Miami Heat star LeBron James fired back at Michael Jordan who said he’d pick Kobe Bryant as the best player in the NBA.
James, who is preparing for Sunday’s All-Star Game, said the number of NBA titles you win isn’t the key factor in deciding greatness.
“(Jordan) said he would take Kobe over me because … five rings are better than one, and the last time he checked, five is better than one,” James said. “At the end of the day, rings don’t always define someone’s career. If that were the case, then I’d sit up here and say I would take (Bill) Russell over Jordan. But I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t take Russell over Jordan. Russell has 11 rings, Jordan has six. I wouldn’t do that.”
James won his very first championship with the Heat last season. Bryant has five rings with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Here’s what Jordan said that sparked James’ comments:
“Five beats one every time I look at it,” Jordan told NBA TV. “And not that (James) won’t get five. He may get more than that, but five is bigger than one.”
James has had an incredible season so far. He’s guided the Heat to a seven-game winning streak going into the All-Star break. That included an NBA-record six consecutive games where he scored more than 30 points and shot at least 60 percent from the field.
“I don’t play the game and try to define who I am over what guys say or how they feel about me,” James said. “It doesn’t matter to me. I play for my family, for my teammates, for my coaching staff and I play for our fans, and that’s it. What do I need bulletin board material for? My inspiration is the game I love. I don’t need nobody to pick me or not.”