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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Larry Bird: LeBron James can ‘maybe get close’ to Michael Jordan

LeBron James put together one of the best postseasons in NBA history to earn his first championship and the second in the Heat’s franchise history. Larry Bird, who won three championships and is one of the best players in NBA history, was awfully impressed by James’ performance throughout the postseason. The Hall of Famer sees greatness with LeBron, and thinks he can get into the conversation with Michael Jordan for the best player in NBA history.

“He actually carried [the Heat] all the way through the playoffs,” Bird told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. “If you go back to the beginning of the playoffs, has anyone ever had a better run? It seems like you have a bad game once in a while — he never did have a bad one. He was so focused you could just see his confidence building and building and building.

“He should go down in history as one of the top, top players, and maybe he can get close to Michael [Jordan].”

Bird helped put together a Pacers team put together that gave Miami a tough series in the second round of the playoffs. Even though Indiana gave Miami a good run, Bird thinks the Heat are almost unfairly stacked.

“I always say you have to play by the rules, and if that’s the rules, that’s the rules,” he told MacMullan. “But to have the best player and probably the 5th or 6th best player and a top 20 player? That’s tough to compete against.

“The one thing that bothers me the most is guys taking big pay cuts for a year to go down there and try to win a championship. There’s a lot of guys that like to ride the coattails of the best, and they’ll take a pay cut just to have an opportunity to win that ring.”

Bird has long expressed an admiration for James, saying last year that the Heat star is as good as anyone ever. But he seemed to jump off the bandwagon like so many others when he made these comments in February. I guess LeBron’s postseason run was so impressive that it has Bird, and many others, back in James’ corner.

Photo credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

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