By TED SILLANPAA
People who follow the NBA want to wait to see how many championships LeBron James wins before they even consider acknowledging him to be in the same class at the great Michael Jordan. I’ve heard some respected media members and former players who still want LeBron to win more titles before they’ll consider him in the same class as Kobe Bryant.
I see no need to wait for LeBron to try to win five or six championships before admitting, I’d be more than happy to start my NBA team with LeBron James. He’s bigger, faster and stronger than MJ or Kobe. He can defend all five positions on the court and those two could not. He’s a better rebounder than they were because he can mix it up with the opposing center and power forward.
And, I don’t need the greatest player in the NBA to be a hard-nose … a donkey who punches and verbally abuses his teammates. Maybe Jordan and Kobe won championships because they did some pretty heinous things that pushed teammates to greater heights. I tend to think James gets his teammates to play their best because he’ll always pass to the open man, always gladly take on the toughest defense assignement and blames the other guys after a loss.
I couldn’t disagree more with those who insist that LeBron is more interested in his brand and becoming the first billionaire athlete. Of course, I’m not a mind-reader and don’t pretend that I am. James seems to be as interested in winning as MJ and Kobe ever were.
It doesn’t matter how I rank those three, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Magic Johnson. Give me LeBron James to start my ultimate all-time NBA team and I’ll be really happy. There’s nothing the guy can’t do — and he gets better all the time.