DESPITE being hailed as perhaps the best basketball player of this generation, LeBron James says his yardstick is not any active player but the great ones before him.
In a sit-down interview during his first visit to the Philippines on Tuesday, the four-time NBA MVP and two-time champion said he draws inspiration from great players like the incomparable Julius 'Doctor J' Erving.
"My mentors and my role models never set ceilings on what I can accomplish," James said. "They never closed the door on my dreams. I continue to dream and continue to work when I'm awake."
Despite his many accomplishments that put him in line for a shot at the GOAT (Greatest Player of All Time) title, LBJ is not one to rest on his laurels.
As athletically gifted as he is, James is all about hard work.
Shortly after the 'Witness History' event at the MOA Arena, James worked on the fine points of his perimeter game as he worked out on the court, unmindful of a small crowd that had stayed around.
"Continue to get better," the Miami Heat superstar said when asked about his next goal. "Continue to critique myself. I am my biggest critique. I know I can get better and know I can be better."
This early, pundits have been talking about his impending free agency after the 2014 season, which can put him in a bargaining position to become the highest paid basketball player of all time.
But at this point, James said money is the least of his concerns.
"Respect is everything. You only get respect if you give it," the NBA star said. "The fame, the fortune, the glitz and glamour - they all mean nothing if people don't respect you."