NEW YORK, NY – The hits keep on coming for LeBron James!
When it comes to the NBA, Michael Jordan is the best to ever have played. LeBron James had the chance to make his argument, but that fighting chance disappeared quickly with his “decision” to go play for Miami and Dwyane Wade. In his seven years in Cleveland, James did a great job of winning regular season games as the “man” – that’s about it. Jordan led his teams to six NBA championships and would never go play second fiddle to anyone else.
“There’s no way, with hindsight, I would’ve ever called up Larry, called up Magic and said, ‘Hey, look, let’s get together and play on one team,'” Jordan told NBC Sports after finishing the Miami American Century Championship golf tournament. “But that’s … things are different. I can’t say that’s a bad thing. It’s an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys.”
That’s a really polite and non-invasive way of Jordan calling out LeBron – if you read between the lines. Jordan would never settle for someone being better than him. He would also never settle for not being the “man.” If someone wanted to play with Jordan, they knew where to find him – in Chicago. Jordan had one other bona-fide superstar, Scottie Pippen, but there was no question of who the leader on that team was. Jordan was the “king” of getting every ounce of ability from his teammates – and that translated into six NBA titles.
The city of Cleveland bent over backwards for the former “king,” doing everything in their power to accommodate their superstar. All James was able to give back was an NBA finals loss and a slap on the face. The stage was set for James to knock Jordan off the NBA’s best thrown – but that will never happen now.
“He’ll never be Jordan,” Barkley said. “There would have been something honorable about staying in Cleveland and trying to win it as ‘The Man.’ LeBron, if he would’ve stayed in Cleveland, and if he could’ve got a championship there, it would have been over the top for his legacy, just one in Cleveland. No matter how many he wins in Miami, it clearly is Dwyane Wade’s team,” NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said.
James, it seems, has been more worried about building an image and brand, than focusing on basketball. Jordan worried about winning and his marketing empire followed. There is a reason why Kobe Bryant is more popular overseas, especially China than James- five championships to zero. The king’s legacy took a major hit with this and it will be a long time down the road until he stops hearing about his “decision.”