It’s no secret that Shannon Sharpe is one of the biggest LeBron James supporters in sports media. He’s been downright evangelical about him at times, to the great delight of anyone watching Fox Sports 1 lately.
Sharpe is clearly a big fan of James and thinks he’s the greatest basketball player of all-time, which is certainly a valid take to begin with and makes for good television when you’re on air with noted LeBron skeptic Skip Bayless. But LeBron’s latest buzzer-beater to put the Raptors on the brink offered Sharpe another chance to wax poetic about James’ greatness, and he did not disappoint.
LeBron was a big topic on Monday morning’s Undisputed, where Sharpe compared James to other clutch shooters like Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
In Sharpe’s mind, James’ propensity to hit the last-second shot in the playoffs makes him more clutch than Bryant or Jordan ever were at their peaks. He weaves a good yarn here, saying that James is answering his critics this postseason by hitting multiple buzzer-beaters and asserting himself as an “apex predator” on a team where he no longer has to defer to someone like Kyrie Irving.
It’s an interesting argument, and one certainly fueled by James’ heroics on Saturday night in Cleveland. But perhaps it’s not the best argument to put forth as the ultimate trump in the eternal struggle that is the LeBron over Jordan debate. But hitting a shot as the clock ticks low is always the clutch moment we imagine growing up, but there are other things a great player can do in the dying moments of a game to make a difference. Playing defense, for one, is a good place to start. And LeBron’s certainly blocked (and, you know, goalteltended) his way to some special moments as well.
But these arguments are not meant to provide us with an ultimate winner. They’re television or bar fodder, and an attempt to put into context the greatness that we live with in watching LeBron James.