Former NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace recently said that he doesn’t think Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James would have been “as successful as he is now” if he had played in Wallace’s era.
“He probably would’ve done good with his physical stature, with him being bigger than the majority of the rest of the players,” Wallace said on a recent podcast appearance. “So he probably would’ve held his own, but I don’t think he would be as successful as he is now. It’s a whole different era back then. I couldn’t necessarily say that he would’ve been a beast but I think he would’ve held his own.”
Wallace entered the league in the 1995-96 season and initially retired following the 2009-10 campaign. He came back to play the 2012-13 season, and then he retired definitively. The game has certainly evolved since he debuted in the 1990s. For one, the 3-point shot has become more prominent. Plus, games are officiated much differently these days.
However, James is an extremely well-rounded player, and he doesn’t rely on merely one aspect of his game to be successful. James, who is 6-foot-9 and 250 pounds, is capable of scoring at all three levels, thus making Wallace’s claim questionable.
Wallace finished his career as a four-time All-Star and one-time NBA champion. He posted lifetime averages of 14.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
As for James, Wallace’s comments might add more fuel to the fire. The Lakers superstar has no shortage of motivation as the 2021-22 season approaches. He’s looking to win the fifth NBA title of his career.