NBA — 08 October 2012
Phil Jackson Implies LeBron Could Eventually Be Better Than Jordan

If you dismissed Scottie Pippen, Jim Boeheim and Charles Barkley who said LeBron James has the potential to become better than Michael Jordan, then maybe Phil Jackson will grab your attention.

This debate isn’t a matter of who is more accomplished, because that’s MJ all day. But rather, who is the better basketball player when you solely analyze skills.

For my money, I’ll still side with Jordan, but it’s much closer than people think. What’s hampering the ability of most to take this conversation seriously is their deep-rooted disdain for LeBron James that will never subside. But as I keep saying: who are we to say the aforementioned are crazy for their assertions? They obviously feel this way for a reason.

Phil Jackson was a guest on ESPN Radio in Chicago and here’s what he had to say:

Does LeBron have the potential to be better than Michael Jordan?

“He’s got all the physical attributes.  I think we all question the prepping that went into LeBron.  His defense was shaky when he was a younger player and finding his way through that direction.  He is a player that can play four positions. Except for perhaps the center spot, which he hasn’t given a shot at yet, he can play those other four positions quite well.  This is unique; Michael could play three and was very good at all three of those, but as a power player that LeBron can become, I think he has an opportunity to explore and advance some of the status that he has already gained.  Winning six championships is an elusive thing out there and they haven’t won two yet.  But he’s kinda got the smell of it and even the Olympic experience this summer, he was the granted leader of that team and was the critical player when they needed something to happen in the final games.  I think he’s there, I think he’s at that position. He’s got good things ahead of him and a lot of it depends upon if he’s gonna be healthy for the remainder of his career.”

[photo: GettyImages]

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Kevin Burke

(1) Reader Comment

  1. He’s definitely got the ability, but he doesn’t have the heart, or drive that Jordan had. Guys like Jordan would die for a win, LeBron is comfortable when and if he loses. That’s the major reason why he can’t be seen as on Jordan’s level. Also, Jordan did it on HIS team, he didn’t join up with another superstar on the other guys team. That is the other main thing that will keep him from being on Jordan’s level.

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