Say what you want about LeBron James, but he didn’t choose the easy route for the next career chapter.
One of the knocks against Bron is that he’s played in the “Leastern Conference” for his entire career—essentially having an “Easy Pass” to the Finals every year, as CJ McCollum says.
Winning the West is an accomplishment in and of itself, and will only get more challenging with Paul George remaining in OKC, and Denver, New Orleans and Minnesota improving.
Continuing his streak of NBA Finals appearances is unlikely next season, as the Lakers (even if they sign a healthy Kawhi Leonard) will be underdogs to come out of the West.
But as LeBron says, you got to like his chances in a seven-game series.
Winning a championship out of the Western Conference would be another argument in favor of LeBron for being the GOAT.
The East, after all, was as talent-stacked as the West currently is during Michael Jordan’s heyday with the Bulls.
Another advantage for LeBron: Having Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant in his corner can only improve the way he thinks the game (if that’s even possible).
Ultimately the NBA wins: You couldn’t ask for a juicier Finals matchup than Lakers vs Celtics—LeBron vs Kyrie. Sheesh!