With NBA camps opening across the nation this week, the countdown unofficially began; the debate over whom is better in their prime, LeBron James or Michael Jordan?
A little over two days in and we got our first guilty party, Charles Barkley.
While filming the first episode of NBA TV's “Open Court”, a round table discussion show that consists of NBA and TNT commentators, Barkley had some very frank things to say about the King in comparison to Jordan.
“I do think he can be better than Michael,” Barkley said. “I thought I would never compare somebody to Michael Jordan. But this guy, LeBron James, he does everything well. Michael did everything well. LeBron James is just bigger, stronger, faster. That’s the only difference.”
Coming off of his first NBA title, LeBron and the Miami Heat enter the season as the favorites to repeat. With the championship monkey off of James' back, the pressure will be less while the expectations remain the same. But with winning comes the constant comparisons to the game's greatest players, something that Shaquille O'Neal says LeBron should be prepared for.
“Unfortunately for LeBron, now that the monkey is off his back, he is going to be compared to two people: Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan,” O’Neal said. “So now the question is how many championships can he get? We all know he is a competitor.”
To repeat, James and his gang are going to have come face to face with some improved franchises. The Boston Celtics have reloaded for one more run while the Los Angeles Lakers have all but stacked the deck in their favor. Getting ring number two won't be easy for LeBron.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
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