The Los Angeles Lakers look ready to win their second straight NBA title after some impressive roster moves this offseason. They still have LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the best duo in the league, and next season is theirs to lose. But constant rumors are circulating that Giannis Antetokounmpo will be leaving the Milwaukee Bucks with California as the most likely landing spot. The Golden State Warriors have been thrown in the mix, but so have the Lakers.
Imagine a team with 3 MVP caliber players and 3 of the top 5 players in the NBA. They would be no match for anybody, especially when the leader of the team is LeBron James who has 4 rings and is looking to add to his total to pass the great Michael Jordan. James is the greatest player in this generation and if reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo joins the Lakers, he will solidify his case as the best player ever by eclipsing Michael Jordan's 6 NBA rings. Here is what to expect if The Greek Freak joins LeBron and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles.
The Greatest Big Three Of All-Time
We have seen some great Big Threes in recent history. The Boston Celtics had Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen while the Miami Heat featured LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. The Cavaliers had LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love while the Golden State Warriors had Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson. No surprise, all of these teams won NBA championships and were extremely dominant on the court. As great as these Big Threes were, Giannis Antetokounmpo joining LeBron and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles would be the best ever. And it wouldn't be close.
Anthony Davis is in his prime, fresh off a season averaging 26.1 PPG and 9.3 RPG while winning his first NBA title. Giannis Antetokounmpo won his 2nd straight MVP and also his first Defensive Player of the Year Award last season while leading his team to the best record in the NBA. He averaged 29.5 PPG, 13.6 RPG, and 5.6 APG in a spectacular season where he was the most impressive player during the regular season. LeBron James, the King of the NBA, won his 4th Finals MVP after leading the league in assists per game with 10.2 APG.
Evey Big Three mentioned above had a "third wheel" that wasn't as good as the main duo, but the Lakers Big Three have 3 elite superstars and 3 of the 5 best players in the world on one team. Giannis Antetokounmpo will dominate inside and be the best defensive player in the NBA for the next few seasons, while Anthony Davis brings scoring and defense from everywhere on the court as well. LeBron is the smartest and greatest player in the game today due to his basketball I.Q, and nobody could beat this team that can legitimately break the Warriors 73-9 record.
LeBron James Takes Backseat Role
With Giannis Antetokounmpo on board, LeBron's career will extend by at least a few seasons. Giannis Antetokounmpo can do what LeBron James does in terms of attacking the paint, being a playmaker, and also affecting the game with his rebounding. Antetokounmpo is a freak of nature, much like LeBron was in his prime, and he will most likely be the primary option on offense for the Lakers alongside Anthony Davis. LeBron James, for the first time in his career, will happily take a backseat. Except it will be entirely for his team's benefit and also for the sake of his longevity.
Giannis and Davis will be enough to capture the first seed in the Western Conference alone, so LeBron can relax for most of the regular season for the coming few years. He can rest on back to backs, take time off for "load management" and other "injury concerns", and simply be a passer when he does play. Giannis Antetokounmpo could be the reason LeBron James leads the NBA in assists per game for the next few seasons, while also helping him prepare for the postseason. A healthy and rested LeBron James in the playoffs is an undeniable force as we saw last season, and that would be the gift The Greek Freak brings to the Lakers.
The Gap Between Jordan And LeBron Officially Closes
The GOAT debate has been a main topic of conversation after LeBron captured his 4th NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers last season. But to the vast majority, Jordan's 6 NBA titles gives him the edge over LeBron's 4 NBA titles. This is a fair argument, especially when taking into consideration other areas of the game where MJ dominated. But what if LeBron James captures his 6th and 7th NBA ring? Will his incredible longevity and consistency as the best player in the world in his 19th and 20th season officially close the gap? The answer is yes.
If LeBron James continues playing at a superstar level until year 20, and he captures 7 rings, he will most likely be accepted by the vast majority of fans and pundits as the greatest player of all-time. While LeBron has his supporters now, of course, it is widely accepted that he needs to at least get 6 to begin comparing him to Jordan. But 20 seasons means he breaks Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record of total points scored, and he most likely gets 7 rings to place him at the top of Mt. Rushmore if Giannis joins up with him and AD.