Skip to main content

“LeBron has not done enough as a Laker to be a Laker great” — why Richard Jefferson is right about LeBron James' legacy as a Laker (so far)

Adding another title to his trophy case was certainly nice, but Jefferson is right in saying that James has some more work to do if he wants to fully establish himself as a Laker great
os Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Richard Jefferson

LeBron James and Richard Jefferson

LeBron James’ first few seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers have been filled with highs and lows. The highs resulted in a championship back in 2020, and the lows resulted in the Lakers missing the postseason during the 2021-22 season, despite James being healthy for most of the campaign. LeBron boosted his legacy by adding another title to his trophy case, but his time with the Lakers hasn’t always gone smoothly.

Richard Jefferson believes LeBron James shouldn’t be considered a great Laker just yet

Despite playing some of the best basketball of his career, James’ tenure with the Lakers has left much to be desired. He averaged the second most points per game of his career last season, but Los Angeles couldn’t make it to the playoffs. Winning titles is nice, but it’s tough to stand out with just one championship in L.A. considering how many rings the Lakers have won throughout their history.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Richard Jefferson is among the group of people who believe that James hasn’t done enough to cement his status as a Laker great. Jefferson looks at James’ tenure in L.A. and sees three failed seasons, with the only positive being their championship run back in 2020. For most of James’ tenure, Jefferson notes that the Lakers have been unable to meet expectations, and their one championship win shouldn’t erase all of their struggles.

LeBron James has not done enough as a Laker to be on that list. Bron been there now — this is his fourth season, right? They’ve been in there four seasons. Two years, they haven’t made the postseason. One year, they lost in the first round. And one year, they won a championship.” RJ explained on the Road Trippin Podcast.

Should LeBron James be considered a Laker great?

Jefferson is right to be skeptical about James’ billing as a Laker great just four seasons after he joined them. Most of James’ tenure with the Lakers has involved losing, as Jefferson points out, and while that’s not solely James’ fault, it must be considered when discussing his legacy in Los Angeles.

It’s also worth noting that James has lost a lot with the Lakers despite having a solid crew beside him. Anthony Davis has been there the past three seasons, and Russell Westbrook was brought in last season to help out as well. Both guys have had their struggles, but that should be more than enough help for James to at least make it to the postseason - especially in the play-in era. 

In the end, James’ championship with the Lakers is nice, but Jefferson is correct in saying that his status as a Laker great is far from a certainty. James will have to do some more winning over the next few seasons in L.A. to improve his Lakers legacy; otherwise, his championship may be viewed as a fluke despite his solid individual performance.

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler during media day

Is Jimmy Butler the ultimate troll or a business guru?

With Jimmy Butler moving towards the latter half of his career, it seems that he wants to start building his off-court brand.

Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan on Oprah Show

“He never understand what it takes to be a winner” — When Michael Jordan humiliated Charles Barkley on Oprah

It’s hard to tell if Jordan took Barkley’s joke personally, but what he said next changed the vibe and the entire atmosphere in a few seconds.

Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan

"I don't think I could truly be happy until I retire" - DeMar DeRozan pulls the curtain back on daily rigors of NBA life

There's one thing Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan is looking forward to the most when he hangs up his sneakers for good.

Venus Williams and Shaquille O'Neal

When Shaquille O'Neal lied about having affairs with Venus Williams, Cindy Crawford, and Aaliyah

Venus Williams issued a strong statement upon hearing Shaquille O'Neal's claims.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan is defended by Detroit Pistons center James Edwards

“The Bulls complained all the time” — Kevin McHale reveals why the Detroit “Bad Boys” Pistons hated the Chicago Bulls

Unlike Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, Kevin McHale believes the physicality the Bad Boy Pistons played with was valid and it made his Celtics even better.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and guard Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook still does the same offseason workout he and Kevin Durant used to do in OKC — “It definitely helps”

Russell Westbrook revealed that he has been running on sand dunes for about eight years now every offseason and it has been helping him a lot.

New Orleans Hornets center Chris Kaman

How Chris Kaman got Player Exclusive "Air Sasqhatuces" from Nike in 2012

After he became an All-Star in 2010, Chris Kaman triggered a clause in his Nike deal that he’d get Player Exclusives