LeBron James has had a terrific NBA career, playing at the highest level for 18 years now. The King is ready to play in his 17th All-Star Game tonight, ranking third on the All-Time ranking behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19) and Kobe Bryant (18). The 36-year-old still believes he deserved to be an All-Star in his rookie season but that didn’t happen.
He did participate in the Rising Stars Challenge and took part in the All-Star Weekend but he always felt he deserved to play in the biggest game of the weekend. Metta World Peace was one of the players who shared that feeling with LeBron, explaining that the King should have gotten the call for the game, especially after he dropped 25 on the best wing defender in the league.
Via The Athletic:
Coaches in the East voted on the rest of the roster. In later years, the league would give coaches the authority to fill out the roster as they saw fit, but in those days, they were still obligated to meet positional needs. Jamaal Magloire, who was averaging a double-double with New Orleans, made the one All-Star team of his career. Same for Metta Sandiford Artest (then Ron Artest) and Milwaukee guard Michael Redd.
“Jamaal Magloire is an All-Star. LeBron James is not,” Hall of Fame basketball writer Marc Stein opined in a column for ESPN.com. “Nah, there’s nothing wrong with the rules the NBA uses for voting in its All-Star reserves.”
Reached by phone this week, Sandiford Artest said, “you could have made an argument for LeBron,” but the fact that he was a rookie and the Cavaliers were not in playoff contention made it tough.
“I’m not going to say he didn’t deserve it,” Sandiford Artest told The Athletic, “because his first game against me he had 25 points. That was a lot of points against me. Nobody was scoring 25, let alone a rookie. When he did that to me, I’m like, this is insane. You literally gave 25 points to the best wing defender in the league.”
This is considered a big injustice in the ASG but LeBron took care of things after that, earning 17 straight All-Star calls, which are the biggest proof of how great this man has been and his longevity.
LeBron was always compared with Michael Jordan, and even before he entered the league, things were like that. One of the things he couldn’t do and Jordan did was becoming an All-Star in his rookie season. And, to make things more interesting, MJ was a starter in his first campaign in the league. He recently talked about comparisons with the Chicago Bulls legend, explaining that he has his own journey and although he always admired His Airness, Bron always tried to do his own thing.
The King will try to lead his Team LeBron to the win tonight, this time against Team Durant. In the past three editions of the game, he beat Team Giannis, demonstrating his talents as a GM, drafting very good teams for the game.