We finally have the worst LeBron James take of all time, and it’s glorious

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Christian Wood (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Christian Wood (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

We’ve found it, Los Angeles Lakers fans — the worst LeBron James take of all time. 

LeBron James is the most scrutinized player in NBA history. Call him the G.O.A.T., call him the G.O.A.T. runner-up, call him overrated, it doesn’t really matter. There’s no denying the level of media attention and subsequent criticism the King has endured.

Naturally, that leads to a steady stream of warped, ridiculous takes about a player who is pretty easy to comprehend on the surface. James is the No. 1 scorer in NBA history, one of the best passers to ever live, and he was one hell of a defender in his heyday. There isn’t much in terms of an argument against James’ greatness.

And yet, the detractors persist. There have been those who question James’ toughness. Those who doubt his ability to lead. Those who critique his competence in the clutch despite years of evidence suggesting that James can, in fact, perform in the clutch.

The goalposts are always moving for James, especially when comparing him to the other G.O.A.T candidate, Michael Jordan. A new wrinkle was added to the goalposts this week, and folks, it’s a real doozy.

New all-time bad LeBron James take infiltrates Los Angeles Lakers discourse

The Lakers have been heavily involved in rumors surrounding free agent center Christian Wood. The 27-year-old averaged 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds for Dallas last season, but concerns about his character and defensive intensity have left teams hesitant to give him more than a minimum contract.

Los Angeles can’t afford anything more than the minimum, unless there’s a sign-and-trade involving Jarred Vanderbilt’s expiring $4.6 million contract. Los Angeles shouldn’t consider that, but Wood for the minimum is an obvious move to make, right? We’re talking about a player who, not that long ago, was hailed as one of the league’s preeminent stretch-5s.

Evidently those character concerns are really bad. One NBA source said as much to Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times. That’s where the LeBron hot takes enters the fold.

“If LeBron [James] can get him to toe the line, it cements LeBron as the greatest player of all time,” the source told Woike (h/t Bleacher Report). “That’s how hard it is.”

This is ridiculous for several reasons. Primarily the fact that Christian Wood is an adult who is responsible for his own actions. If Wood signs in LA and doesn’t “toe the line,” that’s not an indictment on LeBron. It’s an indictment on the player who is letting his career slip away despite possessing immense and obvious talent.

James is a proven leader of men who has a long history of overcoming hot heads in the locker room (see: Irving, Kyrie). Not only is Wood responsible for his own actions, but these “character concerns” are often extremely overblown by NBA media members and front office folks eager to pass judgement on players they don’t like or understand. The odds of Wood being such a head case that it would require a herculean leadership effort from James are next to zero. That’s only more true when one considers that Wood would be fighting for his NBA life on an easily expendable minimum contract.

There are plenty of basketball arguments to be made regarding James’ G.O.A.T case, but trying to shoehorn Christian Wood’s fluctuating reputation into the James discourse is a very strange move indeed.

The Lakers should probably sign Wood if he’s truly available for $3 million; the man is certainly talented enough to warrant a pennies-on-the-dollar flier. And, no matter the outcome, Wood’s success won’t really depend on LeBron’s leadership. It’s up to Wood to accept guidance and let James’ playmaking elevate his performance in this hypothetical.

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