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March 2, 2013

Better than peers, LeBron's competition is history

(Continued)

technologies, they all look sleek and look fast, but it’s just

different,” said Shaquille O’Neal, Barkley’s TNT teammate.

Those

who aren’t ready to give James his due usually point to his lone title —

six-time champion Jordan among them. Sometimes the argument is more

laughable, such as the one from former Seattle guard Gary Payton, who

argued that James wouldn’t have been as effective during his era because

players would have pushed him around more.

“You can’t guard him

now because it seems like you can’t put your hands on him. You know what

I’m saying?” Payton said during the All-Star break. “With LeBron, if

somebody can hand check him and muscle him, I still think it could be

the same. It’s a lot different when somebody can hand-check you and

control you and be stronger than you on the block or whatever and not

let you go anywhere.

“It’s a little bit different, as being free

and being a freak of nature and his body that he has right now, nobody

can guard him, you know what I’m saying? So right now, if he could come

back in our era and we could hand check him and guard him and bigger

guys get on him and when he gets to the bucket we hit him and knock him

like (Bill) Laimbeer, like the Boston Celtic

days, it’d be a little bit different. I guarantee you it would be. But

he’s still great, he’s still a great basketball player and like I said

he’s playing in a great era because he can get to the bucket whenever he

feels like it.”

James is listed at 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds —

though he’s called himself over 260. Who exactly are these people that

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