Prominent analyst calls out LeBron for failing to live up to GOAT standard

One analyst aired LeBron out for exhibiting behavior unbecoming of the greatest of all time.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers / Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

After the Los Angeles Lakers officially let go of former Head Coach Darvin Ham as well as his entire coaching staff last week, many felt that the team had resolved a massive problem. And by all means, Ham was far from perfect as this team's coach. He made some questionable decisions that he deserved to be held accountable for.

However, the approach some took of heaping all the blame on Ham and none of it on anyone else seemed to be a little concerning. Time will tell, but simply shipping out a coaching staff while keeping everything else the same does not necessarily indicate a massive culture shift will initiate for the Lakers overnight.

One figure who took particular issue with the way LeBron James and Anthony Davis handled the blaming of Darvin Ham was ESPN commentator Michael Wilbon. Appearing on "Pardon The Interruption," Wilbon directly called out the Lakers' two stars and criticized their failure to take responsibility for the Lakers' shortcomings.

"They blamed him," said Wilbon, referring to James and Davis. "Their public comments are inadequate. If you want to be the GOAT, you want to tell everyone you're the greatest player of all time, then take accountability like one."

Wilbon says LeBron should be taking accountability for loss

These comments ring loudly after a news cycle where it felt like a tremendous amount of blame was shifted from the Lakers' players onto their coach. Was Darvin Ham completely blameless? Of course not, but Wilbon is 100% correct that there needs to be some level of accountability from star players.

The ESPN commentator also referenced videos of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan in postgame interviews after playoff losses from years ago, in which they took responsibility and declared that they must be and will be better. "If you're the GOAT, you do that," said Wilbon. "You don't blame this cryptically or backhandedly on Darvin Ham. I don't want to hear from anybody in a Laker uniform that the primary problem was Darvin Ham."

We have seen nothing of this ilk out of LeBron James after LA's loss to Denver. What we did get was a declaration of "it's just basketball," from LeBron after their Game 5 loss. Well, when we consider how high a level James is performing at in his age 39 season, and the fact he is still producing at an All-Star level, should not more accountability be taken by him? We celebrate his successes, so by the same token, we should not be absolving him of all blame in the Lakers' failures.

LeBron, as good a player as he remains, is not beyond reproach. He has publicly stated multiple times that he believes he is the greatest player ever. If that is the case, then ideally you would willfully accept the blame for a loss with the belief that you can and will be better.

Problems always arise, and there is no success in anything without trials and difficult circumstances. But LeBron's GOAT case becomes much more believable when he is unafraid to shoulder the blame and take on the responsibility that comes with being in that echelon.