On Monday night, in game four of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron James broke Michael Jordan's playoff record for most games with at least 25 points, five rebounds, and five assists. It was another milestone for the Miami Heat superstar. As the Heat get ready to try to close out the series in Indiana tonight, it's time to admit that James has now taken Jordan's place as the greatest of all time. But you will never hear the former-players-turned-commentators admit it.
Guys like Steve Kerr (who recently left TV to coach Golden State), Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O'Neal will never give LeBron the crown. Former coaches can see greatness right off the bat. It's something you can't teach. Ex-players have a tendency of hating on the new stars who take their place. Sure, Barkley and friends will always have praise for LeBron, but they will never say he is the GOAT. They all played in the Jordan era and are endorsed by Michael. They wouldn't say anything to make him mad.
Like Jordan, LeBron quickly realized he wouldn't win championships with teammates who couldn't knock down shots when he passed them the ball. That's why he's in Miami and won't return to Cleveland. LeBron has surpassed Jordan in every facet of the game, though. Jordan had to learn to pass the ball, but finding the open man is part of LeBron's instinct since he was winning championships at the high school level. Every dunk Jordan did, LeBron can do better. He can cover five positions on the court, even center. Jordan couldn't do that.
It's been 11 years since Jordan played a game. Every new NBA fan since then doesn't know anything about Jordan except his old highlights on YouTube. They are tuning in to watch LeBron rule the NBA.
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Off the court, LeBron is a better teammate than Jordan was. Michael would never have visited a teammate having a poor series to cheer him up like LeBron (along with Dwyane Wade) did with Chris Bosh. Jordan was always flying out to the casinos or wherever he hung out on his own. When the Chicago Bulls came down to play Miami during the Jordan era, all the players would come to my nightclub. The only one who didn't show up was Michael.
However, you will not see any commentators who played at the same time as Jordan say LeBron is the best ever. Jordan never faced the criticism and opinions of ex-players like LeBron has either. Jordan never had to worry about someone like Barkley saying Wilt Chamberlain was the best because he's the only player to score 100 points in one game. Hell, Barkley is the biggest hypocrite. He says LeBron should go back to Cleveland, yet Barkley bounced around teams like a groupie chasing a ring throughout his career.
It's time these hall-of-fame pundits acknowledge LeBron's place in history.