Miami Heat star LeBron James has revealed in an interview with ESPN that Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson were his favourite stars growing up.
28-year-old James, who joined the Heat in somewhat controversial circumstances after a bitter departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers during the summer of 2010, has developed into arguably one of the greatest players in NBA history and played a pivotal role for Erik Spoelstra's men as they secured back-to-back titles.
With a striking skills-set and unrivalled versatility, many have even began to seriously ask if James is already the most-accomplished player that the league has ever seen.
James' incredible rise to prominence has been a joy to watch for his legions of adoring fans, who may want to know which basketball stars the two-time Olympic gold medalist himself idolised during his youth.
The forward revealed such facts in a recent chat with ESPN that was quoted by USA Today. While making the somewhat unsurprising admission that Chicago Bulls icon was his favourite, the man occupying second place on his list was far more of a shock.
"I watch Jordan more than anybody, for sure. But I’ll watch tapes of AI too. I don’t take anything from AI. Well, I do — his will. They say he was six feet, but AI was like 5’10½," he said.
"Do we even want to say 160? 170? Do we even want to give him that much weight? And he played like a 6’8″ 2-guard. He was one of the greatest finishers we’ve ever seen. You could never question his heart. Ever. He gave it his all. AI was like my second favorite player growing up, after MJ."
Former number one draft pick Iverson, who enjoyed prolonged stints in the NBA with the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets, left the league in 2010 and subsequently joined Turkish outfit Besiktas.