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#pounditTuesday, March 2, 2021

LeBron James never believed he could get to Michael Jordan’s level

LeBron James parade

LeBron James is four wins away from capturing another NBA title, which would give him four in his career before his 33rd birthday. You know how old Michael Jordan was when he won his fourth championship? You guessed it — 33.

The comparisons between LeBron and Jordan are becoming more justified by the day. After the Cleveland Cavaliers advanced to the NBA Finals with a win over the Boston Celtics Thursday night, James said he never envisioned himself getting anywhere close to M.J.’s level.

“I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike, just seeing what he was able to accomplish,” LeBron told reporters. “When you’re growing up and seeing Michael Jordan, he’s almost like a god. I never believed I could be Mike, so I started focusing myself on other players and other people around my neighborhood, because I never thought I’d get to the point where Mike was. That helped shape my game.”

A lot of people feel LeBron will never surpass Jordan regardless of what he accomplishes, and you can’t reason with that group. In reality, LeBron probably needs to win at least two more championships to make a convincing argument that he is on Jordan’s level. Like it or not, success for professional athletes is measured in championships.

Critics will also make the case that the NBA is much different now, and some comments a former Chicago Bulls executive recently made about Jordan shed light on that.

In any event, LeBron has plenty of basketball left. He won’t turn 33 until December, and he seems to improve with each year. He’s also been to the Finals seven straight years and eight times overall. It doesn’t hurt that Kyrie Irving has emerged as a superstar and is capable of carrying the Cavs on nights when LeBron is a little off. A fourth ring for James would really heat up the LeBron vs. Jordan debate.


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