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LeBron James' Top 3 Players Of All-Time List In 2013: Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, And Julius Erving

LeBron James' Top 3 Players Of All-Time List In 2013: Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, And Julius Erving

LeBron James is mentioned in the GOAT conversation more than any other player barring Michael Jordan since he won against the Golden State Warriors improbably with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. Returning to his hometown team and delivering a championship after decades of failure against the winningest regular-season team in NBA history convinced several people that LBJ might be the GOAT.

Now, while most would still rank MJ higher than LeBron, there is an understanding that with his longevity and amazing achievements throughout his career, James is a Top 3 player of all time. Some debate it, but there is a lot more consensus about the fact that LeBron is Top 3 than that he is the GOAT. 

James himself may agree at this juncture in his career, but that was not always the case. 2013 saw James win his 2nd ever NBA championship with the Miami Heat, and in an interview during that year, he was asked who he thinks the Top 3 players of all time are. LeBron didn't include himself, but his choices were pretty interesting nonetheless. 

Interviewer: “Fans love to do this and they do it a lot, so I’ll put you on the spot. Best 3 players of all time?"

LeBron James: “Best 3 players of all time? Michael Jordan… Wow, this is tough. Michael Jordan, Dr. J, Larry Bird. You gave me three, oh my god.”

LeBron wanted to add Magic Johnson to his list, and there are also a number of other names that fans will feel should have been on the list. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was considered the GOAT by many before MJ, while Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell also have their cases for the crown, as does Kobe Bryant. LBJ's list has surely changed in the past few years, but this remains an interesting look into what LeBron values about basketball players.