LEBRON James believes the only thing similar between himself and Michael Jordan is the No.23 on their uniforms. And on the eve of his 32nd birthday, the Cleveland Cavaliers star would love for the comparisons to stop.
James was asked by reporters to compare himself to Jordan at the age where one of basketball’s greatest players turned out the best season of his career, leading the Chicago Bulls to a then league-record 72-10 card en route to an NBA title. But he quickly clarified he has never made such comparisons.
“No, I haven't [compared myself to him at this age], because our games are so different," said James on Thursday (Friday, Manila time). "As much as he was, he was much more of a scorer, and that point did a lot of, a lot of post work at that time.”
James, a 6-foot-8 forward who can play multiple positions, pointed out that his style of play is different from a 6-foot-6 shooting guard who is arguably the best scorer of all time.
"Our games are just different. His body is different. My body is different than his. … at that age you recognize his dominance, but there's no similarities in our game at all," he said.
The four-time NBA MVP said even his potent fadeaway jumper is in no way similar to Jordan's unguardable jumpshot.
"(Jordan) has much more lift in his fadeaway than mine. That was definitely a go-to move of his. Our games are completely different," he said
At age 32, Jordan averaged 30.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals while shooting 49.5 percent from the field and a career-best 42.7 percent from beyond the arc. In comparison, James has per game averages of 25.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 8.6 assists and 1.4 steals this season with a 51.3 percent field goal percentage and 37.9 percent on 3-pointers.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue shared his thoughts on the matter, describing James as a mix of some greats, citing Dominique Wilkins for explosiveness and power, Jordan for scoring ability and Magic Johnson for his court vision and playmaking ability.