The NBA season restart due to take place in Disneyworld at the end of July could be a key moment for basketball great LeBron James’ career.
James, who is now 35 years old has enjoyed a stellar career which has seen him lift three NBA championships with two different franchises in the forms of Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The record-breaking small forward is in with another strong chance of being able to claim his fourth ring, this time with the LA Lakers.
Following on from some influential performances in the regular season there is no doubt that LeBron would be the key driving force in the well-oiled Lakers team if they were to come out victorious, which could see him claim another 'final's most valuable player', and claim another record.
The two-time Olympic gold medal winner would be the first player in NBA history to win a championship and be awarded the finals MVP with a trio of franchises, a feat that would strengthen claims that he is the greatest of all time.
However, the return of the NBA will not be a walk in the park for the Lakers by any means as teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks, powered by Giannis Antetokounmpo, and LA Clippers, with Kawhi Leonard, also have more than enough talent to also rise to the top of the NBA.
It is also essential to remember that two-time NBA champion and finals MVP Leonard could also be the first to achieve the same feat that it almost seems destiny for LeBron to claim.
The 28-years-old small forward currently plying his trade for the Clippers has been voted the MVP in each of his championship triumphs with San Antonio Spurs in 2014 and most recently with the Toronto Raptors last season.
Playing a major role in the Raptors’ first-ever championship win, Leonard has established his name as one of the best players currently taking to the court week in, week out and if he was to beat LeBron to the trophy this time out it would surely boost his name when discussing the best players to play in the NBA.
The Bucks had been tipped by NBA experts to be the favourites to take the Larry O’Brien trophy back to Milwaukee for the first time since their one and only triumph back in 1971 where the dispatched Baltimore Bullets with relative ease in a 4-0 series.
Many believed that with Antetokounmpo, who was named MVP for the 2019 season, in their ranks and making them one of the strongest outfits in the current league that they would be more than capable of taking down the absolute best.
In many ways these people were not wrong to believe that as they racked up an impressive record before the season was bought to a sudden halt with an impressive 53-12, putting them top of the league closely followed by Lakers’ 49-12.
However, there was a monumental change in the perceptions of many as to who was really the strongest line-up and this was when Frank Vogel’s side came up against both the Bucks and Clippers in back-to-back games, arguably their biggest test of the season outside of what could happen in the post-season.
The Lakers managed to see off both sides at the Staples Centre, they beat the Bucks by a scoreline of 103-113, before seeing off the Clippers 112-103 in the same arena but this time on the Clippers court.
This two day period of coming up against a duo of teams that are also in the running for the championship put out a statement to the rest of the NBA and all that were watching that they have what it takes to win it all.
With a high-flying LeBron in their ranks, it is a huge opportunity for the Los Angeles team to rise back to the top after a 10-year period without any major glory.
What is set up to be a thrilling end to the season will, as always, still bring around a debate that has been taking place for years. Who is the best to ever do it? LeBron James or Michael Jordan.
An argument that will never truly find a natural conclusion as it divides opinions around the world, and with strong sides to each of the basketball greats careers. A possible championship win and finals MVP with a third franchise for LeBron could eclipse the legendary double 3-peat achieved during Jordan’s time with the Chicago Bulls.
However, with that conversation aside it is a huge chance for James to write another chapter in the history books, one that might not present itself as clearly as it does now for the rest of his playing days.
That is not to say it will be LeBron’s last championship though, not at all. It is well known that a reason for his long career covered by success is down to his extreme work ethic and looking after his body, which has kept him performing at an elite level since his draft selection all the way back in 2003.
It is safe to say that James still has a lot of playing time left on the court, so who knows, there could still be years of watching LeBron still to come and I think that there is no doubt of anyone complaining about that. But from July 31 all eyes will be on Disneyworld to see one of the greats chase down another trophy.
This article was written exclusively for golear.co.uk.