During his time with the Heat, James won his first two NBA titles.
It’s worth noting that the four-time champion did recently clarify his view, explaining that without his stint in South Florida, he’d maybe have fewer rings than he currently does.
However, former NBA star Gilbert Arenas seems to think that James would still have the same number of rings today even if he’d never joined the Heat.
“Championship,” Arenas said after being asked what would have happened if James had gone to the Western Conference instead of joining the Heat.
Arenas was then asked if James would’ve beat Kobe Bryant in the process. He offered a simple answer.
“Yeah,” he said.
Arenas explained his thinking.
“When LeBron James was a free agent, him, [Chris] Bosh and [Dwyane] Wade and Mike Miller were teamed up,” he said. “So, in theory, wherever he went, they were gonna win championships.”
During the conversation, Arenas was asked directly if James still would have won those two championships without the Heat, and he said yes.
In actuality, James did win his first NBA title in 2012 with Miami before winning his second in 2013. Years later, he won the 2016 NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and in 2020, he won his fourth ring by leading the Lakers to the promised land.
Arenas’ view is an interesting one to consider, and folks can only imagine what the landscape of the league would have looked like in the 2010s (and perhaps even today) if James had gone somewhere other than the Heat.
For now, the 38-year-old is looking to add a fifth ring to his collection. His Lakers squad is off to a sluggish start this season at 3-4, but there is hope that L.A. will show improvement once the team gets healthier.
The Lakers made the Western Conference Finals last season before getting swept by the Denver Nuggets. The playoff run may have given James hope that ring No. 5 is still achievable. The 19-time All-Star, who’s in his 21st NBA season, would certainly love nothing more than to add to his resume with one more championship.