Last week, the seemingly endless discussion and premature comparisons of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Michael Jordan flared up once again. Jordan himself said in an interview that he would still opt for Kobe over LeBron, as he has five championships to James’ one, which naturally stirred some debate in the media.
During an Inside the NBA show, two of the great power forwards in the history of the game, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley, gave their take:
“I love to watch LeBron play the game, but you have to go with the championship. I’m saying you have to go with the 5 championship, you just have to, that’s me. But you starting a team right now and LeBron is doing what he is doing now, I think earlier on you could’ve said Kobe without a doubt, but with LeBron doing what he is doing now, hitting the jumper, the complete game, you have to go with him now.”
“LeBron James…I never thought I would compare anybody to Michael Jordan but this guy..Even when Kobe won 5 I didn’t say he was as good as Michael Jordan, but this guy, LeBron James, what we are seeing in the NBA today we should appreciate it.”
“We have never had a guy like LeBron James in the NBA, who [is] a walking triple-double, who can guard him? A power forward can’t guard that guy, and he’s too big for 3-guys and he’s added that dimension to his game in the halfcourt and he don’t shoot all those fadeaway jumpers like he used to. This guy is just scary man.”
– Charles Barkley
The reason this kind of discussion is not all that relevant is because both James and Bryant are still playing. LeBron is in his prime and, for all we know, as good as he is, his best years might still be ahead of him. LeBron might win one championship in his career, or he might just as well continue dominating the game and win more than both Kobe and MJ.
However, it seems that more and more basketball legends, experts and players are buying into the idea there might be a chance that in 10 years time, someone else could overtake the greatest of all time title.
What do you guys think? Does LeBron have the potential to be regarded as a greater player than Kobe and MJ, when it is all set and done? What does he need to do in order to enter that realm of greatness, or is he already there? Let us know in the comment section below.
Vytis is the editor of King James Gospel. You can follow him on Twitter: @VytisLasaitis