One day after LeBron James’s Miami Heat passed the Boston Celtics as the best team in the Eastern Conference, his former team lost to the Lakers by 55 points.
The contrasting fates of the diverging franchises are as clear as ever, and, in case they weren’t, LeBron made sure all 1.2 million of his Twitter followers were well aware of that fact.
(Quick aside: Can we stop personally ripping into athletes everytime they say something interesting? Please?
Disagree with his opinion, sure. But the more we rip into LeBron James the person because of comments he made or opinions he voiced, the closer we are to a world where LeBron answers every question about Cleveland, or the NBA, with a “you know, I’m just focused on the Miami Heat right now,” and every question about the Miami Heat with a “well, we’re just taking it one game, one quarter, one possession at a time.” That’s a world I dread living in.)
But rather than invite controversy by invoking “karma,” James could have silenced all of his alleged “haters” with the use of some stats. Not sure what we mean, King James? Let us do the dirty work:
The numbers speak for themselves. No player in NBA history has had a greater impact on the performance of his teams than LeBron James. Granted, this chart doesn’t isolate for extenuating circumstances – such as LeBron joining forces with Bosh, or Ray Allen teaming with Kevin Garnett – but it’s still a pretty convincing case that James is the most important acquisition in league annals. And the gap will probably grow wider assuming the Heat’s slow start was just an aberration.
(We only considered offseason acquisitions, and included trades only when they were made solely for the purpose of moving the best player to a preferred destination).
A few other interesting notes for NBA junkies out there: Divac was probably a lot better than he’s given credit for; Steve Nash was instrumental to the Suns resurgence, but the Mavs didn’t miss a beat without him; and Moses Malone was really, really good.
Of course none of those numbers, and none of his tweets or critics, can overshadow LeBron’s dominance. Which, according to those very haters, is exactly how the alleged egomaniac would want it.
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