Most NBA fans don't look at this season as a stain on LeBron James' legacy. But Aries Spears does. And according to the stand-up comedian, it eliminates the Lakers superstar from the GOAT debate.
Despite failing to lead his team to the playoffs, LeBron had a great year stats-wise. He finished second in the league in scoring -- 30.3 PPG in 56 games, two shy of the minimum to qualify for the scoring title -- and put up great numbers across the board. But those numbers didn't translate into wins.
Collectively, this season was a failure for the Lakers. And being the best player on the team, James has to take some blame for it. But does the lack of team success overshadow an unmatched level of greatness he displayed at 37?
For most, it doesn't -- especially with all the setbacks the Lakers faced as a team. But for Spears, it does. And in terms of the GOAT debate, James has lost his case.
"I'm a Jordan fanatic," Spears said. "This whole LeBron-Jordan thing to me was never really a debate. I respect the man's game, he's nice despite many of the things that I've said and poking fun, I respect him. You can't not respect him and the man is one of the best. But he ain't Jordan."
"Jordan's the GOAT, man. End of conversation. And this season right here, we can finally put a pin to that garbage. This season right here!"
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What about MJ's Wizards years?
Firstly, he was 39 and 40 throughout his farewell seasons in Washington. Secondly, the roster around him wasn't nearly as good as LeBron's. Also, numbers-wise, MJ was doing unprecedented things for a guy of his age.
"Even that Jordan was doing just as good as the average player in the NBA. He was still putting up 20 and he was giving some of the premiere players the business," Aries said.
The thing that separates MJ from the rest is the totality of his basketball career, on and off the court. For Spears, that's something no NBA players will ever be able to match.
"The recipe for good gumbo, aka GOAT, you have to have it all," he said. "It's rings, it's stats, it's influence, it's pop culture, it's global phenomenon. Mike possesses a lot of things that some of those other dudes don't."
LeBron also possesses a lot of it. But according to Spears, this season was a final nail in his Greatest of All Time coffin.