As the tired, circular arguments comparing LeBron to Jordan have been reheated after Bron brought the city of Cleveland its first championship since Jesus of Nazareth was a pimple-faced teenager, the only thing that is not up for debate is the different sensibilities between the two basketball icons.
Jordan was a cold-blooded killer, seemingly immune to haters. Even after sporting a .202 batting average in minor league ball, he always exuded a supreme, arguably delusional, air of confidence that made us all believe that he genuinely thought he was the best baseball player to ever live. And statistics, reality, or your opinion on the matter was irrelevant. He didn’t need your love.
LeBron is not like that. Whether its a more fragile temperament or the omnipotence of social media, LeBron feels your opinions. They guide his decision-making. He needs to be loved. He is more human, which in my opinion, isn’t necessarily synonymous with weakness. Being innately motivated like Jordan or seemingly motivated by petty shit like LeBron, evidently bares no consequence on achievement.
With that said, you may remember back in the 2015 Finals, when LeBron mentioned a “secret motivation” that he told Dwayne Wade and other teammates but would not reveal to the media until he won a championship in Cleveland. LeBron revealed to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin what exactly that secret motivation was after winning his third NBA championship and third NBA Finals MVP.
“[James] told me that when he left Miami and people who he thought he had strong, trusting relationships with – he said, I’m not going to name names, but someone told me that ‘you’re making the biggest mistake of your career.’
“And he said it really hurt him. Basically, he felt taken for granted. ‘Look, I just gave you four years of my prime, and you’re not going to be comfortable with my decision and root me on? You’re going to make me feel bad going out the door?’” (via)
The obvious culprit here is Pat Riley, who should know better than to antagonize the most dominant player in the game. Lesson learned here, Pat: don’t burn bridges. Because it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that LeBron could be looking for a new home again soon.