LeBron James is arguably the greatest player of all-time, with an impressive basketball resume of 14 All-star appearances, a 14-time All-NBA selection, four-time MVP, three-time Finals MVP, three-time NBA champion, his list of accolades could probably go on.
The former 1st overall pick of the 2003 NBA draft has career averages of 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.2 assists. It is hard to believe that the 33-year-old has no signs of decline despite being in the league for more than 15 years.
From each regular season to the playoffs, his work is stuff of legend. But legends eventually end, even for a once in a generation athlete like him. Once it does, who can he pass the torch to?
Here are the top five players who could be better than LeBron James in the future.
A fellow former 1st overall pick, Anthony Davis has been the cornerstone of the franchise ever since he got to New Orleans. With a career average of 23.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks, he can amazingly dominate on both ends of the floor.
Gifted with an unnatural combination of strength, speed, and skill for his size, he can anchor a defense or be the focal point of the offensive assault. His impact on the game is reminiscent of how James carried less talented rosters on his shoulders.
As the sixth seed in the recent NBA Playoffs, he put on a herculean effort in sweeping the third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers. This cemented his status as one of the elite players of this generation.
A common name when it comes to MVP discussions, the only chip on Davis’ shoulder is his struggles regarding his injuries and health. Hopefully, they have been a thing of the past to continue his stellar play.
This 5-time All-star and 3-time All-NBA may not be as decorated as James yet, but at 25 years young we may still yet to see the best from Davis.
Time and potential are on his side. If everything clicks in the future, we may see a meteoric rise in Anthony Davis.
In the world of positionless basketball, I imagine everyone trying to be like the Greek Freak. Quick, athletic, and tall, he has the necessary tools to develop himself into something way beyond special.
Listed conventionally as a forward, Antetokounmpo is your Swiss army knife when he steps on the floor. He scores, defends, rebounds, brings the ball down, and a whole lot more. He brings a LeBron-like do it all skill set each time he sets foot on the court.
Although Giannis has a sky-high ceiling of potential, without a consistent jumper and a decent three point stroke it would be safe to say that he far from giving LeBron a run for his money. But it is good to note that ever since he entered the league as the 15th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, the improvement to his game has been significant each season.
With last season averages of 26.9 points, 10 rebounds, and 4.8 assists, it would be interesting to see how he will blow us away this upcoming season.
There was a time that Kevin Durant and LeBron James were often in the same sentence. People often debated on who was better than who. Now, without a doubt, it is LeBron James. Despite that, Durant is no slouch; his rightful place in this list is how he impacts the game in all aspects.
His career averages of 27.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists, never really mirror his true value. A deadly inside-outside lights-out scorer, with a growing defensive acumen, having him on your team changes the complexion of your team instantly.
A former season MVP, Durant’s true advantage over James is the timeline. When Father Time finally catches up to him and declines, Durant’s skills will be ripe enough to take over the league.
The window might be smaller than the others on the list, but Durant has the immediate experience, skills, and the health to take over the kingdom when the King’s skills wane.
The reigning Rookie of the Year, Ben Simmons is in good company. With a well-documented relationship with LeBron James, it is a no-brainer that he would be the recipient of the big brother-like impartation from the best player in the league.
Both top picks with bizarrely similar play styles; you can see a young LeBron when Ben Simmons steps on the court.
Simmons averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.2 assists during his rookie year.
Gifted, a superior athlete, paired with excellent court vision, and a high basketball IQ, Simmons has already the foundations to be LeBron light. If he manages to get a decent midrange and three-point stroke rolling, there is no telling how deadly Simmons can be.
Simmons probably has the biggest potential, given the timeline and his relationship with James, he could be the league’s next big thing in the future.
LeBron James Jr. (Honorable Mention)
Bronny, is the 13-year-old basketball phenom, son of King James, and rightful heir to the basketball throne. He should naturally get an honorable mention here.
He currently plays for the North Coast Blue Chips, an AAU boys basketball club. At 5’10 and at his young age, he has already shown flashes of stardom with the ability to be a knock down three-point shooter and a genius passer like his father.
No, he is not in the NBA yet. He is just about to enter eighth grade. The basketball universe will have to wait for the Little King before he gets his first taste of the NBA.
After all these years in the league, LeBron James is still king of the mountain. With a new chapter of his career as a Laker ahead of him, only time can tell who can be worthy to dethrone the King.