Jalen Rose works for ESPN, but he’s totally befuddled by the media giant’s infatuation with comparing LeBron James’ legacy to Michael Jordan's. Rose, a 16-year NBA veteran who will soon be inducted into Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, has played against the likes of MJ, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and LeBron James.
Hype aside, Rose says that the narrative is twisted because in his polished basketball perspective, there are still better players than LeBron, with more successful resumes of championship success for him to surpass before he can sniff Your Airness.
"Let’s hit the breaks. Can we stop comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan until he passes Magic," said Rose on his ESPN morning show Jalen & Jacoby. "Until he passes Bill Russell. Until he passes Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar)...Did that happen? Where have I been? I’m hearing all of these MJ conversions and I’m like 'what about those other Mount Rushmore guys? Did he pass them ?' I don’t remember that taking place."
"When (LeBron) gets 11 (rings) like Russell. When he gets five like Magic. When gets six MVPs and six championships like Kareem, then come talk to me about MJ. MJ has some body guards on the chess board. He’s got a rook and a knight…”“You have to get through them first,” Jacoby replied. “No doubt,” Rose agreed.
In Rose’s opinion the conversation isn’t legit because Bron still hasn’t reached the penthouse suite of NBA greats quite yet. He’s knocking on the door, but it’s not door No. 1.
He still has a couple of levels to go, despite ESPN’s insistence on shoving this MJ-LeBron narrative down our throats.