“Can Be Exhausting”: LeBron James Opens Up on Michael Jordan Comparisons

Published 07/13/2021, 4:14 PM EDT


The story of the NBA, in its 75 years of existence, can be told via the stories of the 9 transcendent athletes. All the way from Wilt & Russell in the 60s, to Kareem in the 70s. From Magic & Bird in the 80s to Michael Jordan in the 90s. And finally, from Kobe Bryant and Shaq in the ’00s, to LeBron James since 2010.

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And as far as conquering the GOAT mountain goes, MJ, Kobe, and LeBron have truly ascended to the top, in terms of leaving a legacy. Their stories of passion, commitment, and work ethic toward the game of basketball, have paved the way for the future of basketball.

All the way from Jordan’s signature jump shot, Kobe’s fadeaway jumper, or LeBron’s hammer-time dunks, this trio of superstars has never failed to impress!

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While the debate over who the undisputed greatest of all time is will never cease to exist, LeBron just pushed his envelope a little closer to his Airness and Kobe, with a 4th title, and 4th Finals-MVP in 2020.

LeBron’s take on the GOAT comparisons

James, during a recent appearance on the ‘Smartless’ podcast, commented on the comparisons between him and Michael Jordan.

He said, “It can be exhausting, you said it. But I’ve always looked at it like, anytime you’re compared, or you’re even mentioned with the greats that ever play this game, it’s become humbling for me.

“The same people they put me in the category with or saying compare this to that guy are the same guys I looked to for inspiration growing up.”

James exhibited humility, as he said, “And I needed that inspiration, growing up in the inner city of Akron Ohio. To have Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and all those unbelievable sports figures, when I needed it they helped me.

“To say wow, you guys are comparing me to these greatest players I’ve ever seen when I was growing up. It’s such humbling man.”

James, when asked the same question last October, as the Lakers conquered the Bubble for Banner #17, spoke about how he draws motivation from the comparisons, that will never end.

Making a GOAT case for LeBron James

From his days dominating kids at St. Mary’s Vincent high school in Akron, LeBron’s come a long way. He was never an average rookie, as the “chosen one” who appeared on the cover of SI, rescued a sinking Cavs ship.

The Cavaliers drafted James as the #1 pick in the 2003 draft, and safe to say, it’s been one of the few picks they chose correctly! King James put the Cavs back on the map, as he single-handedly carried Cleveland to 5 finals in 11 years.

In fact, the Cavaliers record without LeBron since 2003, till date stands at a miserly 171 wins to 413 losses! And to top it all off, the King delivered on his promise, as he came home after a Miami exile, to end Ohio’s 52-year championship drought, leading a 3-1 Cavs comeback in the 2016 NBA Finals.

James also is currently the only player alive to win a championship and Finals MVP with 3 different franchises! LeBron is also currently on pace to cap off a Hall of Fame career as the leading scorer of all time!

Off court legacy

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Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) poses with 2020 NBA Champion ring before a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Moving away from the argument on the floor, LeBron is undoubtedly in the conversation as the Greatest transformational athlete of all time, given his achievements beyond the hardwood.

Whether it be opening the ‘I-Promise’ school in Ohio, ‘More than a Vote’, or leading social change, he is second to only Muhammed Ali!

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Watch this story – Michael Jordan vs LeBron James: Who Is The Goat In Slamming Dunks?

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Nikhil Naik

108 articles

Nikhil Naik is an NBA writer at EssentialySports. Having completed his bachelor's degree in Hospitality, he has worked with the Indian Hotels Company Limited, at the Taj in Mumbai. Nikhil has been playing basketball since 2014.

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