LeBron James’ performance on the court Monday in a win over the Magic helped him reach yet another milestone in his career. He is now 25th all-time in NBA assists, making him just the second player (besides Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson) to nab a spot on that leaderboard along with the top 25 in scoring.
When Cavaliers head coach heard the news of James’ new milestone, he told reporters that it gave him “chills to even hear that. That’s an amazing, amazing accomplishment.”
So how does James feel about this? He told reporters that it was “very humbling to see my name linked with Big O.” However, he said that there’s really no use for historical comparisons and he wished NBA stars were treated more like NFL quarterbacks.
From ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
“I think what we get caught up in, in our league too much, is trying to compare greats to greats, instead of just accepting and acknowledging and saying, ‘Wow, these are just great players,'” James said after the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 117-103 win over the Orlando Magic. “I think in the NFL, when you talk about great quarterbacks, they don’t really compare great quarterbacks. They say, ‘Oh, Joe Montana is great.’ You know, ‘Tom Brady is great. Aaron Rodgers is great. Steve Young is great.’ [Terry] Bradshaw, all those great quarterbacks, they never compare them as much.
“But when it comes to our sport, we’re so eager to say, ‘Who is better: Oscar or [Michael] Jordan?’ or ‘Jordan or LeBron or Kobe [Bryant] or these guys?’ instead of just accepting greatness. And if you understand the history of the sport, then there is no way you could ever forget Oscar Robertson. This guy, he averaged a triple-double for, like, forever.”
Though I can’t vouch for James’ statement that the NFL doesn’t compare quarterback to quarterback as much, I will say I appreciate the comment. It is really difficult to say one player is better than another, because by doing so, you may be diminishing one player’s greatness.
But if you must compare players from different eras, at least have the courtesy to acknowledge that the game has changed over the years and players are influenced by those who have come before them. Every player and player’s team deals with different variables each year.
Nevertheless, James is right when he says that we need to learn to accept greatness all around!
Meanwhile, we can all say that Reggie Miller is not part of this particular conversation, SB Nation reported:
And yet, when it was mentioned to James Monday morning that he would soon pass Miller, he was asked if he had a favorite memory of from Miller’s career.
“Uh, no,” James said, standing in silence until another question was asked on a different topic.
James has scored 25,274 points and has 6,396 assists in his career after Monday. He needs just six points to pass Reggie Miller for 18th all-time in scoring, according to CBS Sports.