However, James did mention that he might have less championships had he not chosen to play in Miami.
You damn right I would still be! I’m CHOSEN! Ain’t nothing changing that! Maybe less 💍’s but DOMINANT from start to finish 👑 https://t.co/vZUH3b1pCn
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 8, 2023
Earlier this week, James stated that his career would have gone the same individually had he never played for the Heat, citing his work ethic and how much he puts into the game of basketball as reasons why.
“I think I would still be at this level no matter if I would’ve came here (Miami) or not,” James said. “Let’s not get it twisted: the four years I was here, it was amazing. I loved everything about it. Loved this franchise, this franchise is top tier, it’s one of the best franchises in the world.
“But as far as my career, my career was going to be my career as far as individually, because I know how much I put into the game and I know how much I strived to be as great as I can be. [But] as far as what I was able to learn here was second to none, that’s for sure.”
The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, James certainly has built a legacy for himself outside of the four seasons that he spent with the Heat.
During his time in Miami, James teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form the Big 3. The trio ended up taking Miami to the NBA Finals in four straight seasons, winning two titles together.
The time in Miami started an eight-season run where James made the Finals in every campaign. Four of those appearances came with the Heat, and the other four came with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as he returned home to the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in the 2003 NBA Draft.
James won a title with the Cavs in the 2015-16 season, and then he went to his ninth NBA Finals in 10 seasons when he won it all with the Lakers in the 2019-20 season.
That run by James is historic, and while his Heat tenure helped him there, there is no doubt that James himself had a major hand in that as well.
A four-time league MVP and four-time NBA Finals MVP, James is now in his 21st season in the NBA and still is playing at an elite level. The 38-year-old is averaging 25.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game while shooting 56.1 percent from the field and 32.5 percent from beyond the arc this season.
While Stephen A. Smith believes that James may not have been the same player had he not joined the Heat, the Lakers star clearly believes in his abilities.
It’s hard to argue that James wouldn’t have become one of the best players ever as an individual, but Heat fans can take some solace in knowing that the 19-time All-Star conceded that he may not have been as successful in the championship department had it not been for his time in South Beach.