LeBron James is Winning Big Despite not Being in the NBA Playoffs

lebron james ipromise school springhill entertainment

For the first time since 2005, NBA fans are witnessing an NBA post-season without LeBron James. James started a new NBA chapter with the Los Angeles Lakers last summer. Lakers fans hoped that Lebron James would fill the void left by Kobe Bryant and lift the franchise to its rightful place as an NBA powerhouse. Unfortunately, that has not happened yet. In want many have characterized as a failed season, King James has managed to remain on top with his endeavors off the court. James has always held that he was about more than basketball. He is living up to that showing the world that he is “More Than an Athlete.” James and his business partner Maverick Carter made the Hollywood Reporter’s 50 Agents of Change Empowering Diverse Voices in Hollywood list. LeBron James is winning on so many levels.

The Hollywood Reporter praised James and Carter for their work on the Shut-Up and Dribble three-part docu-series that earned an NAACP Image Award nomination. The Hollywood Reporter also acknowledged James and Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment company for partnering with Octavia Spencer to produce a series about Madame C.J. Walker. With moves like these, King James has managed to remain one of the most talked about NBA players during the post-season despite not making the playoffs. This is due to the fact that King James keeps landing major wins off the court!

First Win- LeBron James’ I Promise School Exceeded Expectations

Last summer, LeBron James opened the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. James opened the school to help at-risk children overcome many of the same obstacles he faced at their age. Last month, it was reported that the school is off to a great start. The students have outpaced seventy percent of other students districtwide and have scored in the 99th growth percentile of the evaluation association’s school norms.

King James has much to be proud of. He deserves to be in headlines for this accomplishment. James even earned accolades from former President Obama.

King James is truly “More Than an Athlete” as he continues to demonstrate that he is about more than just basketball.

Second Win – James’ Investment in Liverpool FC is Paying Dividends

In 2011, James made a $6.5 million investment in Liverpool FC earning him a two percent stake in the club. As the club’s value has contiued to grow so has the value of James’ stake. In 2018, James’ investment was valued at apporximatley $32 million. It was recenty reported that James’ stake as grown to apporixmatley $35 million currently. Wow, what a win while sitting out this NBA post-season!

Third Win – James’ Hit HBO Series “The Shop” is the Platform Black Excellence Has Always Needed

Last summer, LeBron James and Maverick Carter debuted the HBO Series “The Shop.” The Shop is totally ingenious. The show highlights the role of barbershops and beauty salons in black culture. Barbershops and beauty salons are more than a place where African-Americans go to get a cut or a style. They are where African- Americans have traditionally come together to discuss sports, politics, or to simply hang out and play cards or chess. In Ice Cube’s 2002 film “The Barbershop,” Cedric the Entertainer’s character, Eddie, likened the barbershop to a country club for black people.

On The Shop, various athletes, musicians, actors, comedians, and others in the entertainment industry gather in a barbershop. Some get a cut while others sit and engage in stimulating conversation. The show is the perfect forum for black excellence to address political and social issues and to tell their side of stories free from unfounded criticisms.

In the latest episode, Seth Rogen, Pharrell Williams, Lonzo Ball, Don Cheadle, and a few others gathered at the shop. James shared his thoughts on Magic Johnson’s departure from the Lakers. Lonzo Ball discussed his lawsuit against family friend and co-founder of Big Baller Brand, Alan Foster. Foster alledgely stole $1.5 million from Ball. James and Ball were both able to tell their stories free from mainstream media criticism. They were able to give their thoughts and points of view without any spin being put on it. “The Shop” is a major win for sports, entertainment, and black culture.

King James has a lot to Smile About Despite not Making it to the Playoffs

LeBron James is definitely winning off the court. James is experiencing much success with the I Promise School and his ventures in Hollywood. It is no wonder that James is still one of the most talked about NBA players despite not making it to the playoffs.

NBA Playoffs 2019: Winners And Losers Through The Conference Semis

The 2019 NBA Playoffs have been a roller coaster of emotions. Wild, dramatic, and exciting are the adjectives that come to mind when describing these last couple of weeks in the NBA. From Damian Lillard’s buzzer beater and the Bucks’ dominance to the Celtics’ dysfunction and Sixers’ struggles, the NBA Playoffs have been must-see tv. Here are the winners and losers so far.

Winner: Kevin Durant

The best player in the 2019 NBA Playoffs has been Kevin Durant. As great as Kawhi Leonard has been, the Durantula has been on another level. Durant is averaging 34.2 ppg this postseason, which ranks first in the NBA. It’s not that he’s scoring buckets at will. It’s how he’s scoring. Durant’s offensive arsenal is never-ending and his wingspan reiterates the fact that his shot is unblockable. Right now, he’s the best player on Planet Earth.

Loser: Kevin Durant’s Calf

Every single fan’s heart skipped a beat. Reggie Miller convinced the world that Durant tore his achilles, but thankfully, it was only his calf. Knicks fans and the rest of the NBA can all breathe a sigh of relief. Please come back healthy, KD.

Winners: The Nuggets and Blazers

It’s never a good thing to lose a playoff series, but the Nuggets / Blazers series will have no true loser. Both Denver and Portland have exceeded expectations up to this point. For my money, Denver has the most complete team in the West, a franchise player in Nikola Jokic, and a budding star in Jamal Murray. No one predicted the Nuggets would be the 2-seed in the West and now they’re one win away from a trip to the Western Conference Finals. On the flip side, Portland is the perfect example of a patient front office. When teams lose in disappointing fashion in back-to-back seasons, the instinct is to either fire the coach or blow up the roster. The Blazers did neither and it’s worked out so far. Damian Lillard firmly planted his flag as a Top 5 point guard in the NBA and CJ McCollum is the perfect Robin to Lillard’s Batman. If the Blazers had a healthy Jusuf Nurkic, who knows how far they could have gone. I firmly expect the Blazers to win Game 6 and set up an intriguing Game 7.

Loser: The Thunder

The Thunder have ended their season in a disappointing first-round exit the past three years. Add in the fact that Damian Lillard sent the Thunder home on a 37-foot buzzer beater and things are not looking so hot in OKC. Is it time to hit the reset button in Oklahoma City? Frankly, I don’t think it’s possible. Westbrook, George, and Adams are all locked up on huge deals for the foreseeable future so it’s almost impossible to bring in a big name without trading one of those three players. The Thunder will have to change their style of play in order to improve next season.

Winner: LeBron James

Whether you love or hate him, the NBA Playoffs miss King James. It doesn’t feel the same without turning on the television every morning to see *insert sports show here* debating if LeBron was great or “just good” in a playoff win over the Toronto Raptors. The tv ratings say it all. LeBron moves the needle, and his absence in the playoffs emphasizes that the NBA needs LeBron more than LeBron needs the NBA.

Loser: The Lakers

The Lakers are not even playing games and yet, they’re still finding ways to lose.

Winner: Kawhi Leonard

Who, what, when, where, and KAWHI. At the top of the article, I stated that Kevin Durant is the best player in the playoffs. Kawhi Leonard is second. For all those who criticized Kawhi and the Raptors for utilizing “load-management” this regular season, you’re looking foolish right now. Kawhi is averaging a ridiculous 31, 8, and 3. In this series versus the 76ers, Kawhi has been a one-man wrecking crew who has been unstoppable at times. I expect a lot of teams to replicate Toronto’s “go all-in the year before a rebuild” strategy.

Loser: The 76ers Roster

Sometimes, you may have all the parts to make an engine run, but they’re not the right parts so the engine stalls. That’s exactly how I feel about the Sixers’ roster as currently constructed. Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris will both be free agents this offseason so at least one of them will leave. However, the root of the problem lies with their two supposed star players, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. At times, Embiid and Simmons are the two best players on the floor. However, both are wildly inconsistent. Embiid is averaging 17, 7, and 3 while Simmons is averaging 9,7, and 4. Those numbers should not be coming from your core talent. Embiid is so gifted to a point where he can be the best center in the league, but his injury history is becoming a serious problem. Simmons is a gifted passer with unbelievable vision, but his inability to work on his jump shot is holding his progression back severely. Embiid likes to play in the post and step out for 3s when necessary. Simmons needs space in the middle to run pick-and-rolls as well as to push the tempo. Unfortunately for the Sixers, Embiid’s style and Simmons’s style are like oil and water. They don’t mix.

https://twitter.com/DanWestPhilly/status/1125967140174036992

Winner: The Bucks

Hats off to the Bucks. I picked Boston in 7 going into the series, and Milwaukee ended up gentleman’s sweeping the Celtics. The Bucks have been the best team in the Eastern Conference all year long led by the MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo. Somehow, Mike Budenholzer is not getting enough credit for the Bucks season as well as Giannis’s transformation from a really good player into an MVP caliber talent. Now, the Bucks are one step away from the NBA Finals

Loser: The Celtics

When the dust settled, it turned out the Celtics could not turn it on when it mattered the most. The Celtics went to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last season without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. This year, they couldn’t even make it out of the second round with a healthy Irving and Hayward. Injuries and constant dysfunction led to their downfall. Brad Stevens had a bad year and could not manage all of these personalities. Jaylen Brown took one step forward while Jayson Tatum took two steps back. The Celtics completely lacked balance. Kyrie is a top 5 point guard in the league, but it’s looking like Boston should not be his home for the 2019-2020 season. The Boston Slam is over.

Who are your winners and losers of the NBA Playoffs so far? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @unafraidshow.

Kyler Murray Follows in LeBron’s Footsteps w/Uninterrupted Partnership

Kyler Murray Uninterrupted LeBron Partnership

It is no doubt that Kyler Murray is a special and rare talent that is destined for greatness. After all, he is the first player to be selected in the first round of both the NFL and MLB draft. His destiny for greatness does not end on the football field. Murray has not suited up for his first NFL game and is already showing the world that he is “More Than an Athlete” with a partnership he has with LeBron James’ media company, the Uninterrupted. King James and his business partner Maverick Carter started the Uninterrupted to give athletes a platform to share their content.

In the 2019 NFL Draft, Kyler Murray ascended to greatness as he joined two exclusive clubs. He joined the elite club of overall number one picks. Murray also joined the very small elite club of African-American quarterbacks selected as the overall number one pick. Murray is the fifth African-American quarterback to be selected number one. He is preceded by Micheal Vick (2001), JaMarcus Russel (2007), Cam Newtown (2011), and Jameis Winston (2015).

Kyler Murray is not Just Another NFL Player

Murray informed everyone of his partnership with the Uninterrupted during the Draft with his Great Gatsby inspired pink suit. On the inside of the suit were the Uninterrupted’s logo and the slogan “I am More Than an Athlete.”

Image result for Kyler Murray Maverick Carter

Murray has a two-year deal with the Uninterrupted to develop content for the platform. The content is likely to include short and medium length videos for social media and a feature-length documentary. Murray stated that he wants to be an example early for all athletes and show that athletes have value off the field. With this deal, Murray is doing just that. Murray has not even attended an NFL practice yet and is already building a brand off the football field. He is a part of a growing trend amongst young athletes who seek to show that they are “More Than an Athlete.”

Rashan Gary is another pioneer in this arena. Prior to the NFL Draft, Gary announced that he was starting his own sports agency. Gary was drafted by the Green Bay Packers as the number twelve first round pick. While Gary is looking forward to his NFL career, he stated that he started the sports agency because he realizes that football is not forever. Gary is showing that he is “More Than an Athlete” with his entrepreneurial spirit in founding his own sports agency.

Young Athletes Adopting the More Than an Athlete Mantra Will Inspire the Next Generation of Athletes

Kyler Murray and Rashan Gary are already inspiring the next generation of athletes. They are serving as an inspiration by setting an example of what it means to be “More Than an Athlete” as a young athlete just starting a professional career. Murray and Gary realize their value and have found a way to capitalize on it off the field. Their endeavors will likely go a long way to increase diversity in sports media and sports management. The precedent that they have set is sure to be a game-changer for future generations.

Why Do Fans Wait Until Great Athletes Retire to Openly Appreciate Their Greatness?

great athletes kobe lebron brady not appreciated

Avid football fans tuned in to watch the NFL’s most exciting event, Super Bowl LIII. The New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in a “defensive showdown”. It was the Patriots third consecutive Super Bowl appearance. It was also the franchises ninth Super Bowl appearance with head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady at the helm. Given that Brady was successful in his ninth Super Bowl appearance, the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) debate has been embedded in almost every conversation. The ultimate question is – does this Super Bowl win solidify Tom Brady’s position as the GOAT?

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While the GOAT debate can be fun, it can also be pretty contentious. The contentious nature of the debate can deflect from the true greatness that sports fans are witnessing at the moment. The debate can cause sports fans to completely miss what it is happening because fans are focused on finding flaws in great players’ performances to justify who they think should be regarded as the GOAT. Accordingly, fans have a tendency to snub athletes during their careers who are later regarded as greats. Why do sports fans wait until the end of an athlete’s career to show their true appreciation?

The Black Mamba – An NBA Legend

One of the best examples of fans failing to show true appreciation until the athlete retires can be seen in former Los Angeles Laker, Kobe Bryant. Bryant is without question one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Bryant’s greatness cannot be disputed. After all, he scored 81 points in one game in his prime. Bryant then showed everyone how to retire when he scored 60 points in his final game. However, Bryant did not receive all of his deserved accolades until he retired. For years Kobe Bryant was one of the most hated athletes in sports. People thought he was arrogant, not a team player, and completely self-interested.

However, when he announced his retirement those sentiments changed. Instead, people said he was confident, made his teammates better, and led his teammates to several victories and NBA Championships. Everyone was ready to embrace the “Mamba Mentality.” Why did fans wait until Bryant’s retirement to show true appreciation for his performance in the NBA?

Maybe it is the old adage of not truly being able to appreciate something until it is gone. Once an athlete retires, fans are left wishing they could re-live the athlete’s greatest moments. The failure to truly appreciate Bryant while he was playing robbed the sports world of the opportunity to truly bask in his greatness. It seems that the sports world may be on the same track in regards to LeBron James and Tom Brady.

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Fans are Failing to Acknowledge LeBron James’ and Tom Brady’s Greatness While They are Playing

LeBron James is undisputedly one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball. However, when he is talked about that fact seems to get lost. Fans often focus on the fact that he is 3-9 in the NBA Finals. However, when he retires the story will likely be re-framed to reflect the fact that James appeared in 8 consecutive NBA finals. Most recently, everyone talks of the fact that the Cavaliers were swept in the 2018 NBA Finals. Again when James retires the story will most likely reflect the fact that James took what was probably the most unlikely team ever to the NBA Finals.

Similarly, Tom Brady is and has been one of the most hated players in the NFL. Tom Brady’s ability to get his team to multiple playoffs, AFC Championships, and Super Bowls is truly remarkable. However, some sports critics find ways to poke holes in his performances. To be fair, in light of Spygate and Deflategate some of his criticism is earned. Critics use those instances to take away from his greatness. In spite of how some sports fans feel about those controversies, Brady’s innate ability to constantly have his team in a position to advance to the Super Bowl is nothing short of amazing. When Brady retires the talk will not be of Spygate and Deflategate, it will be about how Brady managed to advance to 9 Super Bowls.

If Fans Are Not Careful Other Great Moments are Going to Pass Them By

Sports fans should learn to appreciate James, Brady, and other greats while they are still playing. Fans should learn to stop looking at every player’s performance for what it is not and start to appreciate it for it is. In most cases, the players are doing something that has not been before and will probably never be done again. Just simply witnessing the longevity of James’ and Brady’s careers is remarkable.

The fact that James and Brady have been able to stay at the top of their games this late in their careers is remarkable as well. Their greatness should be admired now, not after they retire. If fans do not learn to stop being so critical, other great moments are going to pass them by. If fans are not careful, they will be left to wish they could re-live James’ and Brady’s and other players’ greatest moments.

Leave a comment with who do you believe are the most under appreciated athletes of all time?


HTH: Tiger Woods Masters Tears, LeBron Blame, Russell Wilson Contract

Hot takes house, tiger woods, james harden

The Hot Takes House is open for business. In this edition: why Tiger Woods win at The Masters is the greatest comeback in sports, why blaming LeBron James for everything is thoughtless, and why Russell Wilson’s contract demands make him the smartest man in the NFL. Do not read any further if you are easily triggered. Read. Share. Leave a Comment.

Tiger Woods is the Greatest Comeback Sports History

There has never been an athlete who was dead and buried by the sports media more than Tiger Woods. Not only did they say he ran out of talent, they demanded he quit to stop the embarrassment.

The greatness of Tiger Wood’s comeback was his motivation shift. For years, talked about getting back to his old form, the desire to be great again, and repairing his name. None of those things worked. He tried to outwork the pain and injuries like he had done all his life. But, it didn’t work.

Only a father’s desire for his children to see him do something great was able to shift the tides. Tiger said he didn’t want his kids to believe he was just a “YouTube golfer.” As a father and former professional athlete whose kids were either young or unborn during my career, I understand why Tiger wanted his kids to see him be great. They had only seen injuries, scandal, and a father in severe physical pain over the last 11 years.

Seeing him accomplish his dreams with his children in attendance while 99% of people not named George Wrighster quit on him was amazing. I still don’t know who was cutting onions in my house after Tiger won.

Get Off the ‘Blame LeBron’ Train

When everyone in sports media jumps on a hot topic bandwagon, it is time to jump off. They will inevitably be wrong. Just like all those people who said Tiger Woods career was over.

The lowest hanging fruit in sports is to blame LeBron. It doesn’t matter whether it makes sense, is plausible, or fair, just blame LeBron

There was an article in Sporting News that blamed LeBron for NBA ratings being down. Is it LeBron’s job or in his control to carry interest in the entire NBA even though he only plays for one team?

Magic Johnson quit as Lakers President of Basketball operations this week; all sports media fingers started pointing to LeBron James. They said he pushed Magic out and is really in full control of the Lakers. I did not buy it for one second. I’m supposed to believe that Magic Johnson survived the NBA in the 80s, HIV, became a real estate mogul but got bullied by LeBron. LOL.

Sports media personalities would have you believe that the Lakers are a dumpster fire that cannot be fixed and it’s LeBron’s fault. Did they miss the previous 3 years before LeBron got there? Jeanie Buss and her siblings fought a legal battle over team control. They had scouting and general manager problems. The team had no direction and plan for the future. Was all that supposed to be solved by signing LeBron?

Get off the “Blame LeBron James Train” before it crashes and you end up on Cold Takes Exposed.

Russell Wilson is the Smartest Man in the NFL

Russell Wilson gave the Seahawks until end of day April 15th to get his new contract finalized. If they do not, he won’t be resigning and will become a free agent at the end of this season. The genius part of this is that Wilson wants his long term financial security tied to the escalation of the NFL salary cap.

Gambling on sports is now legal in many states, and the NFL will inevitably get in on the deal. That will trigger another salary cap spike, which will increase player salaries. Wilson knows he is one of the few elite quarterbacks in the game, and always wants to be paid like it. Most players would take huge money to become the NFL’s highest paid player without regard for future cap spikes.

Seahawks fans, don’t be upset with Russell Wilson if he can’t finish his career with the team. Owners started this disloyalty, and they aim to keep as much money in their pocket and not the players pocket. Russell Wilson won’t be another victim of one-sided NFL contracts.

Listen to the Podcast, there is even more on Tiger Woods Masters Win, Luke Walton and Kliff Kingsbury Failing Up, and LeBron James Blame.

NBA loves Hip-Hop: 2 Chainz’s Album with LeBron James is the Latest Example

2 Chainz LeBron Album

Whether it is a professional, college, or high school basketball game, walk into any gym during the warm-ups and you will undoubtedly hear hip-hop music. The relationship between hip-hop and sports has been present for years. From the days of NWA sporting Raiders gear on their rise to fame to Allen Iverson having Jadakiss appear […]

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LeBron James Impact Review 2018-2019: The Cleveland Cavaliers Fallout and the Los Angeles Lakers Future

LeBron James Impact Review 2018-2019: The Cleveland Cavaliers Fallout and the Los Angeles Lakers Future

With LeBron James, Four Straight NBA Finals. Without LeBron James, Nothing

The fallout from LeBron James’ departure from Cleveland is massive. After advancing to the NBA Finals four years in a row, the Cleveland Cavaliers are at the bottom of the league. It is no secret that the Cleveland Cavaliers have been in turmoil without James. After his departure, their 2018-2019 season has been nothing short of a disappointment. The 2018-2019 Cavaliers lowlights include:

A question remains: Just how different are the Cleveland Cavaliers with and without LeBron?

Strictly Looking at Wins and Losses

After compiling win/loss records from the last 20 seasons, there is a stark difference between the Cavaliers with and without LeBron James. The following two tables illustrate this chasm. In the first table, the Cleveland Cavaliers season are split into different eras to depict LeBron’s impact historically. Then, the second table looks strictly at the overall record of the Cavaliers during James’ NBA career, in seasons with and without him.

RecordWin Percentage
Pre-LeBron (1999-2002)108-22033%
First LeBron (2003-2009)349-22561%
Post LeBron (2010-2013)97-21531%
Second-Coming (2014-2017)211-11764%
Post LeBron II (2018)19-6323%
RecordWin Percentage
w/o LeBron (2003-2018) 116-27829%
w/ LeBron (2003-2018 )560-34262%

Following a look at those records, LeBron’s effect on the Cavalier’s is even larger than expected. In seasons with James on the roster, their win-percentage more than doubled. What other star’s departure can be seen in such a resounding way? Then, looking past regular season records illuminates LeBron’s Hand of Midas in playoff pushes. In 11 seasons with the Cavaliers, he led them to 9 playoff appearances, 5 NBA Finals and 1 NBA title over the prolific Golden State Warriors. With LeBron, the Cavaliers were a team of legend. Without him, they have been nothing but bottom-feeders.

Did the Los Angeles Lakers see the same LeBron bump?

Well, no. Here’s why:

Lack of an Efficient Supporting Cast

However, there are a few reasons to explain this. First off, the players surrounding LeBron James in Los Angeles did not have an efficient season. According to numberFire’s nERD Score, which measures a player’s efficiency and contribution to team wins, only LeBron James and JaVale McGee ranked in the top-100. The next closest was Johnathan Williams, who ranked 144th. The team around him needs further development and building.

LeBron is, in Fact, Human

Granted, LeBron has taken seemingly-untalented teams to the playoffs before. But this year was different. LeBron was plagued with injuries. Perhaps it was all of his extra playoff minutes that caused him to break down. In terms of playoffs, LeBron played the most minutes of any player in the NBA since 2010. Recently, in his four Cavalier seasons from 2014-2018, James played a total of 81 playoff games. He basically played an additional season. To top it all off, he averaged 41.1 minutes per game in those appearances. All of those extra minutes had to contribute to this poor outing.

Because of the nagging groin injury, James played just 55 games. Late in the season, the Lakers and LeBron reached an agreement to limit his minutes, with no more back to back games. Then, when playoff chances were infinitesimal, the team decided to sit James out the final six games of the season. This first year with LeBron was not pretty.

Hope for Lakers Fans To Cling To

Nonetheless, there still is hope of the Los Angeles Lakers return to glory. Obviously, the Lakers still have LeBron James, one of the greatest players of all time. That definitely helps. Even in his injury-riddled season, he still averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game. Additionally, the Lakers record with James in the lineup was actually 28-27. Therefore, James still has yet to experience a losing record since his rookie season.

Furthermore, the disappointing season of the Lakers has a few benefits. The first comes with a lottery chance. Their overall record gives them a 2-percent chance to win the first pick and a 9.4-percent chance to win a top-four pick. The lowest spot the Lakers can pick in the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft is spot 14. They have a chance to reload the roster with some young, fresh talent. The 27 games sans-LeBron also gave the other players on the Lakers a chance to develop more. Without LeBron being the focal point of the offense, the rest of the cast could gain vital experience. Magic Johnson also stepped down as team president. His tenure with the Lakers has been a failed dream for a Lakers legend. But, stepping down was the right thing to do and allows a genuine executive to step forth. Last, LeBron’s 2018-2019 campaign gave him rest. In the playoffs, his off-season is essentially extended. 2019-2020 LeBron James can start the season revived.

Rebuilding LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers

At the end of their seasons, both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers are in need of a better team. Fortunately for the Lakers, they have LeBron James for at least three more seasons. Their losing record also granted them a higher chance to hit in the 2019 NBA Draft. Lakers fans can have high hopes for playoffs next season.

On the other hand, the Cleveland Cavaliers are far behind. According to an article early in the NBA season by Scott Davis of Business Insider, the Cavaliers have severe, systemic issues.

“Issues within the organization were only thinly veiled in recent years, even with James on the roster. The Cavs went all-in to build around him, and the aftermath was always going to be ugly. But at least in recent years, the winning masked some issues.”

Building a team around LeBron with big contracts and again veterans was highly criticized. “GM LeBron” was a nickname offered up by many and both the Cavaliers and James were given negative reviews on cap spending. It worked well and didn’t matter as much when LeBron was on the team. Advancing a team to the NBA Finals four years in a row offset the penalties. But, those problems became maximized the second James left. As Davis put it, “Salary-cap relief could finally come in 2020, but that would essentially be the start of the rebuild”.

Last, we all need to reflect on the rarity of this LeBron James/Cavaliers relationship. It is absolutely incredible that one player can impact an entire franchise so significantly. The sudden quick uplifts and sudden drop-offs the Cavaliers experienced were very easy to see. How much credit/blame goes to LeBron or the Cavaliers organization is up for debate. Regardless, this story has been remarkable to witness. From NBA fanatic to a fan of mild interest, LeBron James made the Cleveland Cavaliers interesting. Let’s just hope that we can see an equally compelling storyline in the next two decades.

Who Is The Greatest Athlete Of Your Lifetime?

greatest athlete Brady Jordan LeBron Serena

Tom Brady won his record sixth Super Bowl, which is the most of any player in NFL history. Brady passed linebacker Charles Haley, who won five Super Bowls during his tenures with the 49ers and Cowboys. But is he the greatest athlete of your lifetime and generation? Do Serena Williams, Tom Brady, LeBron, Michael Jordan, Jimmy Johnson, and Michael Phelps make your list?

Brady stands alone on the mountain as winningest NFL quarterback to ever play the game. Over the years, as the wins, records, and Super Bowls began to accumulate, Brady has started to earn the nickname of the “Goat,” which stands for greatest of all-time. For what it’s worth, I do believe Brady is the greatest of all-time in football, but I understand there are many sides to the argument. I did not see Jim Brown play and many believe he is the greatest football player of all-time. I also did not see Joe Montana play in the NFL and many also believe he is the greatest quarterback of all-time. These are all fair points.

However, I’m going to specify the question. Who is the greatest athlete of your lifetime? The answers will all differ depending on what year you were born, but I believe it’s a fair way of determining “Goat-status.” These are the athletes you have watched the most during your time on Earth so it will be easier to narrow down finalists for your selection as opposed to encompassing the entire history of sports.

I was born in 1993 and I have narrowed my list down to four athletes. You can call it my Mount Rushmore of “Greatest Athletes of my Lifetime.” Here are selections (in no particular order).

Tom Brady

Tom Brady / Getty

Am I a prisoner of the moment for including Brady on this list? Absolutely not. Brady has earned the right to be called one of the greatest athletes of all-time. Brady has 207 wins and 60 losses in the regular season, which is a .775 winning percentage. The next closest percentage is Brett Favre at .618. Brady completely separates himself from the pack due to his postseason dominance. Brady has an unprecedented 30 wins in the postseason. Joe Montana is second with 16. Brady is the Goat quarterback in my book.

LeBron James

LeBron James Injury Lakers
LeBron James / Via USA Today Sports

“You bro. Who is the Goat, Michael or LeBron?” Every time I hear this question, I want to gauge my eyes out. It’s unfair to both players because LeBron James is still playing. When his career is over, then start the debate. Anyways, LeBron is currently the greatest living and breathing basketball player on the planet. LeBron is a 3x NBA champion with 3x Finals MVP in nine appearances (eight straight trips to the finals and counting). The 15x All-star and 12x All-NBA First Team player is fifth all-time in scoring with 32,008 points. LeBron easily cements his place on my Mount Rushmore.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams / AP Photo

If I had to describe Serena Williams in one word, I would use “dominant.” Serena has dominated her competition ever since she turned pro as a 14-year-old in 1995. Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, which is most in the Open Era and second on the all-time list behind Margaret Court. Between singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, Williams has won 39 major titles, which is second in the Open Era. Williams has been the world’s No.1 ranked player eight times and has been the No.1 ranked player for 319 weeks total. Perhaps the word “dominant” is undervaluing Serena’s legacy. Serena is a Goat in my eyes.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps / Getty

Unlike the three previous athletes, Michael Phelps might have the best case for Goat-status. Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all-time, having won a total of 28 medals in both individual and team events. Now you might think to yourself that because of Phelps’s silver and bronze medal totals, that is the reason why he has the most medals. If that was your belief, you would be wrong. Phelps has 23 gold medals, which is obviously first on the list. The second most decorated athlete in the Olympics is Larisa Latynina, a Russian gymnast, who accumulated 18 total medals. Phelps has more gold medals than any other Olympian’s total amount of medals. Phelps rarely lost in the Olympics and when he did, he’d usually walk away with a silver or bronze. Don’t expect any athlete to break Phelps’s record any time soon.

After laying out all of their cases, who is the greatest athlete of my lifetime?

I may need some more time to think…

Let me know who your greatest athlete selection is in the comments below!

*Disclaimer: I’m not selecting Michael Jordan because I was too young to watch and appreciate his greatness. Michael walked away from the game twice: once when I was five-years-old and then when I was ten-years-old. I simply did not see him play enough even though he is one of the greatest athletes of all-time.