LeBron James just finished his eighth NBA season. In those years, he has accomplished what would be an impressive résumé for most young basketball players: two NBA MVPs, seven All-Star selections, seven All-NBA selections, three All-NBA Defensive choices, a scoring title and two trips to the Finals.
However, LeBron has been given such high expectations by basketball fans around the country that these accomplishments are no more than a disappointment, and there is already talk of LeBron being one of the greatest wastes of talent the league has ever seen.
LeBron is, of course, a marvelously talented player, and there is little question that he has the ability to own the league; if he has failed to do so thus far, perhaps he just needs a few more years to mature. Then again, his preordained legacy has always been to become one of the greatest.
When I realized this, I began to consider how we might compare LeBron to those people we always believed we would one day associate with him, players like Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Magic Johnson. However, most of those players are retired or at least have mostly finished accumulating accolades.
Therefore, it seemed to me that the only fair way to compare them to LeBron was to look at what some of those all-time greats had accomplished after only their first eight years in the NBA.
Here’s what I found.