LeBron James can pass Michael Jordan for first on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list if he scores 28 points or more Thursday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics.
So, what better time than now than to debate James’ legacy?
That apparently was the mindset during Cleveland’s shootaround Thursday morning at TD Garden, where it didn’t take long before James was asked about the Jordan comparisons.
“It has nothing to do with passing him in rings, passing him in points, passing him in MVPs,” James told reporters. “It’s just my personal goal to keep me motivated, that’s all.”
That’s a pretty standard answer, but LeBron didn’t stop there, comparing basketball’s GOAT debate to how that conversation plays out in the NFL.
“You guys are going to have the conversations about who is greatest of all time and things of that nature,” James said. “It doesn’t matter to me. At the end of the day, it’s so funny that the conversation is always talked about in the NBA about who is the greatest but it’s never talked about in the NFL about who is the greatest quarterback.
“It’s just like: ‘(Dan) Marino, (John) Elway, (Peyton) Manning and (Tom) Brady: all great quarterbacks.’ You know? And it should be the same for us. We go out and just try to be as great as we can be every night.”
A couple things: One could argue the debate about the NFL’s greatest quarterback is brought up all the time — maybe even more so than the NBA’s greatest player debate. And you also could argue that debate was decided this February when Brady won his fifth Super Bowl with the New England Patriots.
Still, we’ll forgive James for not being in the know about NFL debate topics (although it is puzzling he mentioned Brady last among those four QBs). After all, he has other things on his mind, like trying to help the Cavs win their NBA-record 13th consecutive playoff closeout game.
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