LeBron James legacy is beyond a Laker’s Uniform.
In a phone interview earlier today, Gilbert Arenas shared with me.
During the interview, I asked Arenas what does LeBron have to accomplish while in Los Angeles to be taken seriously in the conversation of Lakers’ elites like Kobe, Shaq, Kareem. Jerry West, and Magic?
“I get the question, but it is unfair to LeBron because he came to the Lakers at the age of 34. He is not a young guy that is going to put in ten years into the organization to build the name that those guys had in the prime of their careers. He is coming in at the back end of his career without young legs. So, his impact must be much faster than what those guys were.
Nobody is going to give him credit anyway, last season, he averaged 27 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.He was called a bust because he didn’t make the playoffs, and they called him washed like he averaged five points. The man averaged 27, 8, and 8, and they were number 2 in the west when the whole team was there at the beginning of the season. They started losing ground after everyone started getting hurt.There is nothing he really can do in that Lakers’ uniform that will change anyone’s mind. If he wins a championship, they will say he won a championship, but it will be something else that they criticize him about that as well.
His legacy is beyond a Lakers uniform. The pressure of saying alright if he wins three championships in a Lakers uniform, we can possibly put him in this category. He is never going to compete as a Laker with the rest of those guys. They had more years in a Laker Uniform as Laker players. He is just a super talent that is trying to put his stamp on the team and finish his career out. He possibly wins one or two championships as a Laker.”
Last season, LeBron James averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 8.3 assists, which were all career highs for him during his 15-year career. In just 55 games played a season ago.
As for Gilbert, he and LeBron had some expect playoff battles in the mid-2000s, with their respected teams the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers. Gilbert averaged 34.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists for the Wizards in the first round of the 2006 Eastern Conference. While James averaged 35.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.7 assists, the Cavs would go on to win the series 4-2. The following season, both teams would match up again in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. However, Gilbert was sidelined with an injury, and the Cavs would eliminate the Wizards in four games.
James is entering his 16th season in the NBA and his second as a Los Angeles Lakers. This offseason the Los Angeles Lakers added Anthony Davis via a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, after sending Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks.
Per NBA.com the Pelicans would land the 4th pick in this past June’s draft. They would also receive a top-eight protected pick in 2021 (which becomes unprotected in 2022 if it does not convey), the right to swap first-round picks with the Lakers in 2023, and an unprotected 2024 first-round pick that New Orleans can defer to 2025. The Lakers also signed DeMarcus Cousins, Jared Dudley, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, and Quinn Cook, while bringing back JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and finally claiming Kostas Antetokounmpo off waivers from Dallas.