Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby Kobe8Fan on Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:26 am

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By Brian Windhorst | ESPN.com

Phil Jackson believes LeBron James' physical strengths and ability to play four different positions could eventually give the Miami Heat star a leg up on Michael Jordan.

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.

"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."

Jordan still has five more championships than James, which is the major factor in any such conversation. But James is 27, a year younger than Jordan was when he won his first title under Jackson in 1991. Jackson believes that if James can stay healthy, he could chase Jordan's standard.

"Winning six championships is an elusive thing out there, and they haven't won two yet," Jackson said. "But he's kinda got the smell of it, and even the Olympic experience this summer, he was the granted leader of that team and was the critical player when they needed something to happen in the final games. I think he's there, I think he's at that position. He's got good things ahead of him and a lot of it depends upon if he's gonna be healthy for the remainder of his career."

The next threshold for James, Jackson said, is to improve his post moves and shooting ability to become more of a dynamic offensive player. As he aged, Jordan developed better footwork to diversify his offensive game, something Jackson believes James will need to do as well.

"I have a hard time judging the best player, but I do think that Michael had more moves in the post and he had more of a perhaps shooting touch with his back to the basket and all these kind of things that were part of his game," Jackson said.

"LeBron has this train out of control when he gets the ball in transition that he can go coast-to-coast without anyone getting in his way, and if they do, he's going to over run them. And he's got the power with the body and he's developed a left hand that's extremely good. There's a lot of things that you are seeing in the development of this player that leads towards that, but the ideal and the whole reason behind this is what kind of championships are you gonna get from a player like this? Can he match what Michael has done?"

Though the Heat have been installed as narrow favorites to repeat as champions, Jackson said he thinks they'll find winning again to be more challenging, especially with strong contenders like the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

"It's more difficult, it becomes more difficult, with each one you win," Jackson said. "There is never really an easier path. You know the direction, you know what it takes, you know the length of the season and how to pace yourselves."


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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby therealdeal on Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:33 am

Ugh.
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby Texas Lakers Fan on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:25 am

Well at least he didn't say better than MJ. Love Phil, but he's wrong here. LeBron won't ever come close to Kobe let alone Michael.
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby Knowledge1776 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:29 am

Of course he has a CHANCE to equal Jordan's legacy. Will his game be able to evolve and remain the dominant player through 6-7 championships? Hes on that path but there are NO guarantees.

He ONLY has one ring so all of the comparisons are extremely premature.
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:05 am

:jam2:
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby The Original 81 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:07 am

If LeBron develops a consistent midrange jumper, he'll be unstoppable. Also Phil touches on the things he needs to work on to be effective at an older age. It remains to be seen but I don't really see another team being able to compete with the Heat in the east, they should be there every year.
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby Texas Lakers Fan on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:08 am

The Original 81 wrote:If LeBron develops a consistent midrange jumper, he'll be unstoppable. Also Phil touches on the things he needs to work on to be effective at an older age. It remains to be seen but I don't really see another team being able to compete with the Heat in the east, they should be there every year.

Ugh Boston? They nearly beat them last year and they got significantly better.
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby The Original 81 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:14 am

Texas Lakers Fan wrote:
The Original 81 wrote:If LeBron develops a consistent midrange jumper, he'll be unstoppable. Also Phil touches on the things he needs to work on to be effective at an older age. It remains to be seen but I don't really see another team being able to compete with the Heat in the east, they should be there every year.

Ugh Boston? They nearly beat them last year and they got significantly better.


They nearly beat them...until LeBron went off and DESTROYED them in their house...in a potential series clincher...oh and they didn't have Bosh the ENTIRE series...until game 7 I think...

Look I think Boston can beat them but I just don't think it'll happen. And I'm really thinking long term when I say that, Boston's core group of players aren't getting any younger...Bulls don't have enough talent around D-Rose and who knows how hell perform now after his injury...same issue with Deron in Brooklyn sans the injury...Knicks are the Knicks...I like the Pacers but the fact that they don't have a go-to-guy is an issue for me...

Bottom line is the eastern conference belongs to the Heat for the foreseeable future.
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby Weezy on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:26 am

Phil must be campaigning for a new job.
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby Texas Lakers Fan on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:42 am

The Original 81 wrote:
Texas Lakers Fan wrote:
The Original 81 wrote:If LeBron develops a consistent midrange jumper, he'll be unstoppable. Also Phil touches on the things he needs to work on to be effective at an older age. It remains to be seen but I don't really see another team being able to compete with the Heat in the east, they should be there every year.

Ugh Boston? They nearly beat them last year and they got significantly better.


They nearly beat them...until LeBron went off and DESTROYED them in their house...in a potential series clincher...oh and they didn't have Bosh the ENTIRE series...until game 7 I think...

Look I think Boston can beat them but I just don't think it'll happen. And I'm really thinking long term when I say that, Boston's core group of players aren't getting any younger...Bulls don't have enough talent around D-Rose and who knows how hell perform now after his injury...same issue with Deron in Brooklyn sans the injury...Knicks are the Knicks...I like the Pacers but the fact that they don't have a go-to-guy is an issue for me...

Bottom line is the eastern conference belongs to the Heat for the foreseeable future.


Boston also had their fair share of injuries. You look at it Ray Allen was playing one on leg, as was Paul Pierce, and they were missing Avery Bradley who played really well for them in the postseason. Obviously they lost Allen to Miami, but look at who they picked off to replace him. Jason Terry who you could argue is the better player between him and Allen and they also got Courtney Lee in a steal. You add in those two guys to a team that nearly made the Finals last year and you've got a great shot at winning the conference. I agree after this season the East belongs to Miami, but I don't see them having an easy ride to the Finals.
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby Thenextgreat on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:51 am

Lebron does have the tools but as Phil said he will need to continue to developing his game...His footwork and being able to operate with his back to the basket is a must. Attacking the rim with reckless abandonment is something he continue to do now but what about when he is 30 something and he loses some of that athleticism?? When he can no longer get by guys as easy...he will need to add some facets to his game to continue to be effective at a high level. Injury is always a concern as well..especially with the way he plays....alot of pressure on those knees....The Jordan comparsions in basketball are so stupid and annoying...oh one must get to Jordan status..haaaaa! I mean come on...you don't get to skip steps on a ladder do you??...You have to work your way there....there shouldn't be any Jordan talk or even Kobe talk with Lebron. As a matter fact ...I think the guy Lebron needs to pass is DWade... :man1: though it might be a little tricky I suspect.

And for those saying he won't ever come close to Jordan...you wouldn't say that if he played for the Lakers... :man10:
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby scheven on Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:13 pm

So did TMac and VC
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:17 pm

Sounds like Phil wants to take Spo's position once he's fired this year for losing to the Lakers.
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby Punk-101 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:53 pm

Lebron has really good basketball skills with out-of-this-world physical gifts, making him a terrific player. If he doesn't improve his skills at the same rate as the inevitable loss of his physical gifts, he'll come down to earth as just a really good player.
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby wcsoldier81 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:09 pm

Medias and the public opinion are so into the ' what have you done for me lately' stuff ... I can't take them seriously
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby lakersStan24 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:02 am

boston got worse not better their lucky that knicks and nets are inconstitant teams in the West it's only Lakers or OKC
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby Magic Skywalker on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:07 am

lakersStan24 wrote:boston got worse not better their lucky that knicks and nets are inconstitant teams in the West it's only Lakers or OKC


Even though Lakers and OKC are the clear favorites, the West is much, much more than only two teams.
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby 432J on Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:07 am

Magic Skywalker wrote:
lakersStan24 wrote:boston got worse not better their lucky that knicks and nets are inconstitant teams in the West it's only Lakers or OKC


Even though Lakers and OKC are the clear favorites, the West is much, much more than only two teams.

exactly, people forget about dallas and san antonio. and the clippers too
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby therealdeal on Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:32 am

^ Don't forget Denver. No one wants to see them in the playoffs. A young, extremely athletic team. They might be the most athletic team in the league.
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Re: Phil: LeBron Has Tools To Equal Michael

Postby Finwë on Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:27 am

Phil didn't say anything untrue. LeBron does have the tools to equal Michael.. His physical gifts alone are completely freakish, plus he's developed some skills that are pretty good.. His passing is great, he can make shots, he's got a good touch with the left hand.. Plus, Miami is stacked, so there's a pretty good chance that he'll win multiple titles.
He needs to improve his post game even more, work on his footwork, become more consistent as a shooter and as a clutch player. But he definitely could equal MJ. So could Durant BTW, in terms of ability and skills. But it's not all just about potential, then you have to go and get things done. And it took LeBron 9 years and some aligning of moons (3pt festival in the finals, suspect refereeing, a lockout shortened season..) to get that first 'chip. He & Miami have to get it done again and again for him to be up there with the greats, and that won't be easy.
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