Through his first 16-plus seasons in the NBA, Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James has earned the reputation of being one of the greatest players to play the game. With that territory comes the comparisons to Michael Jordan, who is held in high regard by many as being the greatest player of all-time. It’s something that L.A. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers doesn’t believe is the right player for James should be lined up side by side.
LeBron James’s comparisons to Michael Jordan were inevitable
Since entering the league as arguably the most hyped player, James has nothing but completely surpassed those expectations as he has proven to be a one-of-a-kind talent to impact many facets of the game with his all-around play on the court.
It had become one a matter of before he started to get comparisons to Jordan once he began reaching the NBA Finals. The former Chicago Bulls’ great has become the standard-bearer of greatness for the modern game of basketball, which James had put himself in the conversation by his play on court.
That has been something he has never fit him as his approach to the game mentally and physically has been much different than Jordan’s. Instead, James has drawn more ire for not being more like the Hall of Famer, especially with his shortcomings in the NBA Finals, where he now holds a 3-5 record.
For some, like Rivers, there is another all-time iconic player that James’ play and ability on the court is more reminiscent.
Doc Rivers believes LeBron James plays more like Magic Johnson
One of the best attributes that James has had on the court throughout his career has been his passing ability. He has often time been praised as one of the best passers ever for his position.
On the topic of the 34-year-old’s passing, Rivers voiced on Monday that he believes James’ skillset is quite similar to what Hall of Famer Magic Johnson provided, according to Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints.
“He’s one of the great passers in the history of the game that people don’t talk about enough,” said Rivers. “He gets compared to Michael and I’ve never agreed with that. I’ve always said Magic. He’s far more Magic than any player that’s ever played the game so I don’t see what he’s doing different than handling the ball.”
James has been touted for his court vision along with pinpoint passes that helped root his rise to being currently ranked fourth all-time in assists. He possesses a similar size and body frame to that of Johnson, while both have shown a knack to score despite their strong passing ability.
It’s been tough to lock in a strong comparison for James, but the former Lakers great may be one of the closest that it could come to in NBA history.
LeBron James focused on the 2019-20 season
These comparisons aside, James has already cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players to play the game. There will be those knock him down due to his lack of real success in the NBA Finals, but he has a chance to do something that none of the past greats did.
James further add to his illustrious career by leading three different franchises to NBA titles. Despite a disappointing season opener loss to the Clippers on Tuesday night, the Lakers have put together a promising roster that includes Anthony Davis, who some argue as being the best player in the league.
There will be plenty of stiff competition for the NBA title such as the Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, and Philadelphia 76ers. Nonetheless, the Lakers, led by James and Davis, have a chance to bring back a 17th championship to the franchise.