According to Quentin Richardson — who had a long 13-year career in the NBA that spanned from 2000 until 2013 — the 6-foot-9 James getting blocked by the 6-foot-1 Patrick Beverley at the end of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 111-106 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers is the reason why he’ll never put James in the same category as Bryant or Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan.
LeBron’s Downplaying of Rivalry With Clippers and Kawhi
Richardson elaborates on his point by also pointing out James’ downplaying of the Lakers’ “rivalry” with the Clippers despite the fact the opposing Los Angeles team likely represents the Lakers’ top roadblock towards an NBA title this season.
“We know what Kobe would have did. We know what Michael would have did. That’s why I won’t mention him in the same breath as these guys. Like he told you, it’s not a rivalry game? Think about when you listen to Kobe in retrospect, when he talks about different points of the season, regular season games. They’re saying Vince is supposed to be better than me. Or T-Mac is supposed to be as good as me. Kobe coming out for 40’s, 50’s (points). I have a point to prove. This is what I’m saying. LeBron did not want that with Kawhi.”
How LeBron Differs from Kobe and Jordan
The former NBA veteran brings up a great point and it doesn’t hurt that his career also overlapped with that of Bryant, Jordan and James — meaning he played against all three players and actually his first-hand experience competing against the all-time greats.
Richardson’s point about James’ lack of aggression is one that has been mentioned over and over again over the years when it relates to his comparisons to Bryant and Jordan. It’s clear that James is in a different mold than that of Bryant and Jordan.
Not only is he more of an all-around offensive player– heck, he ranks second in scoring on the Lakers and leads the NBA in assists per game — he’s just naturally more of a distributor. In the case of Jordan and Bryant, while they each possessed all-around games, their mentalities were to put their imprint on games by scoring.
It is also true that James maybe lacks the “killer” mindset that Jordan and Bryant had. He did vastly downplay the team’s rivalry against the Clippers — despite the fact that Kawhi Leonard has arguably taken away the “best player” mantle from James.
Via Maurice Bobb of Bleacher Report:
“It’s not a rivalry. We’re trying to get better every single day on how we can be as great as we can be.”
While there will never be a universal agreement regarding the argument of who is better between LeBron, Jordan and Kobe, many people agree on this — James is a different type of player with different traits when compared to Jordan and Kobe.
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