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“LeBron actually won a scoring title and it happened in the era of bullyball”

Kobe Bryant #24 and LeBron James #23 sit on the floor after falling during play.

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Former NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace recently received a lot of flack for his unflattering comments on LeBron James regarding the LA Lakers star’s inability to succeed in the former’s era. His 10-month old comments became viral a few days ago after it resurfaced on social media, and ESPN’s Brian Windhorst chimed in during a recent episode of “The Jump.”

“You can smash Rasheed for saying LeBron thrived against him personally, but I just don’t think it’s true at all. Because in a way, the changes to the game have made LeBron, sort of have to change his game and become more of an outside player, become more of a shooter,” said Windhorst.

“Back in this era that Rasheed’s talking about when LeBron could just use brute force, he was great. In fact, I know people may not remember this, but LeBron actually won a scoring title and it happened in the era of bullyball against teams like the Pistons,” he added.

During the mid-2000s, LeBron James was a force of nature following an impressive, though inconsistent, freshman season with the Cleveland Cavaliers when he earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2004.

James immediately became one of the leading scorers in the NBA in his second year, averaging 27.2 points an outing in 2005 and put up a career-high 31.4 points per game in 2006.

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When LeBron James destroyed Rasheed Wallace’s Detroit Pistons

LeBron James #23 shoots over Brendan Haywood #33.
LeBron James #23 shoots over Brendan Haywood #33.

But it wasn’t until his fifth season when LeBron James became the NBA’s scoring champion with a 30.0 points-per-game average in 2008.

Rasheed Wallace was still very much active during those years while playing for the Detroit Pistons. He crossed paths with James more than a few times during the regular season, but the postseason was where they would have their greatest battles.

Though the two players didn’t go head-to-head, Wallace and LeBron James met up at the rim several times during the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals. In Game 5 of the series, the King demolished the Pistons with a 48-point explosion in the Cavs’ 109-107 double-overtime victory.

At one point, James scored 29 of Cleveland’s 30 points, including their final 25. Some of his forays to the basket in the game ended with Wallace unable to cover him in the paint. The Cavs went to the 2007 NBA Finals after they dismissed the Pistons in Game 6.

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“And I’ll go back to the player empowerment era, if that’s also what he’s referring to when you didn’t have clusters of super teams, LeBron probably would have been even more dominant because he wouldn’t have had superstar teammates to depend on,” Windhorst added.

“I actually really like Rasheed. I loved watching him play. I just don’t think this comment holds water and I think that upon reflection he’d have to agree with it, too,” he signed off.

Wallace has had at least 10 months to think about his comments so it’s possible he may have reconsidered his stance on LeBron James.


Also Read: “I don’t think he would be as successful” – Rasheed Wallace on how LeBron James would’ve fared if he played in the 90s




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