LeBron James' return to Miami in his 21st season of play led the all-time scoring leader to state that he would still be as good as he is now without
LeBron James‘ return to Miami in his 21st season of play led the all-time scoring leader to state that he would still be as good as he is now without the Heat.
James’ greatest success of his career came during his time in Miami – where he won back-to-back championships with the Heat.
However, the Los Angeles Lakers star believes that regardless of that success, he’d still be as good a player if he never took his talents to South Beach.
‘I think I would still be at this level no matter if I would’ve came here or not,’ James told reporters (via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin).
‘Let’s not get it twisted: The four years I was here, it was amazing. I loved everything about it. Loved this franchise, this franchise is top tier, it’s one of the best franchises in the world.
LeBron James stated his belief that he’d be just as dominant if he never joined the Heat
‘But as far as my career, my career was going to be my career as far as individually, because I know how much I put into the game and I know how much I strived to be as great as I can be.
‘[But] as far as what I was able to learn here was second to none, that’s for sure.’
James added, ‘I came here for one reason and one reason only, and that was to win championships. That was my only goal.
‘That was the only reason I teamed up with [Dwyane] Wade and [Chris] Bosh. Because I felt like I couldn’t do it in Cleveland.
‘We couldn’t. … I tried to recruit guys to come to Cleveland. I tried to go and help the upstairs and it wasn’t happening.
‘So I had an opportunity to be a free agent so I did what I thought was best, not only for my career but for me at that point in time.’
Later in the day when those comments leaked, James felt like he was stating the obvious – and doubled down on his beliefs.
Responding to a tweet recalling James’ comments that he’d still be dominant if he never went to Miami, he said, ‘You damn right I would still be! I’m CHOSEN! Ain’t nothing changing that! Maybe less [ring]’s but DOMINANT from start to finish.’
James doubled down on that belief on social media – stating that he’d be just as good
James won back-to-back titles and Finals MVPs with the Heat in the early 2010s
While he may have been as dominant, it’d be harder for him to claim greatest of all time with only just two titles instead of the four that he won with Miami, Cleveland, and the Lakers
Without a move like that, it might be harder for James to make a claim as the greatest of all time – because for as great as his statistics would show, the lack of rings would still be a nagging issue for his case.
Regardless, James did choose to go to the Heat and left Northeast Ohio – a place he had been accustomed to all his life.
‘It was a culture change for me,’ James said. ‘People talk about ‘Heat Culture’ — it was a culture change, period. I was changing everything about my life for the first time in my life.
‘To be able to be here and be able to learn and be alongside D-Wade, UD [Udonis Haslem] and Spo [Erik Spoelstra] — those guys who had won it already — it definitely was great to be a part of, for sure.’
James went on to win two more championships in his career – first with the Cavaliers in 2016 and then with the Lakers in 2020.