This is another Lebron hater myth I will debunk. I have debunked many already (he played in a weak East, had lots of help, wasn’t clutch, wasn’t a good defender etc)
The thing about this narrative is that just like the other myths, it comes from haters who don’t really understand how basketball works. When a superstar joins another superstar, especially as a third option, they will see their stats go down. This is common sense and obvious. They don’t get as many touches with the ball, and they might even see their playing time decrease.
So the haters say stuff like well look at Bosh and look at Love they went from 25 PPG+ to 18 PPG. That’s proof Lebron makes his teammates worse!
Ok, well look at this.
2014 Kyrie (no Lebron): 21 PPG
2017 Kyrie (with Lebron): 27 PPG
2010 Wade (no Lebron): 26 PPG
2011 Wade (with Lebron): 26 PPG
2019 AD (no Lebron): 28 PPG
2020 AD (with Lebron): 26 PPG
Ok.. so as you can see, with secondary option guys, it’s simply not true and we know this because usually if a guy joins as a secondary option they can still reasonably maintain their stats. Pippen with and without Jordan is roughly the same. Gasol maintained his stats when he joined Kobe. KD kept his production up when he joined Curry’s Warriors. If we go even back further, when Jerry West became a superstar, Elgin Baylor’s stats were roughly the same.
BUT for third scoring options, they will definitely see their stats decrease because they have to now share with not one but TWO other superstar players. So yes that’s the reason why Bosh and Love’s stats took a BIG hit. It’s not because they played with Lebron, that’s just the nature of joining a team with 2 other stars on it! Here’s some more proof of that fact:
2007 Ray Allen – 26 PPG
2008 Ray Allen (after joining Celtics superteam) – 18 PPG
2003 Payton – 21 PPG
2004 Payton (after joining Lakers superteam) – 15 PPG
2012 Dwight – 21 PPG
2013 Dwight (after joining Lakers superteam) – 17 PPG
1968 Wilt – 24 PPG
1969 Wilt (after joining Lakers superteam) – 20 PPG
1986 Dantley – 29 PPG
1987 Dantley (after joining Bad Boy Pistons) – 21 PPG
1996 Barkley – 23 PPG
1997 Barkley (after joining Rockets superteam) – 19 PPG
so.. can we say that Pierce, Kobe, Shaq, West, Isiah and Hakeem all made their teammates worse from this logic? No, of course not. And don’t tell me all these guys were old and past their prime either, their bodies didn’t just suddenly age RIGHT when they join a new team. Cmon now.
This is why Lebron haters lack any kind of basketball knowledge. It’s common sense that a third option sees their stats decrease. Instead, they find a way to blame it on Lebron.