26 players participate in poll on ‘the King’.
Miami Heat star LeBron James has received mixed reviews in an anonymous poll held in the latest issue of ESPN The Magazine.
In the magazine’s NBA season preview issue, 26 players were asked questions after being assured of anonymity during the process.
While it is unclear as to how much attention the 28-year-old will pay to the poll, 23 per cent of the players polled think James will be considered the best player in history when his career is over.
The statistics appear to back their claim as James has led the league in player efficiency rating for six straight seasons with his overall PER standing at 27.65, which is second only to Michael Jordan’s 27.91.
“I don’t know if he’ll be able to match Michael Jordan’s rings, but he’ll be top 10 in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals when his career is over,” a former team-mate said according to ESPN.
“To do that in this era, you have to call LeBron the greatest ever.”
Meanwhile, others weren’t so sure when asked who they would prefer to have taking the last shot with the clock winding down and the game on the line.
88 per cent of the players picked Jordan, while Kobe Bryant received the remaining 12 per cent of the votes, leaving James with nothing.
According to the statistics, James is in actual fact better than Bryant in those situations, but it is clear that the confidence still isn’t there for the reigning league MVP.
An Eastern conference guard claimed that the choice between the three was “like ranking the shortest giant”, while he insisted he preferred Kobe or MJ with the last shot as James “is not a great free throw shooter, either”.
The results of the poll will arguably matter little to James as he looks to secure a third consecutive NBA title this season, although he has recently spoken about his belief that he can become the greatest in the history of the game.