Darvin Ham emphatically declares Lakers superstar LeBron James as the GOAT

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read

Darvin Ham may have been caught off guard, but the Los Angeles Lakers head coach had no problem answering a question about who he thinks is the GOAT (greatest of all time), saying it’s LeBron James.

Wearing a Lakers cap, Ham appeared to be on the sidelines of a college football game when he was asked the question in a social media video. It is no doubt the safest answer he could have given as he heads toward his second season coaching the NBA legend, but James’ status among the greatest of all time continues to grow with each accomplishment he adds to his career.

Last season, the 38-year-old became the leading points scorer in NBA history, surpassing Kareem-Abdul Jabbar in early February. James has accumulated 38,652 points during his career, with a season average of below 25.0 points per game only in his rookie campaign during the 2003-04 season.

Though Abdul-Jabbar sometimes gets mentioned in a wider-ranging discussion about the greatest of all time, the conversation usually centers on James and former Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan. That debate often comes down to championships won, with the Bulls legend having won six titles without ever losing in the NBA Finals, while James has four championships with six other losses in the Finals.

When it comes to overall statistical advantages, James’ edge over Jordan is somewhat skewed by the fact he is entering his 21st NBA season while Jordan played just 15 due to breaks from basketball during the span of his career. For example, Jordan still ranks fifth in points scored despite his time away.

Charles Barkley recently weighed in by saying those who defend James as the GOAT likely have never seen Jordan play. Former Lakers player Byron Scott has said if Kobe Bryant were still alive, he would be the one being compared to Jordan, not James.

But James’ agent Rich Paul has stuck up for his client, saying that Bryant and Jordan never had to deal with the constant scrutiny of a 24/7 news cycle that has been a facet of James’ career.

It’s easy to see why this is such an interesting topic, and no one can fault Ham for naming his current player as his greatest of all time.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.