2010 Lakers champ believes Stephen Curry, not LeBron James, is a top 5 player of all time

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Former Los Angeles Lakers champion Metta Sandiford-Artest doesn’t believe that current Lakers superstar LeBron James is a top-five player in NBA history.

Instead, Sandiford-Artest listed Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Stephen Curry and Larry Bird as the top five players of all time.

It’s shocking that Sandiford-Artest would leave James – the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and four-time NBA champion – off of this list, especially since he included a player with less career accolades than James in Curry.

The Golden State Warriors guard is a terrific player, but he and James have the same number of titles, James’ just came with three different franchises (the Lakers, Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers).

James also has more All-Star and All-NBA selections than Curry as well as three more NBA Finals MVPs and two more regular season MVP awards.

Now in his 21st season, James has been criticized for playing for multiple teams in his career, but he has led each of them to the NBA Finals and to a title, making the NBA Finals in eight straight seasons at one point in his career.

Last season, James broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record, yet another impressive accomplishment that he can add to his resume.

Sandiford-Artest is entitled to his opinion, but it’s hard to see a scenario where James gets left outside of a top-five players of all time list given his career accomplishments. It’s also worth noting that Sandiford-Artest left off his former teammate Kobe Bryant – a five-time NBA champion – from this list.

Bryant won five titles with one NBA team, one more than Curry, yet that appeared to be the argument from the former Lakers forward for putting Curry on this list.

James shouldn’t be worried at all about being left off of Sandiford-Artest’s top five, as he has much more important things to worry about with the Lakers this season.

The four-time NBA Finals MVP is hoping to lead the Lakers back to the NBA Finals after the team made the Western Conference Finals last season.

James is off to a hot start in his 21st NBA season, averaging 25.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game while shooting 56.1 percent from the field and 32.5 percent from beyond the arc.

The Lakers are just 3-4 this season, but there is plenty of time for them to get back over .500 and make a push for a top seed in the Western Conference.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.