Yes. This shouldn’t even be a debate, for people who actually watch Lebron play and know basketball it’s not even questionable.
It usually revolves around the fact that whenever a star player joins Lebron their stats always drop and casuals use this as their argument. Because Lebron is ball dominant and he orchestrates the offense, this isn’t surprising as any star who is going to defer to Lebron will see their stats drop. However, because Lebron is an otherworldy talent, this always results in the team winning more because as that player transitions into a lesser role they are able to get better looks as a result of Lebron and benefit from Lebron’s better passing and court vision. As a result they increase their efficiency and FG% and of course that helps the team win more (less misses, less chances for the other team to get the ball, I mean its obvious but some basketball fans are so dumb they don’t think FG% matters).
There’s statistical evidence to back this up; Wade’s best FG% season? 2014. Bosh’s best FG% season? 2013. Love’s best FG% season? 2018. These all align with the years they played with Lebron.
Also, it’s interesting to note that Lebron’s teams won despite the fact that he didn’t necessarily fit the best with him. Wade for example, was a redundant since he wasn’t a shooter and Lebron did the same things Wade could do near the basket, except better. That’s why the Heat ironically had a better record with ONLY Lebron and without Wade. In Kyrie’s case, he didn’t have any chemistry with Lebron whatsoever and yet they still won. This just goes to show Lebron’s ability to make his teams great regardless of the system or coach or roster. (of course this year Westbrook is an exception but then again Lebron’s also 37 and the rest of his team isn’t that good).
Also, just take a look at what Lebron has done for his teams
First of all let’s look at his first stint with the Cavs:
In 2006, 21 year old Lebron took the Cavs to 7 games against the 64 win Detroit Pistons. His second best player that series Zydrunas Ilgauskas averaged 11 PPG. Do you really think that if you take Lebron off this team, they go 7 games? Zydrunas will increase his output for sure, but will they go 7 games? I think not
In 2007, 22 year old Lebron took the Cavs to the NBA Finals against the Spurs. Sure, they got swept, but do you think they are going to that Finals with Larry Hughes as their main scorer? Take Lebron off that team and they go nowhere.
In 2010, Lebron’s Cavs won 61 games and lose to the Celtics. Lebron leaves the Cavs the next season. They drop to 19 wins. That’s a 40+ win difference and the only major roster changes is Lebron and Delonte West leaving the team. They still have their other main starters Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, Anderson Varajeo, Anthony Parker etc
In 2015, Lebron leaves the Heat and they go from a Finals team to not making the playoffs. Fans blame this on Bosh being out for half the season and Wade being old and injured but news flash: They aren’t making the Finals even if those two guys were healthy for the whole season. Sorry to break it to you haters. And Lebron was playing with that same old injured Wade and carrying him to the Finals in 2014.
In 2019, Lebron leaves the Cavs and they once again go from a Finals team to being a lottery team. If Lebron makes his teammates worse, you’d think this wouldn’t keep happening right? They still have on the team: Kevin Love, JR Smith, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr, Matthew Delladova, Tristan Thompson etc all from the 2018 team. So they have most of the same guys but went from the Finals to the lottery. Interesting.
So you have this mountain of evidence that Lebron impacts his team more than any other player, and the fact that so many fans still think he makes his teammates worse or whatever infuriates me. If Lebron made his teammates worse, wouldn’t you think his teams would be doing pretty well without him? Why do they always become a lottery team when he leaves despite having pretty much the same roster?
and let’s talk about the 2022 Lakers cause Lebron haters tell me all the time how if hes the GOAT he should be fixing this roster. First thing is first, the Lakers were 8–18 without Lebron and 25–31 with him. Yes, even with him they are not a 0.500 team, but without him they are basically garbage and can’t beat the worst teams in the league. And yes Lebron is not playing defense but the guy is 37 years old and averaging 30 PPG. I don’t know any other player in NBA history who was excelling on both ends of the court at 37 years old. Yes I know Kareem and Duncan won championships at this age but they weren’t their teams main option at this point in their careers, and Lebron still is. And yes, the Lakers are just that bad. Westbrook is a turnover machine and doesn’t seem to care about winning, AD was injured half the season and even when not injured his game has regressed, and their next best players are Malik Monk, old Melo and Talen Horton Tucker. Yes I know they won 33 games. But without Lebron, this team would have had the worst record in the league.