Win an NBA championship. Check. More importantly, fulfill promise to win an NBA Championship for Northeast Ohio. Check.
Having accomplished two of the biggest goals he set for himself when he arrived in the NBA, LeBron James has certainly elevated his level of greatness since defeating the 73-9 Golden State Warriors and bringing the title to The Land.
Now that he’s done so, his next challenge is the ghost that played in Chicago, as he calls the great Michael Jordan. Jordan’s six championships in six tries is something James will not be able to catch as he already has four blemishes on that record, but many still think James can catch and even surpass the legacy Jordan left behind for everyone to admire. LeBron James’ best friend and former Miami Heat teammate, Dwyane Wade, is not among those who think LeBron can surpass Jordan.
“No, it’s not possible,” Wade said with a laugh. “It’s not possible. The only thing you can do is tie it,” Wade said. “There’s no 19th hole.”
If you’re wondering where the golf reference is from, it’s from a quote Wade had in an interview back in 2012 about the same topic of comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan.
“I don’t know if [James] has the ability to surpass him or not,” Wade said in 2012. “That’s yet to be seen. My version as LeBron being on par with Michael is this: They’re both on the golf course. Michael’s on the 18th hole; LeBron is somewhere on like the fourth hole. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s on par to get to the 18th hole.
“I think everyone knows that [James] is a phenomenal, phenomenal player. He’s one that we haven’t seen, with the makeup of a 6-8 guy who runs as fast as any point guard, jumps as high as any center, and has the ability that he has to do so many things. But Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time, that’s who everyone shoots for. So it’s going to be hard to surpass that.”
Wade, however, does see a drastic climb up the ladder for James. In the ESPN interview, Wade now says that LeBron James is on the 15th hole of an 18 hole golf course.
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“I think last year — not only in my eyes, but in a lot of people’s eyes — really put him … he’s on the 15th hole right now,” Wade said of James. “And he’s on his way, for sure.”
Wade and James have apparently not discussed the whole legacy chasing of Jordan, but it makes for a very entertaining discussion among the fans. Jordan didn’t lose in the Finals, but LeBron James has already been there more times than he has. Jordan beat some incredible team featuring Hall-of-Famers, but he also never beat a team that won an NBA record 73 games. Comparisons go both ways depending on which way you look at it, but Wade just can’t see anyone passing Jordan no matter what they do.
“You can’t go past it,” Wade said of Jordan’s legacy. “How can you? That’s as great as it gets, man. The only thing you can do, like I said, is be A-1, A-B. There’s no way higher.”