It never fails… a young and new athlete comes on the scene in every sport and sports journalists start to ask the question: “Is he/she the ‘greatest of all time’ in their respective sport.”
Since Lebron James (LJ) had his high school basketball games televised on ESPN, everyone has been comparing him to Michael Jordan. And for what? For the record, and this is purely my opinion… LJ will NEVER be Michael Jordan… not even if he wins the championships. It has nothing to do with skills and everything to do with the “man” that each individual is (or isn’t).
A few years ago, our local semi-pro basketball team the Rochester Razorsharks won their league championship and one of the perks was that two NBA teams would come to our city to play a pre-season game. The Cavaliers were one of the teams and the tickets sold out within hours. People were scalping tickets for $500-plus apiece and LJ mania was in full effect. Coach Mike Brown didn’t play LJ a single minute of that game (stating that LJ played too many minutes the night before in Toronto) and he was who everyone came out to see. That’s not the bad part though. The worst part of this night was the immaturity that LJ displayed as the audience chanted his name as the game went on. He stood up off the bench several times and pretended to take his sweats off as if he were coming into the game. The crowd went crazy… only to watch him sit back down laughing hysterically and high-fiving his teammates because how he’d fooled the crowd. Classless. Even Mike Brown laughed a few times and it’s one of the reasons I dislike him today. This is something that Michael Jordan would have never done because of 1.) How he was raised and 2.) His respect for the game and it’s fans.
I’ll give LJ a little benefit because he was extremely young at the time that this happened but it was my first impression of him as a professional and a very lasting one. Most of what I knew about him up to that point was written in his first ESPN The Magazine interview where he spoke about his mom struggling to raise him and how they went without food and whatnot while he was in high school. In his defense, he has never ever claimed to be like MJ or to be better than him. This is all the media’s doing and they’ve been doing so since they laid eyes on him. “King James”, “The Chosen One”… and not a single NBA Championship to show for the glorious monikers.
As I publish this, Lebron and the Miami ” just lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. As usual, he disappeared when his teammates needed him the most. LJ averaged 4 points in the 4th-quarter of the 6 game series. What made MJ the GOAT was his ability to make his teammates better… not beating his chest after every score or dunk. LeBron James – the GOAT??? He’s not even the Best of All Time.
Here is a link to all of Michael Jordan’s achievements on the court. (click here)
LJ could quite possibly put up these numbers before his career is over, but he never will. (Especially the one that says “NCAA Champion, game winning shot”)
He just doesn’t have it in him.