LeBron James Declares ‘I’m Not (Jordan), I’m Not Ali’ Ahead Of Game 3

Forget the comparisons. LeBron James is LeBron James.

Phil Jackson said Monday that Michael Jordan played like “a man possessed” after the Chicago Bulls fell into an 0-2 series hole against the New York Knicks in the 1993 Eastern Conference finals. That comment inherently has some, including Jackson, wondering whether James can pull a similar stunt in this year’s NBA Finals now that the Cleveland Cavaliers trail the Golden State Warriors 0-2.

But for the Cavs star, a comeback starts with being himself.

“I think for me to go out and be who I am and play as true to the game and as hard as I can and try to lead this team, that’s who I am. Not anybody else,” Jordan told reporters Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s Game 3 in Cleveland. “I’m not Michael (Jordan). I’m not (Muhammad) Ali. I’m not nobody else that’s done so many great things for sport. I am who I am, and if I’m able to go out and put together a game like that, it wasn’t because I was possessed. It’s because I worked on my craft all season long and that’s the result of it.

“Phil’s a great coach. Mike’s a great player. But I am who I am.”

James’ response actually is somewhat admirable, even though Cavs fans are hoping he’ll channel his inner Jordan or Ali for the remainder of the NBA Finals. That doesn’t mean the comparisons are going to dissipate, though, as James always will be analyzed in the context of sports’ all-time great athletes.

Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images

TMZ logo

© 2018 NESN

Partner of USATODAY Sports Digital Properties