The All-Star guard also said that there’s a lot more fear when going up against the Kobe Bryants and Mike Tysons of the world.
After Mario Chalmers’ comments about how opponents didn’t fear LeBron James as much as they did Michael Jordan, there’s been a lot of talk in the NBA media lately about how players perceive James. Fox Sports NBA analyst Chris Broussard did his research and asked one current All-Star guard in the league about this matter, who backed up Chalmers’ claim and said that playing against James is akin to fighting Floyd Mayweather.
“One player who is an All-Star guard, who played against Kobe and LeBron, told me this,” Broussard said in Monday’s “First Things First” episode. “He said, ‘Look, it was like the difference between fighting Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather Jr. You know you’re going to lose to both because they’re both great, but it’s going to hurt more to fight Tyson than Floyd.’”
James is to Mayweather, while Bryant is to Tyson
The All-Star guard, who remained anonymous, also compared the difference between fighting against Mayweather Jr. and Tyson. He reiterated that there’s a significant difference in how both boxers compete about how they handle their opponents where to Chalmers’ initial point, there’s a lot more fear when going up against the Kobe Bryants and Mike Tysons of the world.
“Floyd will beat you, but he’s not going to hurt you. That’s feeling with LeBron. I do think Chalmers is right. It’s not a greatness thing. It’s just when a dude is going for your jugular against a dude that’s going to outplay you,” the All-Star guard told Broussard.
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Is it fair to critique greatness this way?
The only reason why Chalmers’ quotes are getting a lot of juice in the media today is that it’s related to the never-ending GOAT debate between James and Michael Jordan. It also is telling that these quotes were from James’ teammate, which was why it was a bit of a surprise to hear. However, as the premise always has been, this GOAT debate will always remain theoretical — even if All-Star guards today come out on a limb and claim that competing against James isn’t the same as going up against Jordan.
That said, it’s still worth noting how players today perceive James as opposed to Jordan. While both have cemented their legacies and will probably go down as two of the best to ever play the sport, it seems there’s a clear difference to some on how they view both players. Ultimately though, this doesn’t entirely define both James and Jordan’s legacies, rather it just merely being the perception of their opponents towards them.