LeBron James isn’t Michael Jordan … yet.
But he’s getting there.
The MVP of the NBA is building an incredible season that might end up being among the best the sport has ever seen. He’s scoring at will and doing everything else right, all while doing an incredible 180-degree turnaround with his personal image. It’s rather amazing.
(Also read: Getting rid of ‘cupcake’ games in the Big Ten?)
At the All-Star break, James is easily the best player in the league, and if you were to omit Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, there’s nobody left in the conversation. He’s averaging more than 27 points per game this season, keeping him behind only Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan in career scoring average. He’s not even in the top-25 all-time in shooting percentage, but his current clip of 56.5 percent is well above his career average.
He’s even making 42.4 percent of his three-pointers, which is simply ridiculous for a 6-foot-8 forward.
It’s time to start entertaining the thought of LeBron James winning a Jordan-esque six titles during his career, or even more.
Obviously, the thought of being eclipsed doesn’t please Jordan. In a terrific article penned by Wright Thompson that was released today (seriously, it’s tremendous — take some time to read it), MJ tried to cheapen LeBron’s accomplishments by bashing the NBA of the 21st century: “The point is, no one is critiquing the personnel that he’s playing against. Their knowledge of how to play the game … that’s not a fair comparison. That’s not right … Could LeBron be successful in our era? Yes. Would he be as successful? No.”
Apparently, there weren’t bad teams when Jordan played. Every night was a test and every opponent had a defender that made his night a living hell.
If you believe that, I have a pair of boarding passes to the Carnival Triumph to sell you.
It’s sour grapes from a competitive man, but there’s a bigger issue hidden in the message: How is anyone going to slow down LeBron? The man is on pace to get flat-out bored with his dominance in three or four years, because there’s nobody in the league who compares, with the exception of Durant. But they play in different conferences, which means they only face off twice a year, and then possibly in the NBA Finals if both teams survive.
The NBA is LeBron’s kingdom, and if the first half of this season is any indication of what’s to come, King James may just be finding his way to the throne for a very long rule.
That makes me a very sad Hawks fan.