ESPN Ranks LeBron James as Greatest Player Over Last 10 Seasons

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

The second decade of the 21st century is set to conclude at the end of this year. Those circumstances resulted in a poll of three NBA experts from ESPN offering their opinions on the defining player of the decade. Their overwhelming choice was Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.

ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry offered his reasoning why James deserved the honor, noting that only Bill Russell during the 1960s and Michael Jordan of the 1990s had better decades. Yet, Goldsberry stated that the challenges faced by James during the 2010s have surpassed those two legends.

“Neither of those guys played in a league as deep or as competitive as the one James dominated over these past 10 seasons,” he commented.

Going further, the ability of James to become a fixture in the NBA Finals during the decade and win three league titles were cited as additional evidence by Goldsberry. Such exploits helped James stand above the closest contenders for the honor, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant.

“James is the greatest basketball player since Jordan, and most of his prime fell squarely in the 2010s,” Goldsberry indicated. “He began this decade as a 25-year-old NBA superstar with one Finals appearance and zero championships. He will end it as a 35-year-old global icon with nine Finals appearances, three titles and three Finals MVP awards. When we look back at his incredible career, we will look back mostly at the 2010s.

“Not only did James appear in the NBA Finals every season between 2011 and 2018 but he also was arguably the best player in every one of those series. In addition, the dude racked up more than 1,500 more buckets than Stephen Curry and James Harden and 500 more than Kevin Durant.”

James was part of consecutive NBA titles as a member of the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013. That was followed by his role in leading a historic comeback that helped the Cleveland Cavaliers capture their first-ever championship in 2016.

Last year, James joined the Lakers, hoping to lead his third different NBA team to a title. That effort crumpled under injuries that limited him to 55 games, but that promise was renewed with the trade for superstar Anthony Davis.

The 34-year-old James could retire tomorrow and still be remembered as one of the greatest basketball players ever in future polls. Yet he remains committed to continue making his mark as the NBA gets set to enter the 2020s.

Share This Article
Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.