Et tu, Phil?
Count Phil Jackson among those who think Miami Heat star LeBron James can surpass Michael Jordan for the title of greatest ever someday. Barkley’s comments made news last Friday, and during Jackson’s appearance on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" the same day, he all but legitimized ‘Sir Charles.'
"He's got all the physical attributes. I think we all question the prepping that went into LeBron. His defense was shaky when he was a younger player and finding his way through that direction. He is a player that can play four positions. Except for perhaps the center spot, which he hasn't given a shot at yet, he can play those other four positions quite well. This is unique; Michael could play three and was very good at all three of those. But as a power player that LeBron can become, I think he has an opportunity to explore and advance some of the status that he has already gained.
"Winning six championships is an elusive thing out there, and they haven't won two yet. But he's kinda got the smell of it and even the Olympic experience this summer, he was the granted leader of that team and was the critical player when they needed something to happen in the final games. I think he's there. I think he's at that position. He's got good things ahead of him, and a lot of it depends upon if he's gonna be healthy for the remainder of his career," he said.
Well, at least Phil didn’t enter in LeBron’s stats as evidence.
We all know that James is a physical anomaly. A player with the size and strength of Karl Malone, and the speed and quickness of someone seven inches shorter and 100 pounds lighter. But at the end of the day, great players are judged by championships and the ring is the thing.
Simply stated, LeBron has to win more championships to even be in the discussion.
Could LeBron James be better than Michael Jordan? He could. At only 27 years old, he has a lot of years left in his career which gives him plenty of time to do some special things on the court.
But will LeBron James be better than Michael Jordan? That, of course, remains to be seen.