I’m tired of this outdated narrative.
LeBron James is a competitor. Period. He shouldn’t have to continue to explain that to you people.
Early Tuesday morning, James was stuck defending his competitive spirit once again, after ESPN’s Brian Windhorst posted an article on Twitter saying James envisioned Michael Jordan “as a teammate, not an adversary.”
James spoke on “Uninterrupted’s” YouTube Channel about how great it would have been to play with Michael Jordan.
“Me personally, the way I play the game — team first — I feel like my best assets work perfectly with Mike,” said James. “Mike is an assassin. When it comes to playing the game of basketball, scoring the way he scored the ball, [then] my ability to pass, my ability to read the game plays and plays and plays in advance.”
The post and the article prompted to reiterate the same old notions about James. They questioned his competitive spirit and once again tried to diminish James’ legacy.
James quoted Windhorst’s tweet a few hours later saying that he was only responding to a question that he was asked on the YouTube series about how the two legendary stars could have complemented each other.
He also said that he “would die to compete” against every single one of the greats.
If you are caught up in the reinvigorated Jordan hysteria from The Last Dance it can be easy to forget that James has amassed one of the greatest playoff resumes in the history of the game.
When the competition was at its best and the stakes were at their highest LeBron has not only been good, he’s been excellent.
Do you remember 25 straight points to beat the Pistons in Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals as a 22-year-old?
What about 45 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists on 73% shooting to hold off elimination versus the Celtics in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals?
And you can’t forget the 27 point triple-double in game seven of the 2016 NBA finals to secure arguably the greatest championship upset in NBA history.
James averages 34 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block in playoff elimination games over his career. He has had either 40 points or a triple-double in seven of his last eight elimination games. James also has a winning record in these games (13-10).
Jordan only averaged 31.3 points in elimination games over his career and had a losing record in those contests (6-7).
In no way is this an attack on Jordan’s competitive nature. He was as ferocious of a competitor that the sports world has ever seen.
But, the context is different. Jordan was undefeated in the Finals during his career. However, he was favored in all six of those Finals appearances. James, on the other hand, was an underdog in seven of the nine finals he has played in and has still managed to win three titles.
It’s obvious that Jordan’s teams were put in better circumstances to be successful.
Many will try to counter that argument by saying that Jordan’s competitive