Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Some would argue that inclusion on All-Star teams isn't necessarily an accurate barometer of a player's greatness, but examine the 10 players with the most appearances in the midseason spectacle and you'll see that it is.
According to Basketball-Reference, the 10 players with the most All-Star game appearances, in order, are: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19), Julius Erving (16), Kobe Bryant (15), Kevin Garnett (15), Shaquille O'Neal (15), Tim Duncan (14), Michael Jordan (14), Karl Malone (14), Jerry West (14) and Wilt Chamberlain (13).
Bryant still has several All-Star nods left to receive and should pass Erving if he plays for two more seasons, barring another catastrophic injury.
LeBron James has made nine All-Star teams to date, which ranks 39th all-time, tying him with teammate Dwyane Wade as well as Gary Payton, Robert Parrish, Lenny Wilkins and Dominique Wilkins.
So, in order to enter G.O.A.T. territory, the bar should be set at 15 All-Star appearances, minimum. James has far more than six seasons left, and as long as starters' inclusion is determined by fans, he will continue to be an annual staple of the game.
Passing Bryant may be difficult, but jumping ahead of Jordan appears to be close to a lock.