Shannon Sharpe has long been a LeBron James supporter. He’s willing to go to lengths explaining to anyone who’d listen why he thinks James is the greatest basketball player ever. However, Sharpe disagreed with James following the latter’s comments about how his career would go down if he did not take his talents to South Beach.
On the show First Take , Sharpe lambasts James after his comments, emphasizing that the Los Angeles Lakers superstar wouldn’t attain his current level of acclaim without his stint with the Miami Heat.
“I strenuously disagree to what he said. At the time he arrived in Miami, he had two regular season MVPs and one Finals appearance through his first seven seasons.
LeBron, do you realize you got into the GOAT conversation because of what transpired in Miami? You won two Finals MVPs, you won two more regular season MVPs. You went to four straight Finals. LeBron, how can you say that your career is going to be the same without going to Miami?
I’m not so sure had you not went to Miami, how can I make a compelling case, and I can argue any case before the Supreme Court, how do I make the case that he’s a top five player if he doesn’t go to Miami, Stephen A? I don’t understand why LeBron wants to be so dismissive.”
Here is what James had to say about his career and its relation to his time in Miami:
“I think I would still be at this level no matter if I would’ve came here or not,” said the Los Angeles Lakers star, now in his 21st season, said. “Let’s not get it twisted: The four years I was here, it was amazing. I loved everything about it. Loved this franchise, this franchise is top tier, it’s one of the best franchises in the world.
“But as far as my career, my career was going to be my career as far as individually, because I know how much I put into the game and I know how much I strived to be as great as I can be. [But] as far as what I was able to learn here was second to none, that’s for sure.”
Comparing his stats with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Heat, James was essentially the same player. He may be a bit more inefficient in Cleveland, but that’s because he was virtually a one-man show in Ohio. Nevertheless, he averaged more free throws as a Cavalier while averaging a career-best 31.4 points in 2005-06.
Considering these things, it certainly doesn’t look like James is dismissing his stay in South Beach. James even called the Heat organization one of the best. He meant that he should still be able to pour on the stats no matter where he goes.