Kevin Love believes LeBron James is the greatest player of all-time
While making an appearance on the Hang Time Podcast with NBA.com’s Sekou Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers star power forward Kevin Love discussed a myriad of topics that ranged from his evolution as a leader to his belief that his development as a three-point shooter has been the biggest change he’s made to his game over the course of his career. Love also discussed former teammate LeBron James, who he considers to be “the best player ever.”
Kevin Love on playing with LeBron James:
"I always appreciated playing with who I think is the best player ever," Love said during his interview with The Hang Time Podcast. "I would say to guys in huddles, 'Man, we're watching something special. This is the best player ever.'"
— Kenny Honaker (@CavsNationKen) October 8, 2018
That’s not just effusive praise. Love spent the past four seasons getting a close look at LeBron, who former NBA head coach Stan Van Gundy also recently said is the greatest player of all-time.
To this point in his career, LeBron James has three NBA championships (with three NBA Finals MVPs), four NBA MVP awards, 14 All-Star selections (with three All-Star MVPs), 14 All-NBA selections, six All-Defensive team selections, a Rookie of the Year award (2004) and a league scoring title (2008). Having gone to nine NBA Finals, he’s the first player since 1966 to reach eight consecutive NBA Finals.
At 33-years-old, he’s the league’s active leader in all-time field goals (11,280) and ranked in the top-25 of all-time in various categories. He’s ranked seventh all-time in points (31,038), ninth all-time in free-throws (6,862), 11th all-time in assists (8,208), 16th all-time in steals (1,865), 20th all-time in three-point field goals (1,616) and 25th all-time in defensive rebounds (7,029).
He’s the only player in NBA history to amass 31,000 points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists, an ode to his all-around dominance.
LeBron also ranks first all-time in postseason points (6,911), field goals (2,457), steals (419) and minutes (10,049) while ranking third all-time in postseason assists (1,687), seventh all-time in postseason rebounds (2,122) and 16th all-time in postseason blocks (232) while being the only player in NBA history to record a triple-double in the NBA Finals.
Numbers and accolades aside, LeBron has achieved a mastery of the game that few players, if any, can claim. He’s a preternatural passer with a nearly unparalleled basketball IQ that excels at attacking the rim but can score from the post, from the midrange or from behind the arc. He’s a physically dominant player who cleans the glass and defend all five positions, well, at 6-foot-8, 250 pounds.
He’s the epitome of a complete player and his ability to defy Father Time may be his greatest achievement to date considering his immense talent.
Off the court is perhaps where James makes his biggest separation. Because he’s proven to be an astute businessman throughout his career, he’s influenced younger players to venture out among the venture capitalists and attempt to become business moguls themselves.
He’s also constantly advocating for human rights and investing in the education and betterment of the youth. LeBron’s not the only player in the league to do so. Far from it. However, he’s the face of the league and he’s the first face of the NBA to put so much of his own money and energy into the community while in the prime of his career.
Love’s opinion of LeBron differs from that of Kyrie Irving, who they both played with for three seasons in Cleveland. Irving believes, like many others, that Michael Jordan — a symbol of indomitable will and undefeated in the NBA Finals — is the best player of all-time.
Frankly, no matter who is considered the greatest player of all-time, Love was right in that his teammates were watching a “special” player. LeBron James is one of the most accomplished players in league history on the court and one of the best role models in league history off of it.