LeBron James Risked His Legacy and GOAT Status to Fight for Racial Equality
The 2020 NBA season was recently in limbo after the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their playoff game Wednesday and led the league to cancel its remaining games on the schedule. After a players and coaches meeting Wednesday night, LeBron James was reportedly at the forefront of the push to cancel the rest of the playoffs to fight racial injustice.
The decision to cancel the playoffs would’ve been a crushing blow not just to James‘ season, but his legacy as a whole. James knows he’s running out of time to resurrect his Finals record and catch Michael Jordan as the greatest of all time, but that’s not his main focus right now.
LeBron James is running out of time to cement his legacy as the GOAT
In the hotly contested debate regarding who is the greatest basketball player of all time, James and Jordan have long been the two in the driver’s seat. Jordan has the six titles, but James has the consistent playoff success and the stats to back it up.
There’s no right answer in the GOAT debate, but it’s always fun to stir things up.
The one area holding James back from catching Jordan is his record in the NBA Finals. As it stands now, James has a 3-6 record in nine Finals appearances, whereas Jordan went 6-0.
This season, James has one of the most talented supporting casts of his entire career led by Anthony Davis. The Lakers cruised to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, and they have been considered the favorite to win the 2020 NBA title for months.
At 35 years old, James is running out of time to improve his Finals record and catch Jordan. This season was a prime opportunity to pad his Finals stats, but James was willing to give that up for a more important cause.
James voted to boycott the NBA season even with a prime chance to win another title
James isn’t getting any younger. As he nears the age of 40, his prime basketball years are already behind him. James knows he has limited time left to fix his NBA Finals record, and he was still willing to risk a championship to fight for an issue close to the heart.
During the players and coaches meeting in the bubble Wednesday night, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported James and the Lakers voted to boycott the rest of the NBA season to focus on fixing racial inequality and police brutality in America.
The Clippers were the only other team planning to join the Lakers in their mission.
James is fed up with the treatment of Black men and women in the U.S., so much so that he was willing to risk one of his best chances to win a title to fight for the cause he believes in.
The NBA has since decided to resume the 2020 season
After the dust settled Thursday morning, the NBA and its players decided to continue the 2020 season in the near future. James and the Lakers agreed, but he’s far from finished fighting for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Although he won’t be boycotting the rest of the season, the sheer fact that James was the first in the room to suggest such a drastic measure shows his true character as a man. At the end of the day, James wants to be judged for his activism off the court, and not his accomplishments on it.