The greatest winner in NBA history, Bill Russell, played 13 seasons and won 11 NBA championships. No one is going to beat Russell in the title-winning efficiency category — the global talent playing now in the NBA is too rich for that kind of dominance. The closest thing may be LeBron James‘s appearance in seven straight NBA Finals and counting. But according to NBA analyst and former player Greg Anthony, James is accomplishing something this year that has never been done before. According to Anthony: “There’s never been a player in his 15th season who was unquestionably the best player in the league. It’s not just that he’s really good in his 15th year. He’s the best player.”
Russell was in his rocking chair by year 15. Michael Jordan’s 15th season was an unmemorable Washington Wizards farewell. But Greg Anthony may be forgetting one guy. Kobe Bryant played longer than Jordan or Russell, and in his 14th year Bryant and the Lakers won the NBA championship. In his 15th season (2010-11) Bryant averaged 27.9 points and was in the MVP conversation. Another guy won the MVP that year — young man by the name of Derrick Rose — but he may not have been the top player in the game. The year after that LeBron James won the NBA MVP. The next year James won it again. James is a leading candidate for MVP again this year, his 15th in the NBA.