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Heat’s Pat Riley Calls LeBron James ‘Maybe the Greatest Player of All Time’



Lebron James

Miami Heat team president Pat Riley may have held a grudge against LeBron James for years after he left the team, but that doesn’t mean he fails to recognize James’ greatness.


Riley recently described LeBron as “maybe the greatest player of all time” in an interview on Fox Sports Sun when talking about how the Big Three Heat came together.

Lebron James

“After July the first, I just laid it out on the table,” Riley said. “LeBron and Chris [Bosh], two of the greatest players in our game. And LeBron, maybe the greatest player of all time, with Dwyane [Wade]. All you have to do is put it on the table.

Lebron James sweat

“After July the first, to say, why keep banging your head against the wall like you have in Cleveland? Chris, in Toronto, having great seasons but never really getting very far in the playoffs. I said here’s an opportunity.”

The GOAT debate has been naturally firing on all cylinders as ESPN airs The Last Dance, chronicling the career of Michael Jordan and his final season with the Chicago Bulls. Team Jordan and Team LeBron are two diametrically opposed sects of social media, each harboring their beliefs about who is the greatest of all time.

Lebron James playing ball

Riley gave himself a bit of an out with his description, describing LeBron as “maybe” the best player in NBA history. Given the strain of their relationship after LeBron’s departure, though, that level of a compliment from Riley speaks volumes.

Lakers’ LeBron James’ inspiring message after winning Nickelodeon award
Lebron James smile won

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was honored by Nickelodean as the recipient of the Generation Change Award, also winning the award for “Favorite Male Athlete.”

James took to Twitter to thank the fans and voters, dedicating the awards to “all my kids and kids all over the world needing any inspiration at this moment and in the future.”

James has affected change through his philanthropic efforts. Most notably in the creation of the I PROMISE School in Akron, Ohio, which serves at-risk students. The inaugural class at the I PROMISE school recently received free tuition from Kent State University back in February.

James and his business partner, Maverick Carter, are the executive producers for an upcoming documentary about the school. Via Jesse Washington of The Undefeated.

Lebron james

When James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers from Miami in 2014, he launched I Promise with the Akron Public Schools district as a part-time enrichment program for third graders who could not read at grade level. James’ next step was pledging that every I Promise kid who graduated from high school could attend the University of Akron for free. In 2018, he gathered all his kids into one school.

That’s where the film begins, chronicling the school’s first year. Directed by Marc Levin and produced by James and his business partner Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment, it’s broken into eight-minute episodes as part of Quibi’s short-form, mobile-centric format. Five of the 15 episodes were made available to The Undefeated ahead of the release.

Lebron James muscles

LeBron has not been able to go to work for his day job as an NBA player with the current season still suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nevertheless, James is continuing to serve as an inspiration for his work with children and in communities of need.

Lebron James