LeBron James is the focal point of an age-old debate that doesn’t appear to have an end in sight:
Who’s the greatest basketball player of all time? Or better yet: Who’s the greatest scorer of all time?
For one former member of the Nets, it’s essentially a no-brainer.
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Richard Jefferson Says LeBron Is NBA’s Greatest Scorer
Richard Jefferson spent seven seasons with the Nets from 2001-08 before eventually becoming something of an NBA nomad, skipping around from team to team every one or two years. During his two-year stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers between 2015-17, he overlapped with LeBron.
During a recent appearance on the No Chill podcast with Gilbert Arenas, Jefferson called LeBron the greatest scorer of all time and didn’t mince words in explaining why.
“People might disagree with me. But understand this – the greatest scorer is, it’s consistency, it’s longevity, and it’s amount,” Jefferson said. “LeBron James’ playoff scoring, he passed Michael Jordan three seasons ago. He’s going to add to that before his career ends. So to pass LeBron James, an all-time playoff scoring record, somebody is going to have to do what? Average 30 points a game, and go to like 13 NBA Finals. That’s just not going to be broken.”
James, in his 18th season in the league, has averaged 27.0 points per game over 1,308 games in his NBA career. He was the NBA scoring champion during the 2017-18 season. And the 36-year-old is No. 3 on the all-time scoring list with 35,318 points, not that far behind Karl Malone (36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387).
Still, Jefferson’s assertion wasn’t met with universal agreement.
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Skip Bayless Strongly Disagrees With Jefferson
Michael Jordan is fifth all time in scoring with 32,292 points, behind Kobe Bryant (33,643) in fourth.
The primary difference between Jordan and the rest of the league’s top-five scorers of all time? He played many fewer games and averaged many more points per game with 30.1. In fact, of the league’s top five scorers, LeBron is closest to Jordan’s points-per-game average with his 27.0 per game.
That’s why Fox Sports 1 analyst Skip Bayless thinks Jordan deserves the distinction of greatest scorer — and Bayless made sure to let Jefferson know it.
“Richardson Jefferson is now kissing back up to LeBron, on the Gilbert Arenas podcast, saying LeBron is a better scorer than MJ was,” Bayless tweeted on Monday. “RJ obviously needs LBJ back on HIS ‘Trippin’ podcast. So transparent. So absurd. You have an open invitation to join me on ‘Undisputed,’ Richard.”
Richardson Jefferson is now kissing back up to LeBron, on the Gilbert Arenas podcast, saying LeBron is a better scorer than MJ was. RJ obviously needs LBJ back on HIS “Trippin'” podcast. So transparent. So absurd. You have an open invitation to join me on “Undisputed,” Richard.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) May 4, 2021
Jefferson was ready to clap back.
“Can someone please explain to this senile old man that I work for ESPN. The network that HAS BASKETBALL that I can’t go on his show on Fox,” Jefferson tweeted in a response to Bayless. “He knows this that’s why he shoots these dusty blanks. Why don’t you hobble your old a** on to
@RoadTrippinPod no networks, no restrictions.”
Jefferson then brought another statistic into the discussion: career playoff points, where LeBron, with his 7,491 career points in the postseason, has a dramatic lead on Jordan, who ranks second on the list with 5,987.
“If you are number #1 in playoff scoring all time and get to #1 all time in scoring. 25 ppg in 16 straight seasons how are you not the greatest scorer,” Jefferson tweeted. I’m curious as to what other peoples metrics are. Just cuz you didn’t play the game that way doesn’t mean you aren’t.”
If you are number #1 in playoff scoring all time and get to #1 all time in scoring. 25 ppg in 16 straight seasons how are you not the greatest scorer. I’m curious as to what other peoples metrics are. Just cuz you didn’t play the game that way doesn’t mean you aren’t 🤷🏽♂️
— Richard Jefferson (@Rjeff24) May 3, 2021
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