LeBron: Time To Build Another Mountain


VIDEO: LeBron speaks at Friday’s All-Star Media Day

NEW ORLEANS — LeBron James wasn’t backing away from his Mt. Rushmore comments that stirred up a fuss. The other day he told Steve Smith on NBA TV that he hoped to one day knock either Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan or Oscar Robertson off and claim his own spot.

But he did offer a creative solution.

“It’s hard to knock anybody off,” James said at the NBA All-Star Media Day. “There needs to be another mountain built. I mean there’s too many guys.

“Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar) and Kobe (Bryant) were two guys that came to my mind, too. I definitely was thinking about Kobe as a top four of all-time. Kareem, for sure. There are so many greats that played this game.”

Give the four-time MVP credit. He also didn’t back down from his stated goal of becoming known as the greatest player of all time.

“There’s no reason I couldn’t be No. 1,” he said. “That’s my goal. That’s my personal goal.

“Anytime I bring up a subject or answer a question, guys like to dissect it and make it bigger or smaller than what it is.

“My personal goal is to be the greatest of all time. I don’t really care what other people say, where they put me, how they define me. You could have a poll of 100 people, what do they think, that’s not for me to care about. For me, I have an opportunity to maximize my career and be the greatest of all time. I feel like I can do that. That’s my personal goal.”

It’s the fishbowl world that James lives in. Most of the time we hear athletes dance around questions, never put themselves out there on the line with an honest answer. Then LeBron steps up to the line with a direct response and he gets whipped from some corners for it.

What’s wrong with a 29-year-old who is already a 10-time All-Star, with an armload of individual awards, two championships and four NBA Finals appearances saying that he wants and expects the most out of himself? He didn’t disparage anyone. If anything, he simply put more pressure on himself to perform and deliver.

James sat for 30 minutes before a horde of TV cameras, microphones and notebooks and was engaging with every answer on Friday.

He was told that when Kevin Durant was asked, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much does he dislike being compared to James, K.D. said 25.

“I don’t mind,” James said. “You’re always gonna be linked to somebody. Early in my career I was linked to Kobe. Now I’m linked to K.D. You’re always gonna be linked to somebody. It’s how you handle it. I don’t get caught up in it.

“I don’t think I’m compared to him. They just talk about the two best players in the game and which one is better. Which one can score better? Who’s the MVP? Who’s gonna win the next championship? They don’t ever compare our games too much. We’re two different players.”

He was asked about his 36-point, 13-rebound, nine-assist game when he nailed down a 111-110 win at Golden State with a 3-pointer to beat the horn.

“I just had a conversation with Steph Curry,” James said. “He talked to me about what I was doing. I asked him what was he doing shooting all them step-back 3s in the third quarter. The hesitation on Rio [Mario Chalmers] and going for the and-1. It’s great to be around your peers. People recognize what others are doing throughout the NBA season. I’m happy I was able to put on a performance right before All-Star to be fresh on guys’ minds.”

Then James was asked if his proclivity in the last couple of years to step up big late in games was the result of any work with a psychologist.

He grinned.

“Yeah, I work with a psychologist,” LeBron said. “Her name is Spalding. She goes into the rim and that’s what happens.”

24 Comments

  1. Casray says:

    Lebron’s era is demising faster. He won’t even make 5 rings or 6. In any sport you can not judge yourself, let people judge you. you can not rate yourself as one of the greatest. this guy just came in NBA a couple of years ago and already self proclaiming himself to be the greatest. This is a person who is pretty much occupied with the state mind of inwardness. It takes more to be call the greatest of all time. Do your job and you will be rewarded for that.

  2. bigseanny says:

    LeBron James needs to win 6 NBA Championships to go down as one of the all time NBA greats.He got 2 NBA titles so far.

  3. chris says:

    opinions are like clint eastwood, … no, what I want to say is: please stop saying that lebron can dominate every position, including the center position. You’ll only make Greg Oden feel even more useless that way, so please stop it

  4. how would LeBron fare taking all contested two’s like say Jordan had to do in 1988? Could he still shoot 60% true shooting like Jordan did? Lebron would not be able to employ his 3-pointers and layups strategy, because that strategy is only feasible WITH the offensive spacing the 3-pointers provide, and LeBron would not have this spacing in previous eras – LeBron would HAVE to shoot contested two-pointers as a standard like everyone else…. to be a top scorer in say 1987, you HAD to have an elite mid-range game – virtually every top scorer from that era did.

  5. Lebron gets his stats and efficiency in an era of less physicality, offensive spacing, 3-pt shooting and optimal shot allocation strategy (3-pointers and layups), so Lebron’s stats cannot be compared like apples to apples with the greats of previous eras that played in eras without offensive spacing or 3-pointers, and where far more physicality and contested, “suboptimal” 2-pointers were the standard….

    how would LeBron fare taking all contested two’s like say Jordan had to do in 1988? Could he still shoot 60% true shooting like Jordan did? Lebron would not be able to employ his 3-pointers and layups strategy, because that strategy is only feasible WITH the offensive spacing the 3-pointers provide, and LeBron would not have this spacing in previous eras – LeBron would HAVE to shoot contested two-pointers as a standard like everyone else…. to be a top scorer in say 1987, you HAD to have an elite mid-range game – virtually every top scorer from that era did.

  6. Lebron gets his stats and efficiency in an era of less physicality, offensive spacing, 3-pt shooting and optimal shot allocation strategy (3-pointers and layups), so Lebron’s stats cannot be compared like apples to apples with the greats of previous eras that played in eras without offensive spacing or 3-pointers, and where far more physicality and contested 2-pointers were the standard.

  7. JM says:

    he’s right. too many great players to choose from to be put on the top four. Malone, Duncan, Stockton, Pippen, Olajuwon….. and all the other greats…. but I think he can be the greatest of all time. His numbers tell that and his physical attributes allow him to do so. If he wants to be the greatest of all time, then bring it on….

  8. Brain32 says:

    There has never been a player like LeBron James, period. Sure I’m 32 so I haven’t seen them all but watching NBA since late 80′s I’ve seen a LOT, with that in mind I will say that LBJ’s game is not comparable to anybody and that is the biggest reason why he already belongs at the very top.

  9. sabotage says:

    Half of the commenters here only saw MJ play in Youtube.They never so how he went through in his career. Back in my day, MJ had so many haters too. Ewing and Starks Fans, Reggie Miller Fans, Malone-Stockton Fans, Larry and Magic Fans, Pistons bad boys fans. There’s no difference the haters back then and the haters today. They hate and they hate but the player that they hate will always win no matter what you guys says. Lebron will get another championship maybe not this year and will be in the hall of fame and will never be forgotten. Your kids and your kid’s kid will watch Lebron in youtube and they will compare and hate the greatest player in their time.. Just like what your doing right now. Haters never die.

  10. sabotage says:

    Kevin Durant bandwagon is getting full better save your spot!

  11. Mrny718 says:

    These comments are sad. So much hate, especially to say he has 0 knowledge.

    • miami3peat says:

      The reason why Lebron can say he is better then everyone is because he is the best all around player of not only our era but the entire nba history, we have only seen 1 other player like him and that is Big “O”. Most great players can dominate 1 maybe 2 areas of the game, Lebron dominates them all, and he is a team player that has shown winning is more important then anything to him. KD will never win a championship until he uses his team like Lebron does. Best ever dont think so but he will come close, and how does everyone not ever have Bill Russell as the greatest champion ever, if winning is everything he is the top of the mountain and no one will catch him.

  12. Brady says:

    There is no Way in heck Lebrow on nba’s mt rushmore hes just another kobe when kobe was Lebrow’s age everyone said the same thing about him hes just another good player..no MJ tho

    • chalice says:

      I think Kobe is a little better than “just another good player”. Lebron is great and he’s on pace for a very, very good carreer. Lebron needs motivation to keep up the work ethic, hence he wants to be GOAT. I feel he secretely wants to beat KD for MVP honours this year. Hopefully the KD LBJ rivalry will heat up and result in a rematch of the NBA finals!

  13. theking0522 says:

    Wahhhh! Waaaah! “Mommy, there is guy that is working to be the best at what he does”…Waaaah! “That is unfair”…Wahh!….Get a life, haters! It was about time Lebron said that! Yes, you play any sport to BECOME THE BEST. Great athletes take pride at what they do. You ask Kobe and he would say he is better than anybody in the game, even at this stage in his career. You ask Durant and he would say he is the best. Jordan never back down from saying he was the best. Lebron is entitled to his opinion, and he thinks he is the best. What do you want him to say? That he is playing to be top 20 all-time? Lady MEDIOCRITY always settles for second place. Lady GREATNESS won’t accept anything than the best. GO get them, Bron, Bron.

  14. okc durantula says:

    I am a okc fan but I still believe that lbj is the greatest I have seen. Durant will soon be at his level too so remake two more heads for lbj and durant

  15. okc2014 says:

    So what if he is? He’s King Lebron!

  16. timpson says:

    Lebron really wants to be in the spot light I think he’s just trying to stern up something.

  17. kobrick says:

    lebron u have 0 basketball knowledge

    shaq and tim duncan are both better than kobe sorry but its a fact

    not to mention they’re both better than U too