As LeBron James moves through the latter portion of his career, comparisons to Michael Jordan have become more prevalent. The Los Angeles Lakers star is still an ageless wonder, but many hold him below Jordan in the GOAT discussion. However, former NBA forward Al Harrington voiced an offbeat reason why Jordan sits above James.
Al Harrington believes there is a key difference between LeBron James and Michael Jordan
Throughout much of James’ career, he’s received constant comparisons to Michael Jordan due to his talent alone.
The Akron native has embraced the dialogue that has remained due to his individual greatness on the court and sustained success. However, many sit firm on keeping Jordan ahead of James in the GOAT discussion. It includes former NBA forward Al Harrington, who believes his peer benefitted from playing in an era against his “little bros.”
“Michael Jordan came up in the era where everybody hated each other,” Harrington said during a recent appearance on the I Am Athlete podcast. “They did not f— with each other, was no homeboys in the offseason, was no, ‘Let’s go to the clubs in the summer and go holler at some chicks.’ It was none of that…When they played, it was war. LeBron has dominated an era of his little bros. They all his little bros, everybody. Who he had it with? Who? What star has LeBron had it with? What team has LeBron had it with?”
Harrington’s argument is rooted in the basis that the current generations of players are more friendly to each other. Meanwhile, players in Jordan’s era held more disdain and hatred between players. The former Chicago Bulls great had his battles with the Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, and Indiana Pacers.
The six-time NBA champion went through intense matchups against the Bad Boy Pistons while the Knicks and Pacers presented physical challenges. Harrington may have played against James and acknowledges him as one of the game’s greatest talents, but he clearly can’t put him above Jordan.
Al Harrington proves he doesn’t understand LeBron James’ greatness with stale Michael Jordan comparison
Harrington’s stance regarding the friendliness among the current generation of players is shared by many who played in the 90s and earlier.
However, it’s a parameter that shouldn’t be held against James in his case for the GOAT discussion. The 37-year-old has dominated his era behind his stellar play, not because he’s friends with certain players or doesn’t possess an ongoing hatred-filled rivalry with another star talent.
Those aspects don’t mean that James’ career should be looked at differently or diminish what he’s accomplished through his 18-plus seasons. It’s simply a lazy argument to keep James sitting firmly below Jordan in the GOAT discussion.
There may be other areas that will keep the 17-time All-Star under the former Bulls great, but the friendliness among his competition certainly is not one of them.
LeBron’s illustrious career remains an open book
The constant comparisons to Jordan also diminish the appreciation factor of James while he’s still playing.
The 37-year-old is proving that he’s an ageless wonder, ranking second in scoring behind Kevin Durant with 28.7 points. James is first with 17 contests with at least 30 points despite missing 12 games.
The Lakers star is also the only player age 36 or older to register seven straight 30-point performances. James continues to accomplish feats that underline his greatness and the one-of-a-kind talent he’s become. The GOAT chatter will always remain prevalent, but it shouldn’t take away from appreciating what he’s accomplishing on the court.