SportsNation Blog Archives LeBron James
Recently we brought you the top 10 players, as rated by the latest "NBA 2K" game.
The ratings for "NBA Live 16" also are here -- and they're quite a bit different.
Here's the top 10 (and ties):
1. LeBron James (97)
2. Kevin Durant (96)
T-3. Anthony Davis (95)
T-3. Marc Gasol (95)
T-3. Blake Griffin (95)
T-3. James Harden (95)
T-3. Chris Paul (95)
T-8. LaMarcus Aldridge (94)
T-8. DeMarcus Cousins (94)
T-8. Stephen Curry (94)
T-8. Russell Westbrook (94)
That's right: LeBron James (no surprise) is No. 1, 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant is No. 2, and a handful of talented stars across positions come in tied for third.
Meanwhile, the reigning NBA MVP is tied for eighth -- definitely an eye-opening number for a player many consider the best in the league. Then again, perhaps "NBA Live" is drawing upon more than just last season for its ratings; few before 2014-15 had Curry in that top-player-overall conversation.
There have been plenty of "pinch me" moments for LeBron James and his buddies-turned-business partners as they've gone from kids growing up in poverty-stricken neighborhoods in Northeast Ohio to living the good life.
James has brought childhood friends Maverick Carter, Randy Mims and Rich Paul along for the ride as he has crossed over from basketball phenom to renaissance man, experiencing success in everything from acting to investing.
And now his pals are starting to experience acclaim of their own.
Carter was a guest speaker at the Harvard Business School on Tuesday to share the story behind LRMR, the firm that James established with his friends in 2005 to manage all the marketing and business opportunities that came his way.
Illustrating how James' crew supports one another to this day, after Carter posted a photo speaking to the Harvard students on his Twitter account, Mims and James posted a collage of photos depicting Carter playing professor to their respective Instagram accounts.
"I think it's pretty cool the professors there would even allow Maverick and allow us to use our case study for their students," James said Wednesday, alluding to the case study that Harvard professors Anita Elberse and Jeff McCall published in 2009 about James and his friends' business venture. "To be at Harvard and to be very respected there, it's a true definition of continuing to learn over the years, continue to push the envelope, push the boundaries of what we can do not only on the floor but off the floor."
When James fired agent Aaron Goodwin in 2005 and subsequently established LRMR, there were plenty of naysayers. James heard the same criticism in 2012 when he parted ways with agent Leon Rose and put Paul in place as his primary representative.
Meanwhile, James has nothing but praise for the way his friends, and Carter in particular, have managed his career.
"I think he's handled it the best way he could handle a situation like this," James said. "It's a rare case of me being the person I am both basketball player and off the floor. We've all learned, we've had bumps and bruises along the way, but it has only made us stronger and made us who we are today.
"About 12 years ago when I decided to part ways with my agent, there were 150 million articles about how I was making a mistake to hire the people around me that I trusted -- Maverick, Rich and Randy -- and start LRMR and how everything would fall to pieces. Those pieces have made a beautiful portrait at this point."
The ratings for "NBA 2K16" are out, and -- unlike in "Madden" -- nobody in the league was given a 99.
In fact, the highest rating was a 94, given to a player whose name long has been synonymous with "best in the NBA."
That's right. Even Stephen Curry's MVP season -- which gave him a four-point jump over his score a year ago -- couldn't push him past LeBron James, although the latter dropped four points (partly due to, as Bleacher Report explains, a new way of calculating rankings).
James Harden's players' choice MVP campaign got him a four-point boost, as did the continued scary-goodness of Anthony Davis, but they still couldn't take down The King. Kevin Durant's injury, meanwhile, likely was the reason for his fall from second place and a 95 rating a year ago. (Interesting note: The three non-LeBron top-four players are on the cover.)
There were a couple of surprise inclusions on the list. Carmelo Anthony was 20th in player efficiency rating, 49th in real plus-minus and 81st in wins above replacement last season, yet checks in at No. 8. LaMarcus Aldridge (11th/25th/22nd) was also an eyebrow-raiser at tied for eighth/No. 10.
Not that either is bad, far from it, But still, no love for the best player on Aldridge's team?
The careers of Michael Jordan and LeBron James never overlapped. Jordan retired for the third and final time two months before James was drafted in 2003. That separation hasn't stopped NBA fans from constantly speculating what would happen if the two took the court to face off.
Last week Jordan said he'd beat James in a 1-on-1 game with the two players in their primes, sparking the latest debate to fill the dog days of summer without NBA action.
Friday on NBC's "Today" show, James was asked the same question and responded.
"Oh, I take myself. For sure. I mean, I'm gonna take myself versus anybody."
That's not surprising coming from the player who called himself "the best player in the world" during the NBA Finals, despite his team trailing 3-2 at the time to the reigning MVP (who, you might remember, went on to win that series and hand James his fourth NBA Finals loss).
James, though, did at least acknowledge that beating Jordan wouldn't be easy, telling Today: "I'll tell you one thing -- they're gonna have to have a few wheelchairs and a couple ambulances there to get us off the floor."
For those who care to try and solve this unsolvable dilemma themselves, here are the key numbers to know: James has the height and weight advantages (6-8 to 6-6 and 250 to 216). Jordan has higher career averages in points (30.2 to 27.3) while James has the edge in assists (7.1 to 5.3). Jordan also bests James in All-Star selections (14 to 11), MVPs (5 to 4) and, of course, rings (6 to 2).
Even the very best get confused.
Case in point: Here is Russell Westbrook, absolutely one of the NBA's top players, completely botching a drill (according to the tweeter, "two dribbles to score" -- as in, he's supposed to score here in two dribbles or less).
LeBron and Melo lose it when Russell Westbrook defeats the whole purpose of the drill (2 dribbles to score) pic.twitter.com/7tnWaHwaa0— Hoopmixtape.com (@Hoopmixtape) August 13, 2015
LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony's reactions were wonderful. But let's not ignore Westbrook, who often comes off as impossibly serious, being able to laugh at himself. And it's not the first such instance this summer.
H/T Bleacher Report