’s 75th Anniversary.
Amid the All-Star festivities, James took the opportunity to explain why he deserves the Greatest-Of-All-Time title. Speaking to commentator Kenny Smith right before the game, he cited his role in bringing the first NBA title to Cleveland in 2016 as evidence, noting a comeback from a 1-3 deficit early in that year’s championship series.
“That moment I was like I am the greatest basketball player people have ever seen in all the facets. Like I can play 1 to 5, I can guard 1 to 5, just literally like doing something that’s never been done in the history of the sport,” James said, per Hypebeast.
“Teams that go down 3-1 were like 0 for 32 in finals history. There was nobody ever coming out of there and nobody gave us a chance. I just felt like ain’t nobody better than me at this.”
James has mentioned the pivotal season before in a 2018 installment of ESPN’s More Than an Athlete series.
“That one right there made me the greatest player of all time,” he told friends and business partners Maverick Carter, Randy Mims and Rich Paul.
“That’s what I felt. I was super, super ecstatic to win won for Cleveland because of the 52-year drought. The first wave of emotion, when everyone saw me crying, that was 52 years of sports and everything that’s gone on in Cleveland.”
“And then after I stopped, I was like—that one right there made you the greatest player of all time.”