When it comes to rating a player's abilities, many immediately turn to stats. After all, it showcases a player's production during a season in statistics that can be compared to other players across the league. While this is fair, it is always essential to include the eye test and a player's history of producing in moments.
For LeBron James, he seems to dominate all three of these factors. He is easily one of the All-Time great players, who has achieved almost everything there is to achieve in professional basketball.
But just how good is LeBron James?
Many consider him one of the greatest ever, many actually consider him THE greatest ever, but there is often no way of ranking him.
To make this happen, we have included the 13 most crucial NBA player factors to rank his greatness once and for all.
Ultimate Skill: All-Around Game
LeBron’s Hero Badge is in the aspect of his All-Around game. James is a master at basketball and is able to dominate the game in a variety of different ways. His size, skill, and knowledge of the game is just too impactful for the opposition at times. As a result, James is quite possibly the greatest All-Around player of all time.
LeBron James scores a lot of points, this we know. His size and strength make him impossible to stop when he attacks the basket, no matter who is there under the rim. James has also developed into an efficient jump shooter later on in his career, and has showcased his ability to nail jumpers in right moments such as his Game 7 vs a Spurs team that begged him to shoot. Needless to say, it worked out in the Heat’s favor. LeBron's ability to attack the rim paired with his improved jumper gets him a near-perfect rating here.
LeBron's strongest skill might be his passing ability. It is shocking, considering how his size greatly contributes to his dominance at the forward position. But LeBron plays like Magic Johnson, by getting his teammates involved and putting guys in the best position to score. Since James attracts so much attention offensively, he finds making the extra pass very easy and it might be his strongest attribute. As one of the best passers of all time, James gets a perfect rating.
James is a monster of a man, and consistently averages over 7 rebounds a game per season. He is very effective at using his big body and excellent leaping ability to snag rebounds off the rim and start the break.
Yet, James should be a better rebounder than he is. With his size and athleticism, LeBron should easily average 10 rebounds per game. If you compare him to Larry Bird, who is his rival in terms of the greatest small forward of all time, James is not as good. He receives a 4-star rating here.
LeBron's impact is undeniable. Wherever he goes, his teams make the Finals. He affects the game in so many ways, that he makes players around him better. He makes it easier for his teammates to drain open shots thanks to his passing ability and scoring prowess, and his size and strength make him dominate defensively when he's locked in. His impact is 5-star, and there is no debate here.
LeBron James is the greatest physical specimen we have ever seen in the game of basketball. His mix of size, speed, and strength makes him a perfect NBA physical athlete. It is no wonder why he dominated for so many years. LeBron could have easily played in the NFL, thanks to his incredible physical ability.
Taking his athleticism to the NBA was scary, and the results soon followed.
LeBron James' defense has been bashed a lot as he has progressed in age. He often takes plays off and has showcased plenty of lazy plays when guarding his opponent. While that might be put down to his workload on offense, it is inexcusable for an All-Time great to show little interest in defense.
Yet, people fail to remember how dominant he was defensively in his younger years. He was too big and strong for opponents and could move his feet well to lock you down. Most importantly, he was the king of the chase-down block. Taking an overall look at his career, James is at 4 stars.
NBA IQ 5.0/5.0
James IQ is All-Time great, as he can read the floor and always make the right play. He knows how to attack the basket and score at will, but can also set guys him for easy baskets as well. James has a special ability to read opponent sets and find gaps in the defense. He is literally a coach on the floor and is one of the best passers ever. An easy 5-star rating for James here.
LeBron has had many failed moments in his career in the clutch moments, and these are well documented. He often opts to pass the ball in clutch moments, instead of taking matters into his own hands and scoring the ball. He also most famously failed in the 2011 Finals whereby he was perceived on a mission to capture his first championship.
Nonetheless, James has made up for it thanks to his assortment of game-winners in the regular season and the playoffs. James famously hit game-winners in the playoffs during his final season with the Cavs and carried them to the NBA Finals again. Even though LeBron might not possess the killer instinct of some other All-Time greats, he is still a clutch performer.
LeBron is the king of fantasy basketball thanks to his efficiency. He finds scoring the ball so effortlessly, as he is a battering ram when he attacks the rim. His ability to finish around the basket at a high percentage results in a very high field goal percentage. James is also very efficient at setting teammates up during each possession, resulting in overall team efficiency.
James hardly ever makes the wrong decision and does not enjoy taking tough shots out of the flow of the offense. LeBron loves to play the right way, and this makes his efficiency a perfect 5 out of 5.
LeBron always shows up in the Playoffs, especially on paper, with dominating stats and performances. James is a master of stuffing the stat sheet with spectacular numbers, and having iconic performances including his massive Game 6 Do-or-Die vs the Celtics not too long ago. LeBron often performs at his best with his back against the wall, with nothing to worry about but playing basketball. When he has time to think, this is where he begins to run into trouble.
James, also, has had quite a few flops in the Playoffs. He has lost quite a few times in the NBA Finals, with six losses, and has famously choked away his first opportunity at a title vs the Mavericks. Even though James performs well in the Playoffs, his Finals losses record brings him down a notch.
Even though LeBron often receives hate for attracting negative attention towards his team and sometimes his franchise, he is still a terrific leader. James leads by example, on and off the court. On the court, he plays the game at an efficiency that is unparalleled. He always makes the right play, gets everyone involved, and dominates the game with strength and skill. Off the court, LeBron has remained squeaky clean and conducts himself as a top professional. Even when the entire NBA has their eyes on him, LeBron manages to pull through with his team and always be the best player on every team he played on.
LeBron James has attained almost every individual accolade, including 4 MVPs, 3 Finals MVPs, and 3 Championships. James has been the best player on his team throughout his career, winning multiple MVP awards during the regular season. He also managed to capture 2 titles with the Heat, and 1 with the Cavs after taking down the Warriors.
Yet, many still wonder why James has not competed and won an NBA Dunk Contest. He would have added that to his resume, and appeased many NBA fans across the world. He has also not won a DPOY Award, although that is difficult to obtain.
1 On 1 Game 4.2/5.0
LeBron's impact on basketball is most profound when he plays team basketball. 5-on5, he is easily one of the best ever if not the best. He knows how to use his teammates in the best way possible to win games, especially in the regular season. Put LeBron on any team in the league, and they are the favorites for the first seed.
One on one, LeBron can use his speed and strength to get by his man to finish at the rim. He can also showcase his stepback jumper when the opponent cuts him off. Still, LeBron is not a consistent shooter and will manage to miss jumpers he should make, especially from three. LeBron also does not possess the incredible one-on-one skills of the top scorers of all time, and instead relies on his physicality and aggression with his play. LeBron can be unstoppable when he attacks the rim, but his inconsistent shooting brings him down to a 4.