Every year around this time, it seems the topic of LeBron James's legacy comes back into the spotlight. As the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar competes for his fourth NBA championship, many want to know where he stands when compared to NBA legends like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, among others.
Former NBA stars like Scottie Pippen and Charles Oakley field questions like that all the time, with Pippen saying recently that he doesn't think LeBron compares to Jordan or Kobe just yet.
However, Oakley said on Wednesday night that he doesn't think LeBron's legacy is on the superstar's mind right now as he prepares for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.
Speaking to TMZ.com, Oakley says in this video that he thinks a fourth NBA championship ring is all King James is thinking about right now:
"LeBron's not worrying about who he needs to pass, he's just trying to go out and win a championship this year," Oakley said. "All he wants is a championship and you can make the decision later in life."
After all, Oakley says, it's too early to discuss LeBron's legacy, as he still has a few good years left in him before he decides to hang up his sneakers.
But, Oakley said, there is a very simple way LeBron can be remembered as being even better than Jordan, and it involves doing what he's done for his entire career:
"Just keep winning," he said. "Let people judge later."
A fourth title this year would go a long way toward helping James's resume, and Oakley is confident in the Cavaliers' chances to take down the Golden State Warriors, saying he doesn't think the Warriors are going to go undefeated this postseason:
"No," he said before adding, "because Cleveland is going to beat them... The two best teams are going to be in the Finals, but I think Cleveland has the edge."
First things first, though - Cleveland has to knock off the Celtics. The Cavs have three chances to earn one win, which will be easier to do since Boston star Isaiah Thomas is out for the remainder of the playoffs with a hip injury.
From there, LeBron and the Cavs will face a red-hot Warriors team trying to add to its own legacy in the much-anticipated third-straight Finals showdown between the two squads.
As we all have seen over the years, though, it's always unwise to count out a team as long as LeBron is on the court.