NBA: LeBron James still a little more in the legend

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We will have to invent words, superlatives to tell how much this man is an exceptional champion. None of those contained in the dictionaries are suitable for him. In a time when the history of sport is being written before our eyes, LeBron James is “bigger than life” as Americans say. He landed on the night from Sunday to Monday with the Los Angeles Lakers, his fourth NBA title after 2012 and 2013 with Miami and 2016 with Cleveland. He is the first to win titles with three different franchises by individually approaching all possible records in his sport.

Arrived in 2018 in the City of Angels, James has, by himself or almost, brought the legendary franchise of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant, dying for ten years, on the roof of the world. “It’s a historic franchise and being a part of it is something I can tell my grandchildren. They will be able to say that their pawpaw played for the Lakers, ”he says. With him, they won their 17th Larry O’Brien Trophy and came top on par with their historic rivals, the Boston Celtics.

James had done the same with Cleveland, an anonymous team without him, in his native Ohio four years ago. With LA, he achieved this feat only a few months after the tragic disappearance of Kobe Bryant, “Black Mamba” in a helicopter crash. He wanted this tribute and all of Los Angeles took to the streets in the middle of the night to say thank you.

He also went to pick up the trophy at the end of a season cut in two by the Covid and remaining locked for three months in a sanitary bubble in Florida, far from his family: “I did not experience the entry into kindergarten of my daughter, I missed my son’s 16th birthday. Is it worth sacrificing my family life? He asked himself. Before answering: “Yes, obviously! “

Best of all time ahead of Jordan?

By winning once again, LeBron James has put a coin back into the machine of who is the best basketball player of all time: Michael Jordan or him? “James is the best of his generation and what deserves respect above all is his longevity at this level which is exceptional”, judges for us Rudy Gobert, the French pivot of the Utah Jazz.

His Majesty Jordan himself gave us an answer in Paris in January: “We cannot be compared. We play at different times. But what is certain is that LeBron is one of the best players on the planet. “The two monuments share the same jersey number (23) and James will succeed” MJ “in 2021 on the poster for” Space Jam 2 “.

But the debate may be elsewhere: is not James simply in 2020, the greatest champion in all sports on this earth? The American press which nicknamed him “The Chosen One” (“The Chosen One”) since he was in high school think so. His own trainer Franck Vogel says: “LeBron is the greatest player the universe has ever seen. “And Nicolas Batum, the captain of the France team confirms it:” Jordan remains the greatest basketball player of all time. But LeBron is the most beautiful athlete in the history of the sport. “

Let’s say this is the case. If the champion is beyond the extraordinary, so is the man. Eighth highest paid athlete in the world with 90 million dollars annually (75 million euros), born in a poor ghetto in Akron, Ohio, he could take it easy off the field, without taking a position in the conflicts of society. It’s quite the opposite.

In the tradition of Mohamed Ali, the prosecution giant is an active activist for human rights, the fight against police violence and racism that plague American society. He was a spokesperson for the “Black Live Matters” movement forcing the entire NBA to follow him. Donald Trump has made it his pet peeve. Close to former US President Barack Obama, the champion gives him back this visceral hatred by being his number 1 opponent. “” Hatred has always existed in the United States. Donald Trump simply brought it back into fashion, ”he yells in rage.

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When he criticizes, and he never deprives himself of it, the tenant of the White House, his 46 million followers on Twitter and 66 million on Instagram applaud. When this soon-to-be-dollar billionaire man, successful film and TV producer speaks, you hear him. Better, we listen to him because he always has something to say. He will not deprive himself of it until the American presidential election. Even if it means putting half the country on your back. But he doesn’t care: there are fights for him that are worth even more than a new NBA title.

Five figures on LeBron James’ career

4. It’s the name of NBA titles he’s won (2012, 2013, 2016, 2020).

10. The number of NBA Finals he has played (2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020).

3. The number of his Olympic medals (2 gold 2008, 2012; one bronze 2004).

35. His age, he was born on December 30, 1984.

800. In millions of dollars (750 million euros) his estimated personal fortune.

Article original de: www.leparisien.fr

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