Miami Heat

Lebron May Be The King, But He's Not Magic Yet

BOSTON - MAY 13:  LeBron James #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts to a call in the first half against of the Boston Celtics during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at TD Garden on May 13, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User Expressly Acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Ron RichardsonContributor IJuly 31, 2010

I've enjoyed watching Lebron's growth and play over the last seven years, and completely agree he has become a true super-star in the NBA. Having been an NBA fan since the late '50s I've watched nearly all the great ones play, and the player Lebron reminds me the most is Magic Johnson. Few players can literally play all five positions, and if Lebron hasn't it isn't because he can't. It just hasn't happened yet. Lebron and Magic could do it all, and even if Magic's numbers may be a little short of Lebron's in some areas, they give Lebron something to shoot for in other areas.

Some have predicted Lebron will average a triple-double like Oscar Robertson, while others have compared him to MJ, or Kobe. For me it's Magic Johnson because I believe that is whose level he will be at, and compared to when he retires from the NBA. They are both tall and gifted beyond mere mortal physical skills. As far as career stats go here is how they compare so far... Magic in 12 seasons, and Lebron in 7.

                          PPG    Reb/G    Asst/G    Stl/G    Blk/G

Magic Johnson   19.4      7.2         11.2        2.0       .39

Lebron James    27.8      7.0           7.0        1.7       .90

In seven seasons with Cleveland, Lebron had to nearly do it all... win the game at the buzzer, be the scorer, the rebounder, the point guard. Now that he is surrounded by perennial All-Stars like Magic and Bird were, he can be the talent he really is. This is going to be fun to watch as the seasons go by.

For the record Magic had 3 MVPs, and 5 Championship rings. Can Lebron match that in the coming years with the Heat? I truly believe that he can. If he can, that will place him among the top 10 players in NBA history. Will Lebron average a triple double during a season? Probably not. Will his assists and rebounds go up? Probably. Will his scoring go down with Wade and Bosh wanting their shots? Probably. Now it's about Championship rings and MVPs, and Lebron's finally going to get some of the good stuff.

Showtime was something the NBA had never seen before Magic came into the league, and guess who was the head coach? Pat Riley. It was spectacular, and most teams were poorly equipped to deal with it. I remember the Kings went down to LA in the late '80s and were down something like 41 to 2 after the first quarter. It was horrible to watch. I think the Lakers won something like 39 straight one year. Is it possible that we will see showtime again in the near future? I'm hoping that we will, and Lebron is just the player who can make it happen!



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