Former Rockets forward says LeBron wants to win In-Season Tournament for more ammo in GOAT debate against Michael Jordan

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Former Houston Rockets wing Chandler Parsons boasted that if LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers win the In-Season Tournament, it will give James more ammo in the greatest-of-all-time-debate against Michael Jordan.

“In his mind, this is another thing on his resume that M.J. can’t have,” Parsons said. “If we’re looking at the G.O.A.T. argument, yeah this is just more ammo for him — and again me and Lou [Williams] talk about it all the time — I don’t care if it’s in-season, not in-season, these guys are playing hard right. They’re hoopers. They’re playing for their contract. They’re playing for All-Stars. They’re playing for their legacy, whether it’s in-season or not. But yeah sure this is just another accolade for LeBron James.”

James and the Lakers picked up their fourth In-Season Tournament win of the season — which clinched them a spot in the In-Season Tournament quarterfinals — against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. Los Angeles ended up winning by 32 points, and James only played 24 minutes in the game but finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and nine assists while shooting 6-of-10 from the field and 3-of-5 from outside the 3-point arc.

Lakers star big man Anthony Davis led the team in scoring with 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the field across 29 minutes. He also totaled 16 rebounds, four assists and two steals for Los Angeles.

Utah’s leading scorer against Los Angeles came off the bench. Former Miami Heat big man Omer Yurtseven dropped 18 points and six rebounds in just 17 minutes of playing time.

The Lakers’ other three In-Season Tournament wins this season have come against the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers.

Los Angeles beat both Memphis and Portland — two of the worst teams in the NBA thus far — by double digits. But the team’s matchup against the Suns back on Nov. 10 went down to the wire.

The Lakers trailed by seven points at the end of the third quarter against Phoenix but proceeded to outscore the Suns by 10 points in the final frame to earn a three-point win, 122-119.

Parsons made a convincing argument as to why if James and the Lakers win the In-Season Tournament, it would improve his case for being the greatest player of all time. But at the same time, Jordan never had an opportunity to compete in the NBA’s In-Season Tournament, as it wasn’t established until the 2023-24 regular season.

James and the Lakers will wrap up their three-game homestand against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. The team then will embark on a four-game road trip.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.