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NBA Miami Heat

LeBron James Must Do 5 Things In 2013-14 to Become NBA’s GOAT

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LeBron James Fighting To Become The Best Ever

LeBron James
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

In the 10 years since LeBron James became the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, he has taken a meteoric rise from high school phenom to the undoubted best basketball player in the world. During this 10-year run, he has finished in the All-NBA defensive team first team five times, in the All-NBA first team seven times, gone to nine NBA All-Star games, won two All-Star game MVP's, four league MVP awards, two NBA Championships and two NBA Championship final MVP's. This resume is absolutely incredible, and has had many people bringing up the question as the whether or not James is the best basketball player ever.

While the conversation over who is the best basketball player is largely a subjective question and varies based on team preference, the facts are that the overwhelming majority of the public currently stands behind Michael Jordan for the honor. This is in part because Jordan accomplished nearly everything that one possibly could during his 15-season NBA career. What truly separates him from the pack is the mythical way that his career played out. After all, Jordan did complete a quick nine-year rise to the top of the basketball world before seemingly retiring at his peak age of 30 to pursue a Minor League baseball career. After two seasons though, Jordan figured out that baseball was not working out, and returned to the Chicago Bulls to win three more championships and again ride off into the sunset. Sure he returned for an ill-fated stint with the Washington Wizards, but no one will ever forget the way that Jordan dominated the league like no one before him with the Bulls and brought basketball to its current popularity levels.

On the flip side, the simple dominance of Jordan that brought people to love him is the seeming calculation of everything around him that tends to turn people away from James. The main things that have angered people were his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat via a broadcast on television and the long held public belief that he is afraid to take the big shot. For a player that is so dominant at his craft, it is always somewhat surprising that James popularity levels have seemed to go on a never ending roller coaster.

Even with these somewhat controversial decisions that James has made the facts are that his popularity has been rising in recent seasons, and his statistics are almost impeccable. But with the age of 29 coming up soon and uncertainty facing his future in Miami after this season the amount of time James has to change people's mind over whether he can pass Jordan as the best basketball player ever is dwindling. This fact makes each and every coming year ever more important, as it is only a matter of time before championships and awards are a thing of the past for James.

With the conversation ongoing over who is the best basketball player ever and James window of greatness getting smaller every time he steps on the court we have identified five things he must do in 2013-14 to be considered the NBA's greatest player of all time.


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5. Compete In and Win the Slam Dunk Contest

LeBron James
Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

While the Slam Dunk Contest is not nearly as important to players as it was when Jordan won it in 1987 and 1988 it is still an immensely popular competition with the public. Despite this James has refused to compete in the contest during his 10-year career, which in turn has prevented him from ever winning the league's marquee midseason event. Competing in and wining the event would be a boost for James' popularity and could provide him with a career defining moment such as when Jordan dunked from the free throw line in 1988.

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4. Win The Defensive Player of the Year Award

LeBron James
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody who has ever watched James play the game of basketball knows that he is one of the best defenders in the world, but yet he has never won the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Winning the award would provide justification for his defensive ability and take him a step closer to being on par with Jordan, as he won the award in 1987 and 1988.

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3. Score More Than 60 Points In a Game

LeBron James
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

During his career, James has been known as a player that prefers to get his teammates involved in the game than to score a ton of points. While this is a nice thought, it does not live up to the menace that one associates with Jordan, who preferred to score the ball and wanted you to know it. Scoring more than 60 points in one game would be a statement that James has that killer instinct, and would also take a little knock at the five 60 point games Jordan compiled.

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2. Win The NBA's Scoring Title

LeBron James
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Much like scoring 60 points or more in a game, winning the NBA's Scoring Title would be a statement by James that he is the greatest player in the world and he knows it. James previously won the scoring title in 2008, but trails far behind the 10 scoring titles that Jordan won during his 15-year career. Taking a crack at this lead will be crucial before James can truly be called the greatest basketball player of all time.

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1. Complete The Three-Peat

LeBron James
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest thing that James must do during the 2013-14 season to cement his place in the history books is to win the NBA Championship and complete a three-peat for the Heat. Doing so will put James halfway to the amount of championships that Jordan had, and truly put him in the upper echelon of players that steps up their games when the stakes get highest. In the end, not winning a three peat during his career will take James out of the running to ever be considered the greatest basketball player of all time.