Coming off his second consecutive NBA title, MVP LeBron James is beginning to hone in on some monumental records. In an interview with ESPN’s Chris Broussard, King James explains that records aren’t good enough. He wants to be the greatest of all time. In regards to his relationship with the current G.O.A.T., Michael Jordan, things are not as warm as Lebron would like.
I don’t know what it would take for the so-called experts to say that — that’s not what I’m trying to do. My goal is to be the best of all time, and that means maximizing everything I have. And I feel if I can maximize my game, then I can be ranked as if not the greatest, then one of the greatest…. I’m not trying to catch Magic or catch Bird or catch Kobe. I’m into maximizing what I have while I have the opportunity to do it.
James explains how Michael Jordan’s legacy has shaped his approach to every game.
But I definitely look at MJ as the greatest. Without MJ, there’s no me. He gave me hope. He gave me inspiration as a kid. I still watch MJ tapes to this day. I was watching Come Fly With Me andJordan’s Playground and His Airness on vacation earlier this summer. So I’m watching him all the time, trying to learn from him. I even watched a clip … It was funny. I watched a clip last night when he had 51 while playing for Washington, the game after he scored in single digits. He put up 51 on the Hornets.
He then went on to discuss how scheduling conflicts play a role in his relationship with Jordan.
“I think it’s just being busy. Obviously, I’m busy. MJ has a lot going on. I don’t know the reasons, but it’s never been sparked. I’ve seen him at times. Of course, I’ve met him a few times. I went to his 50th-birthday party at All-Star weekend. I went to his party to show respect and pay homage to the greatest. I had a conversation with him there. Obviously, there were a lot of people there. But I don’t know.”
Of course, MJ isn’t the only player James studied and celebrated growing up. Allen Iverson is not talked about much anymore, but James has not forgotten how the smallest guy on most courts almost always managed to play the biggest game.
I watch Jordan more than anybody, for sure. But I’ll watch tapes of AI [Allen Iverson] too. I don’t take anything from AI. Well, I do — his will. They say he was six feet, but AI was like 5’10½”. Do we even want to say 160? 170? Do we even want to give him that much weight? And he played like a 6’8″ 2-guard. He was one of the greatest finishers we’ve ever seen. You could never question his heart. Ever. He gave it his all. AI was like my second favorite player growing up, after MJ.
Now that he has multiple championships and MVPs, LeBron has started giving insight into his psyche. It’s always fascinating to witness what drives superstars during the peaks of their careers.