LeBron James doesn’t think Michael Jordan’s teammates get enough credit for championship runs
In today’s day and age, when LeBron James wins, it’s “Kyrie Irving’s shot” or “Chris Bosh’s rebound and Ray Allen’s shot,” but when people often talk about Michael Jordan and the six championships in six attempts, he seems to understandably get a lot of the credit. But that shouldn’t take away from what his teammates have done to help win those titles.
James went on a podcast interview called “Open Run” with Jesse Williams and Stefan Marolachakis where he talked about various basketball and off-court topics, one of which was Jordan and his teammates.
“I just think it’s my path,” James said. “All the other greats and things that they’ve been through, I don’t think M.J. ever had a Game 7 in the Finals. And people say well he was able to close it out early. They act like he just did it all on his own and things of that nature. They forget the shot by [John] Paxson on the left wing. You want to know the crazy thing? In that game, in that particular game in Phoenix, M.J. didn’t even have the ball in his hands. [Scottie] Pippen brought the ball up, [Charles] Barkley went for the steal, Pippen threw it down to Horace Grant and … because Barkley went for the gamble, they rotated to Horace Grant and Horace Grant threw it to Paxson. M.J. had nothing to do with that play.
“It’s just my path,” James continued. “It’s who I am. I take the hard way. Just don’t give me a 3-0 deficit.”
As CBS Sports’ James Herbert noted, many people have twisted James’ quote to seem like a shot at Jordan for getting too much credit for the championships. That’s not the case; James was simply trying to state that no player can win a title on his own, and the teammates he has play a key role in winning an NBA title.
The quote about Jordan’s teammates was also more of a jab at his critics and people who always find something in his career to nitpick at like making the extra pass or not bring able to consistently knock down his jumpshot. So yeah, storylines among the casual fan can read “Kyrie hit The Shot” and “Bosh rebounded the miss,” but they should arguably also read “Paxson hit the shot” or “Rodman’s rebounding was key” when discussing Jordan and the greatness of the Bulls’ six championships in the 90’s.
If he isn’t already, James will probably go down as the greatest all-around player of all time. Now he’s just three NBA Championships behind Michael Jordan’s six, and has even said that the final goal for his career is to chase the ghost of Michael Jordan.