There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind when it comes to the greatness of LeBron James. James is one of the greatest players in NBA history, a point that no NBA fan, analyst, or former player could ever debate. LeBron has had a major impact on basketball and brought to light a style of play that is very unique.
James is an incredible scorer, but he is equally, if not more gifted when it comes to passing the ball. LeBron has always been a team-first player, and while he can put the team on his back on the scoring end, he takes great pride in being able to improve the players around him and setting them up to score.
Pat Riley, the man who was responsible for signing LeBron to the Miami Heat in 2011, recently spoke to the NBA for a ’75 stories’ segment about James.
In this segment, he heaped great praise on James, saying that he was a combination of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, and many other NBA greats. Riley said that LeBron is unique because he took a great facet from each of them and became a great player by mixing them all (0:39 mark).
“LeBron is in a class of his own. He is absolutely unique. He is Michael, he is Magic, he is Kobe, he’s Jerry West, he’s Bill Russell. You take all of these great, great players, and put them in a blender and mix them up, LeBron’s got something from all of them in him.”
Riley clearly has a lot of respect for LeBron James. But there was a little bit of animosity between the two over the years. James abruptly left the Miami Heat in 2014 to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Riley was not happy with LeBron's move and was very vocal about his displeasure with the way LeBron handled things.
But it appears that this animosity is now behind them, as Riley has been very vocal about his admiration for LeBron James, suggesting that he may be the best to ever play in the NBA.
He even suggested that he would welcome LeBron James back to Miami if he wished to return. Even Erik Spoelstra, the Heat head coach with whom LeBron James had some issues, recently noted how incredible a player LeBron was, someone who can lead the league in scoring while still being a pass-first player.