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Criticism of LeBron James's decision is already outdated and will become an annoyance to hear whenever the next NBA season arrives.
He's in Miami. He's still the best player in the world. Deal with it.
I can understand if you are not a fan of LeBron James, but what I can't tolerate is allowing that bias to make the ridiculous claim that he does not belong in this starting lineup.
His competition is against Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant. I firmly believe this is the best top three the league has ever had at the small forward slot. LeBron just happens to have the edge.
This one is interesting because you have Kevin Durant as the two time reigning scoring champion, LeBron James as the most dominating physical force that can power his way to the rim and then, what's often forgotten, Carmelo Anthony, who just so happens to possess the most ways to beat his defender in the entire NBA.
In terms of outside shooting, LeBron James, although he has vastly improved from years past, does not compare to Carmelo and Durant. On the flip side, Kevin Durant can still be bullied and pushed around to the point where he cannot get off his shot. Carmelo is the most complete of the three as a scorer because of his ability to post up smaller defenders, take bigger defenders out on the perimeter and shoot a high percentage from all over the court.
The difference between LeBron over the other two players is his high IQ as a passer. Defenses have to clog the paint to try and prevent LeBron from attacking the rim, but also have to be aware of spot up shooters who LeBron will always find out of the corners of his eyes.
If LeBron could develop a more consistent outside shot, along with some low post moves, I think he would be the clear favorite as the best offensive threat of these three players. As it is today, his ability as a passer pushes him slightly past Carmelo.
This is the real separation. LeBron is becoming one of the best perimeter defenders, if not the best, in the NBA. In the past, you've had guys like Bruce Bowen or Ron Artest wear this crown, which made sense because they were defensive first specialists. LeBron can take his opponent out of the game with his defense and still hold enough energy to posterize dunk on him at the other end of the floor.
It is this complete package of offense and defense that solidifies LeBron's starting spot.