LeBron and the Cavs are probably going to get swept tonight. Maybe they put up a fight for a half, or even into the 3rd quarter. But Vegas made the Warriors 6-point favorites for Game 4 tonight, and let’s be honest with ourselves – LeBron has run out of gas in the 4th quarter of all three Finals games, so why should anyone believe he can magically summon the energy to pull the upset on just one night off?
But the sweep will have no impact on LeBron’s legacy. None. It’s pretty simple:
- He’s facing the greatest team in NBA history. They’ve steamrolled the NBA all season, and are on the cusp of being the first NBA team to go 16-0 in the playoffs.
- Jordan never lost five times in the Finals. Yeah, well Jordan never got to the Finals seven years in a row. Jordan was never swept in the Finals! Jordan lost in the first round three times, and was swept twice. LeBron’s never lost in the 1st round. We can play this game all day.
- LeBron’s been the favorite in the finals just three times: Against Dallas (loss), against Oklahoma City (win) and against San Antonio in 2013 (win). He’s been an underdog five times.
I’ve been consistent on this: LeBron’s overall resume trumps Jordan’s. But Jordan 6-0 in the Finals gives MJ a slight edge in the hypothetical Who’s Better? question. I could go long on how the five teams Jordan whipped in the Finals were unimpressive, and even those 1991 Lakers lost Byron Scott and James Worthy to injury in the deciding game five. The current NBA, with Super Teams, is vastly superior to 90s ball, regardless of what Charles Barkley says. We can do this dance all night: LeBron’s had weaker supporting casts. Fact.
Remember, LeBron got the Cavs to the Finals at the age of 23, in his 4th year in the league; Jordan finally got out of the first round in his 4th year in the NBA.
Getting swept by the best team in NBA history doesn’t damage LeBron’s resume at all. He doesn’t slide down a notch or two; he’s cemented himself as the 2nd greatest player in NBA history. Another title vaults him to #1.