LeBron James’ Legacy Might Have Received a Boost From Tom Brady and Daryl Morey

On Sunday night, the entire sports world was focused on football. Between Tom Brady returning to the Super Bowl and Patrick Mahomes continuing to stake his claim as the NFL’s top quarterback, there wasn’t much time to talk about anything other than the AFC and NFC Championships. Even Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey got in on the action.

After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers punched their ticket to the Super Bowl, Morey fired off a bizarre tweet that seemed to be claiming Tom Brady made a mistake by winning the NFC title. In reality, though, it seems like the executive was actually coming to the defense of LeBron James.

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It’s safe to say that Tom Brady isn’t the most popular man in the NFL. Even if you can’t stand the sight of the quarterback, though, it’s impossible to argue with the quarterback’s resume.

While Brady didn’t look like much of a star coming out of college, he eventually got his chance to shine with the New England Patriots. Once under center, he seized that opportunity with both hands; by the time the signal-caller left Foxborough, he had appeared in nine Super Bowls, won six of them, and staked a legitimate claim to be the greatest quarterback ever to hit the gridiron.

Brady, of course, joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2020 offseason, in what was framed as a referendum on him and Bill Belichick; whichever man had the better campaign would, in theory, show they didn’t need the other to thrive. While that thinking is a bit reductionist, Brady and his Buccaneers will be playing in the Super Bowl, adding another feather to his already impressive cap.

Daryl Morey seemed to suggest that Tom Brady made a mistake by winning the NFC championship

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After Tom Brady and his Buccaneers won the NFC Championship, Twitter was filled with stats about his Super Bowl success and complaints about the game-clinching pass interference call. Then Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey entered the fray.

“I am surprised I beat @getnickwright to this but @TomBrady made a huge mistake winning that game,” Morey wrote. “When he loses to @PatrickMahomes in the @SuperBowl his legacy will be further tarnished. It is always better to lose before the @SuperBowl than to get to the @SuperBowl and lose.”

As you might assume, the tweet was met with at least a few raised eyebrows, with responses questioning Morey’s logic and wondering if he understood that athletes want to win at all costs. Others, however, suggested that the executive was trying to make a different point.

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On the surface, Daryl Morey fired off a tweet about Tom Brady. In reality, though, it seems like the Sixers’ president might have been making a point about the NBA and, more specifically, LeBron James.

In the world of basketball, James occupies a similar space to Brady; while neither man is universally beloved by the entire fan base, they both have legitimate claims to being their respective sport’s GOAT. That places LeBron head-to-head against Michael Jordan.

While there’s nothing wrong with preferring His Airness over King James, Jordan’s supporters tend to cite performances in the NBA Finals to explain why LeBron is inferior to MJ. For the record, Jordan went a perfect 6-0 in the NBA Finals; James is 4-6 with the championship on the line.

If Morey was actually making a point about basketball, as many on Twitter suggested, it was actually a pretty savvy rhetorical move. It seems nonsensical to suggest that it would have been better for Tom Brady to lose in the NFC Championship rather than potentially lose in the Super Bowl, right? Then why is it an issue that LeBron James appeared in 10 NBA Finals and only won four of them?

If nothing else, it’s certainly food for thought while we all await the Super Bowl.