Mario Chalmers says LeBron James is the greatest basketball player to ever play

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The four years that LeBron James spent with the Miami Heat from the 2010-11 season to the 2013-14 campaign are generally considered the greatest stretch in franchise history.

It gave Mario Chalmers a front row seat to witness James’ excellence, and although he said he thinks James is the greatest basketball player of all time, he also said James isn’t his GOAT (greatest of all time).

He clarified his stance by saying that James isn’t quite the killer that Michael Jordan, who is still regarded by many as the greatest ever, was.

“I wasn’t saying players don’t fear LeBron. I’m saying when you come into a basketball game, you have that matchup, you know everything about Bron. When Bron came into the league, he was the No. 1 pick. We grew up watching Bron. Bron’s always been a social media influencer. Everything about him has always been portrayed to the media for us to see. … He’s not coming to take your head off like they say about Jordan.”

When James came to the Heat in the summer of 2010, they were a recent NBA champion that had become a mediocre team after the departure of the aging Shaquille O’Neal and the retirement of Alonzo Mourning.

But he teamed up with Dwyane Wade, who was in his absolute prime at the time, and Chris Bosh to turn Miami into a powerhouse.

Chalmers joined the team as a rookie during the 2008-09 season, and by James’ first campaign there, he had turned into a key member of head coach Erik Spoelstra’s rotation.

The Heat had a rocky maiden voyage with James that ended with a collapse in the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, a series in which the Akron, Ohio native played poorly. But the following year, he redeemed himself by leading the Heat to the championship, and he followed it up with another ring in 2013 behind one of the greatest Game 7 performances in Finals history.

James is now the proud owner of four championship rings, and after yet another very productive season with the Los Angeles Lakers, there is always a chance he adds to that collection — that is, if he doesn’t retire this summer, as he recently suggested he may.

Ever since he won that first title with Miami, a growing contingent of fans and analysts have been considering him the greatest player in NBA history. He certainly has the statistical accomplishments to be considered the greatest ever, as he became the league’s all-time leading career scorer in February, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

But that one thing that could prevent him from being universally regarded as the greatest ever is his 4-6 record in the championship series.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s, and during that time he has lived through the Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James era of Heat basketball. He feels strongly that the NBA and sports aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.