LeBron James & John Starks

LeBron James has achieved immense success over the course of his 20 long years in the NBA. He broke and accomplished numerous records in his long and illustrious career. And basketball fans often consider him as one of the candidates for the GOAT debate. Moreover, the top two candidates for the ultimate title are none other than Michael Jordan and LeBron James. After breaking the all-time leading scorer’s record in the last season, James mentioned that he feels he is the greatest ever. However, he does not mind other people expressing their own opinion.

Some experts say the greats should know when to say quit. Most of the greats of any sports retire while staying at the top, as Michael Jordan did. But some like to stay till they squeeze the last ounce of the juice of their game. That’s what LeBron James has been doing in the last few years. Despite not being 100% healthy, he is still among the top 15 players in the league, as he lost his place from the top 10. However, a former New York Knicks guard, John Starks, feels there is another reason why James is hurting his reputation.     


Why Is LeBron James Hurting His Own Legacy?

LeBron James Lakers
LeBron James Lakers Source: Fadeaway World

John Starks thinks LeBron James is hurting his legacy as he changed sides on three different occasions. In an interview with Bally Sport’s Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, the former Knicks guard acknowledged that James switched teams way too often. Perhaps he changed teams, looking for more favorable environments. LeBron stayed with the Cleveland Cavaliers for seven years in his first stint and then moved to the Miami Heat. He ended his title drought with the Heat. Later, he returned to the Cavaliers to help the franchise end the Cleveland Sports curse and win the NBA title in 2016.

Then again, in 2018, he moved to the Los Angeles Lakers and helped them win the 2020 title. Hence, James won championships with all three teams. But John Starks believes LeBron’s style of ditching teams will hurt him later in the category of the greats like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird. MJ never cared for other players or other teams to help him win titles because he thought he was the best. He played for the Bulls and won multiple titles. That’s what Magic and Bird did for their respective teams as well. Even Kobe Bryant played for the LA side all his life and won five titles. 

According To John Starks, Greats Don’t Switch Teams That Often

Michael Jordan Bulls John Starks Knicks
Michael Jordan Bulls John Starks Knicks Source: Fadeaway World

But LeBron James has not stayed with one franchise for all these years. The greats of the game, like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan until announcing retirement, stayed with the same franchise. Moreover, Michael Jordan came out of retirement to play for the Washington Wizards, but that was it. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are great rivals because they individually represented one franchise all their respective careers. Bird’s Boston Celtics won three titles in the 1980s.

On the other hand, Magic’s Los Angeles Lakers won five titles in the same decade. That’s when the era of ‘Showtime Lakers’ began. Michael Jordan is famous for helping the Chicago Bulls dominate the 1990s, winning six titles with Phil Jackson as the head coach. However, in the case of LeBron James, there have been three different franchises on separate occasions in these twenty years.