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Why LeBron James' In-Season Tournament Victory Does Not Help GOAT Status
38-Year Old's GOAT Comparisons Continue After In-Season Tournament
Eamon Lee
3 min read

     LeBron James has been a hot topic after winning MVP of the In-Season Tournament on Sunday night. Through 24 regular season games, James has averaged 25.0 points, 7.5 rebounds to go along with 6.6 assists a night. He has also done this on surprisingly high efficiency, with a FG percentage of 55.3% and an impressive 40.7% from beyond the arc. 

     Any critics that have called LeBron James old or washed have been proven wrong after his show in the NBA In-Season Tournament, a month-long tournament that has been a new addition to the league this year. He, alongside his co-star Anthony Davis, led his LA Lakers to an impressive 7-0 win streak in the tournament, where they ended up holding the NBA Cup over their heads, celebrating the first win in the unique competition. 

     Although his stats were similar to his normal stats outside of it, LeBron James was felt most in his leadership skills and game IQ. Every time James ran up the court with the ball in his hands, nobody on his team was ruled out from getting the ball, provided they make the right movement to set up scoring chances.

     Fans had previously slammed the IST (In-Season-Tournament) for its sudden entrance into the league, but after Sunday night, all people could think about was how one-of-a-kind the In-Season-Tournament was, and how electric it felt in the stadiums. Many people stressed that the atmosphere was almost that of a playoff game. Adding to the individuality of the competition was the designs on the jerseys and courts. This move, set up to draw fans in to watch the games, obviously worked from the fact that IST games had an 18% viewership increase compared to that of a normal regular season game. 

     What LeBron James fans would call 'haters' are enjoying calling this victory a 'Mickey Mouse Ring', a favourite comment of many people at the moment. They, however well James played in the IST, are correct. This tournament, although having the atmosphere of a playoff game, never had as high stakes as that of an NBA playoff game, not to mention the minimal 500 thousand dollars prize money going to each player, only benefiting the players who didn't even appear in the tournament. 

     Sure, winning  is always a good thing, but people should not be taking this victory over to challenge Michael Jordan of his alleged 'GOAT status'. It just doesn't have the importance to translate to such a conversation, especially with the likes of two players of such a caliber. The IST is a tournament designed for non-title competers to have a chance at winning something, which the LA Lakers took full advantage of. 

     Though many people would disagree with this, the fact is that this Lakers team is not going to make much noise when the playoff picture comes, despite their early success this regular season.


Eamon Lee

Eamon Lee
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