Miami Heat

LeBron James says he is chasing ‘ghost’ of Michael Jordan

Charlotte owner Michael Jordan greets LeBron James after the Miami Heat swept the Bobcats in the opening round of the 2014 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs.
Charlotte owner Michael Jordan greets LeBron James after the Miami Heat swept the Bobcats in the opening round of the 2014 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Michael Jordan is widely considered the best basketball player to play the game, his six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls the modern-day ring bearer for those – well, perhaps only one – chasing down his greatness.

A few weeks after winning a championship for Cleveland, LeBron James is back on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week and tells Lee Jenkins that “my motivation is this ghost I’m chasing.”

No, LeBron isn’t in the new Ghostbusters.

The ghost, LeBron says, “played in Chicago.”

“My career is totally different than Michael Jordan’s,” James tells Jenkins and SI.

“What I’ve gone through is totally different than what he went through. What he did was unbelievable, and I watched it unfold. I looked up to him so much. I think it’s cool to put myself in position to be one of those great players, but if I can ever put myself in position to be the greatest player, that would be something extraordinary.”

As for Cleveland’s championship -- the one that ended a city’s 52-year dry spell (the 1964 Browns were Cleveland’s last pro title) – James says it overshadowed the two he won with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

The MVP of the 2016 NBA Finals, James was amazing as the Cavs roared back from a 3-1 deficit to beat Golden State in a classic series.

“This was bigger for me than the first and the second,” James told SI, “because of everything it represents.”

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