LeBron James’ postseason accomplishments have reignited the debate of whether or not he has or will ever overtake the stature of Michael Jordan. Multiple people have weighed in on the subject as he set fire to the Eastern Conference through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Charles Barkley said before Game 3 of this current series against the Boston Celtics that he would place James above Kobe Bryant if he managed to down the Golden State Warriors for the second straight year. Many people raged against that assertion.
After all, The King trails the Black Mamba by two championships in the “ever-important” ring count that dominates popular debate in the current era. Even winning one against the best team that most of us have ever seen might not be enough to tilt the scales in his favour.
Now, Allen Iverson has weighed in on this debate during an interview with Colin Cowherd on Fox Sports One. The Answer clearly has affection for LBJ, but he isn’t quite ready to hand the keys to the castle over to the best player in the game today.
He explained: “I honestly wanted to be like Mike. I owe a lot to him, that’s why I thanked him the way I did in my Hall of Fame speech because I really believe that as a basketball player, if it wasn’t for Michael Jordan, there wouldn’t be no Allen Iverson.
“I love LeBron. I hate the comparison with him and Mike. That tells you so much about what type of player he is if you compare somebody to black Jesus.
“But LeBron is going to be on the Mount Rushmore of basketball players, but a guy like me that looked up to Mike the way I did. I can’t put anybody before Mike. I wanted to be like Mike, and so many kids want to be like LeBron.”
That is an especially eloquent answer from the best pound-for-pound player in NBA history. He has played against James before during his career and even shared the floor with His Airness on multiple occasions.
If anyone would have a good read of what each player brought to the table, it would be hard to find a better judge than Iverson. People often make the argument that King James will never be Jordan because of his Finals losses, but being in the room for comparison is a credit to him.
In a few weeks, this discussion will rise up once again to take hold of the sports media world.