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Quote of the Day: Wade isn’t sure LeBron catches Jordan

Aug 24, 2012, 8:41 AM EST

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Five Getty Images

I don’t know if (James) has the ability to surpass (Jordan) or not. That’s yet to be seen. My version as LeBron being on par with Michael is this: They’re both on the golf course. Michael’s on the 18th hole. LeBron is somewhere on like the fourth hole. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s on par to get to the 18th hole.”

Dwyane Wade, talking about LeBron James to ESPNChicago.com. 

It’s not easy to win six NBA championships or reach all of other Michael Jordan statistical numbers. But what would be harder would be to match the cultural impact of Jordan. Jordan has become a legend, an icon, and to reach that status would take more than simply winning more rings.

But the simple fact is we love to debate LeBron’s legacy when it is too early to know what it will be.

  1. bucrightoff - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Wade is a Chicago guy, so no doubt he has a lot of love for MJ.

  2. acdc363 - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    So 3 out of like the last 10 headlines have been Wade quotes. Maybe next PBT can find out what his favorite cereal is? That’d be a great read.

    • rhetoric1 - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      I bet the reason Wade has had so many headlines has nothing to do with the the Wade’s World Foundation event occuring this weekend in Chicago and them taking the opportunity to ask him basketball questions. Nope, nothing to do with that.

      • acdc363 - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:37 AM

        Sometimes I wonder why I even bother making jokes :(

  3. timb12 - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Where would this offseason be without Wade or Cuban?

  4. adm350 - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    I like lebron but were not even close here. MJ is on a whole diff level. Lebron might get there, but we’re not even close yet. He’s miles behind Kobe, who is still not MJ material yet. Stay tuned tho….it will be an entertaining journey!

  5. rodge1 - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    @adm350
    LeBron is not miles behind Kobe. LeBron never had the talent around him Kobe had until last season. Kobe would never have made the playoffs with those Cleveland teams LeBron had.

  6. fotydaze - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Lebron is far behind kobe and further behind MJ. Though he’s a great player, the best in the world currently his legacy will be forever tarnished because he sought out the help of two top players to help him finally win. MJ struggled in chi but stuck it out and endured. Like he said , he never wanted to join bird and magic he wanted to beat them. Lebron was too large a figure to make the decision he made

    • passerby23 - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:57 AM

      I think Lebron might be behind Kobe in terms of clutch playoff performances and rings, but I think he’s already a better all-around player than Kobe is. He’s more versatile, a better passer, rebounder, and shot blocker. It’s almost impossible to keep him out of the lane and when he gets the ball in the open floor, it’s over. But to this day, joining Wade and Bosh in Miami is still weak. I don’t think multiple championships will redeem that for me.

    • borderline1988 - Aug 24, 2012 at 2:14 PM

      In my book, he’s already ahead of Kobe. The only reason to think Kobe’s better is because he has 4 more championships. Except that Kobe is muhc older, and Lebron would have had 7 or 8 championships by now, if he was drafted in 1996 and played on the Lakers until now like Kobe did.

      Kobe (in Lebron’s place) would likely be at 0, even if he had Bosh and Wade on his team.

  7. wherezwaldo - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    The decision, the celebration, and the way his 1st season with the Heat went with all the whining. Has tarnished that in my eyes forever. Am I glad he finally won a ring, yes. Is he ever gonna be on Jordan’s level, no.

    • passerby23 - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      I think that’s basically where I’m at as well. I don’t think there’s any question he’s the best talent in the league. He may be on his way to more MVPs and rings. Better than Jordan? I don’t think 5 more rings and MVPs would make him better.

      You’re right, the celebration, the decision, the “woe is us” victim mentality the Heat exhibited in their first season together, and the fact that he needed to form a super team to win leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Even with all his accolades, I don’t think he’s anywhere near as clutch as Jordan was. I like the 18th hole analogy. Lebron has to finish his career almost impeccably to even be considered.

  8. soflasfinest - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    MOTIVATION

    • miamatt - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      I couldn’t have said it more succintly. Keep him hungry, Wade. Remind LeBron he hasn’t accomplished anything yet.

  9. miamatt - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    I hate that this has to be a constant debate. Let’s just enjoy basketball and watch how it all plays out. As it stands now, MJ’s legacy is untouchable. Things can and do unexpectedly change in sports, though.

  10. rodge1 - Aug 24, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    @fotydaze
    That makes no sense. Kobe has needed the help of more than 2 players, and has demanded trades because he needed help.

  11. 1972wasalongtimeago - Aug 24, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Imagine what LBJ would have done if the top defensive “stoppers” of his generation were Craig Ehlo, Joe (6’3) Dumars, and Byron Russell?. You think MJ would have been able to push off LeBron like he did to Russell?

  12. mrlitl - Aug 24, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    @ borderline Already ahead of Kobe? Not. LBJ is the best in the league now. But calm down. 4 championships is alot, especially for someone like LBJ who put so much stock in obtaining them.

    @ 1972 Please don’t diminish what MJ did by insulating he had lighter competition. That’s just dumb.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Aug 24, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      Don’t mean to diminish. Anytime you ‘re comparing MJ to LBJ, or LBJ to MJ, you’re comparing the greatest player of all time to the other greatest player of all time (under 6’11)

  13. sellahh - Aug 24, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    is wade dumb or sth, michael is clearly not on the golf course anymore as in the game, this comparison he made just makes no sense at all

  14. itsonlyaspeedbump - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    The interesting thing about the debate is that winning won’t even necessarily help Lebron catch Jordan. After all, Jordan is NOT the greatest winner in NBA history, that honor belongs to Bill Russell. And yet in terms of stature among the greats, Bill Russell is not generally reckoned in the same hemisphere as MJ. (I’m not saying that’s right, I’m just saying it’s true.)

    Even if Lebron wins, say, another 6 championships and surpasses Jordan in terms of rings, it will be hard for him to reach Jordan’s iconic status. Jordan had the Shot over Ehlo, the Shrug against the Blazers, another Shot against the Jazz…a feature-length reel of iconic moments. This is besides the fact that Jordan was the most recognizable sports figure in the world in his heyday; even now no other American athlete is as closely associated with a particular brand as is Jordan with Nike (and, humorously, Hanes underwear)

    Lebron does not have those iconic game moments (yet.) And the Decision will likely hold him back from obtaining the brand-association that would push his popularity worldwide like Jordan.

    All this to say: Lebron may eventually be considered better at basketball than Jordan, or perhaps may win more rings. But be it the Decision, a lack of charisma, media overexposure, or a combination of these and other factors, but Lebron will never reach Jordan’s legend.

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