Miami Heat Rumors: Could LeBron James Be Better Than Jordan? Phil Jackson Thinks It's Possible
World Wide Wes is one of the supposed backstage movers and shakers of the NBA (Photo: reuters)
Could Michael Jordan's legacy be in danger? Friends and former allies are now slowly conceding that LeBron James has the potential to be better.
Former teammate Scottie Pippen said it last year. Long time friend Charles Barkley said it last week. And now Jordan's former coach, Phil Jackson, has said just about the same thing.
Speaking on the "Waddle and Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 in Chicago last week, Jackson said James has the potential to join Jordan as one the greatest players in NBA history:
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"He's got all the physical attributes," Jackson said. "He is a player that can play four positions. Except for perhaps the center spot, which he hasn't (been) 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."
Jackson added that Jordan was still a much superior shooter and post up player, and said that if James wants to catch up, he'll have to work on those aspects of his game -- which James clearly has, as he made huge strides in his post game the past few years.
Jackson points out that LeBron has more versatility, that he can play four positions to Jordan's three.
Of course, there's the championship aspect -- Jordan has 6 and LeBron with just one. But the Heat are in position to contend for the next few years, and they are definitely a favorite. So, who knows, we'll revisit this argument in three year when LeBron could potentially have 3 to 4 rings.
As of now, Jordan's legacy's biggest threat is probably Kobe Bryant, who could win ring number six this year, and if he plays longer -- although he just said yesterday he'll probably retire in two years -- then he could have better total numbers as well.