The Los Angeles Lakers have made opposition teams look puny when facing them. Now they are one win away from ending their decade-long title drought and star LeBron James is about to win his fourth ring.
But his critics are ever ready to discredit him. NBA analyst Skip Bayless has said that not only is this ring disqualified, but winning this also lowers Bron’s case for being the GOAT.
“This cakewalk of a Finals victory actually hurts LeBron’s farfetched GOAT case more than it helps him. This is an epic mismatch. This ring should be made of cubic zirconium because this one had a big old asterisk beside it.
“Michael Jordan never had a path this easy to a ring and, obviously, you have even agreed with this: has never had a Finals opponent as weak as the Miami Heat — the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. I’m sorry, this is disqualified. You saw it from the start, it should have been a sweep, you know it and I know it.”
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) October 7, 2020
Did LeBron James and the Lakers get an easy path in the playoffs?
After finishing as #1 and #2 seeds, the Los Angeles teams, Lakers, and the Clippers were supposed to meet in the Conference Finals. Both were termed as title favorites, and it would have been an intense series. But the Clippers couldn’t even make the Conference Finals. They choked a 3-1 lead against the Nuggets and went home early.
So the Lakers had an ‘easier’ opponent in the Nuggets, whom they could defeat in five games. But discrediting them is unfair since they were the deserved winners against the Clippers. And even if they were an easier team than the Clippers, LeBron and the Lakers didn’t decide who to face.
And now to disregard the Heat for their phenomenal performance in the East is also ridiculous. They beat the best regular-season team in the league, the Bucks, and also beat the young and dangerous Celtics on their way to the Finals. Facing two major injuries has weakened their side, but all the Lakers can do is face whoever is in front of them.
There is no denying that this is LeBron’s easiest path to the ring, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable. And it certainly doesn’t bring him lower in the GOAT argument.