Knicks legend says LeBron James is hurting his legacy by switching teams so much

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

New York Knicks legend John Starks believes that Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has hurt his legacy by switching teams so much in his NBA career.

Starks compared James’ NBA path to those of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, who all won all of their championships with one franchise.

“LeBron is hurting his legacy by switching NBA teams so much that it will affect his standing when it comes to LeBron vs. Jordan debates,” Starks told Brandon Robinson. “Mike didn’t move around, didn’t want to move around. He wanted to play against the best. He felt like he didn’t need to go chase players to join his team to beat the best because he felt like he was the best, and I think that’s the difference. I think that’s probably going to hurt LeBron when you look at it in that perspective against Michael, Bird, and Magic. Those guys stayed with one team and they won with that team.”

While Starks may think that James moving around and joining other good players is a bad thing, there is a counterargument to that as well.

The four-time champion has won everywhere that he’s gone in his NBA career. James has two titles with the Miami Heat, one with the Cleveland Cavaliers and one with the Lakers. He ended up making the NBA Finals in eight straight seasons from when he first joined the Heat all the way through his second stint with Cleveland.

James doesn’t have as many titles as Jordan, but he has made 10 appearances in the NBA Finals.

The Lakers superstar has teamed up with his fair share of great players from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis. However, other superstars – such as Kevin Durant – in the current NBA are doing the same thing.

When it comes to debates about James’ legacy, everyone is going to have an opinion, but it’s hard to argue against the entire body of work James has put together as a player. He’s now the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and has made 19 All-Star teams and 19 All-NBA teams in his career.

The four-time league MVP is still playing at an elite level despite being 38 years old, something that very few NBA players in league history can truly say. Last season, James averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc.

James led the Lakers to the Western Conference Finals in the 2022-23 campaign, and he could really further his legacy by winning another title at this stage in his career.

Starks may view James’ decision to switch franchises as a blemish, but he’s still only played for three teams in the NBA and has brought an NBA title to each of them. It’s hard not to view that as a successful career, even if it hasn’t all been with the same franchise.

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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.