Defining LeBron James' Truest Legacy of All

As you kick back to enjoy a long and cheerful summer of Not LeBron James conversation, remember this:

There is no such thing.

No player's legacy has been updated more frequently for purposes of TV/radio/Internet/printed word conversation more than his. Not Lionel Messi's. Not Cristiano Ronaldo's. No North American player. Nobody. And that is James' truest legacy of all.

He will neither lose nor win the Michael Jordan debate because it is not designed to be won or lost, but continued in perpetuity until the next generation debates whether he or Fetus To Be Named Later is the best player of all time. After all, those are generational arguments designed only to remind young and old alike that they secretly want only to argue about age.

He will neither lose nor win the Wilt Chamberlain debate (which we admit is rarely had even though it would make for more fun) about who is the most indomitable physical force in league history. After all, numbers don't lie unless you want them to and want to put in the work to make them lie.

He will neither lose nor win the Best General Manager of His Era debate because while he succeeded in Miami to build a team to beat the existing power in San Antonio, he didn't sufficiently overcome Golden State while in Cleveland. His work in Los Angeles is, at best incomplete

And he will neither lose nor win the Best Laker of All Time debate even though he hasn't played a single game as a Laker yet. Beating ghosts is always a losing game, and he joins the team knowing his shelf life will be short, necessarily leaving him behind all the Lakers portrayed on your grandmother's dining room wall the way Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Kennedy used to adorn my grandmother's.

In other words, LeBron The Living Legacy Machine is as vibrant as ever, because we can't live without him. That probably doesn't speak well for us, but the veins want what the veins want, and we are hooked on LeBron's legacy because of the most enduring truth about the modern NBA, which is this:

The games are props for the arguments, not the other way around.

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