LeBron James is not Michael Jordan. Without coming right out and saying it, King James will tell you this. If you watch what he does and listen to what he says and read between the lines, the differences are considerable. No matter how many rings Mr. James wins he should never be compared to Michael.
The comparison is moot.
Michael Jordan wanted to beat you. Although MJ understood he needed a team around him to help him win, he never expected them to carry the brunt or responsibility for achieving victory. He alone decided to carry that load. And truth be told, he would have it no other way.
This is what made Michael…Michael. This is why I don’t think we’ll ever see another human being with more competitive fire than Mr. Jordan. It seems impossible; it is impossible.
MJ was THE man and he knew it, believed it, and made it his mission to make opponents understand their place within his NBA reality. He knew he was the man and wanted to teach all who would oppose him what he knew. He did, and they learned.
Eight-years after MJ retired, I think LeBron has learned the same truth everybody else that ever picked up a basketball has: there will never be another Jordan.
And this is why I’m starting to forgive LeBron James for his contrived plan of creating world dominance by going to South Beach. I have been unfair to Mr. James. I just assumed he wanted to be considered the best basketball player ever because he had the ability to be just that.
This is not the case.
Unlike Tiger Woods and his assault on Jack Nicklaus’s record 18 Major Tour Championships, where Tiger seems motivated only by abrogating Nicklaus from the throne of “best golfer ever,” King James has no such vision of grandeur when it comes to “best basketball player ever.”
The moment he went to South Beach to play with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade he announced to the world he was not Michael and, more importantly, didn’t care to be.
How could he be even mentioned in the same breath as Jordan with that kind of talent around him? No matter how many rings LeBron wins in Miami, he will never be mentioned, can never be mentioned, as the best basketball player ever.
And LeBron seems to be acknowledging this very thing.
“In the past, I knew that if I didn’t bring my A-game, there is a pretty good chance we weren’t going to win,” James said, referring to his previous two series losses to the Celtics when he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers. “Having guys on the court that can take over the game, that takes a load off of you. That is the vision I had during the free-agent period when I decided to come.”
This is something you would never hear Michael Jordan say. Look directly to the left of the first letter in this sentence and tell me what that character is? It’s a period. Read the first sentence in this paragraph, think of Michael Jordan, and say, “period.”
LeBron knows this. He knows Jordan would never say anything like that. He also knows Jordan wouldn’t have done anything that included hoisting a white flag and joining a stacked deck. LeBron can never be Jordan, isn’t trying to be Jordan and isn’t afraid to let people know what he has discovered for himself.
Maya Angelou, 20th century poet and performer once said: “People will forget what you did, people will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Miss Angelou was right.
I am forgetting about LeBron’s contrived journey of greatness to South Beach; I am beginning to forget what he did. I am forgetting about LeBron saying his vision during the free-agent period was having guys on the court that could take over a game and that it lessened his load of responsibility; I am beginning to forget what he said.
But I will never forget how Jordan made me feel.