For this month’s issue of ESPN the Magazine, ESPN’s Chris Broussard talked with Miami Heat star Lebron James about the upcoming Miami Heat season and some of his NBA heroes growing up in Ohio.
The two NBA heroes that LeBron focused on in the below excerpt from the full interview was Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan and Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson:
“I watch Jordan more than anybody, for sure,” James told ESPN’s Chris Broussard for a story in the upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine. “But I’ll watch tapes of AI, too. I don’t take anything from AI. Well, I do — his will. They say he was 6 feet, but AI was like 5-10½. Do we even want to say 160? 170 [pounds]? Do we even want to give him that much weight? And he played like a 6-8 2-guard. He was one of the greatest finishers we’ve ever seen. You could never question his heart. Ever. He gave it his all. AI was like my second-favorite player growing up, after MJ.”
What James loved about Jordan was the very attribute that he works to establish — having no fear.
“MJ wasn’t perfect. MJ had bad games. He had turnovers. He had games where he felt like he should’ve been better,” James said. “But I think the greatest thing about MJ was that he never was afraid to fail. And I think that’s why he succeeded so much — because he was never afraid of what anybody ever said about him. Never afraid to miss the game-winning shot, never afraid to turn the ball over. Never afraid.”
LeBron James image courtesy of Getty Images