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March 2, 2013

Better than peers, LeBron's competition is history


thing about LeBron is he’s doing it on both ends. Obviously I’m a

little biased because that’s like my best friend, but he’s playing great

basketball right now.”

James arrived at last month’s All-Star

weekend after a stretch where he scored more than 30 points and shot

better than 60 percent in six straight games, an NBA first. Yet the

weekend still belonged just as much to

Jordan, who turned 50 on the day

of the game and who, to believe some players, could still play in the

league now.

Jordan made news that weekend when he told NBA TV in a

televised special that he would pick Kobe Bryant over James because of

Bryant’s five titles. James downplayed the remarks and Barkley

practically dismissed them.

“I think that’s Michael taking shots

at him, because I think, listen, as great as Kobe has been, I’ve never

thought he was as good as Michael Jordan,” Barkley said. “But this guy,

and everybody wants to talk — I don’t know how many rings he’s going to

win, nobody knows that. If this guy can win five or six rings, I think

that’s a very legitimate contest.

“I mean this guy, man, think

about it. He can guard anybody. A couple of years ago he took Derrick

Rose, the MVP, out of a playoff series. I mean, that was amazing, and

the guy gets 30 points, let’s say 20ish a night, eight, nine rebounds.

He’s getting eight, nine assists, that’s amazing.”

James can’t get

around the rings argument, though, largely because his talent — and his

bolting Cleveland to build a potential powerhouse in Miami — mandate

him winning many. When Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen finally

one won with Boston in 2008, or Dirk Nowitzki

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