Bill Laimbeer: 'I'll take LeBron James' over Michael Jordan
Bill Laimbeer likes the flexibility of LeBron James over Michael Jordan
Bill Laimbeer was a member of the legendary Detroit Pistons teams in the late 80s and early 90s. Those teams were infamous for their hard-nosed style of basketball and Laimbeer was the most infamous of them. He famously got punched by Robert Parish in in a game against the Celtics after tackling Larry Bird.
Laimbeer and the Pistons are most infamous for their games against Michael Jordan and the Bulls. The way they played against him created a style that has been dubbed the Jordan Rules, a tough physical style of basketball that was meant to stop Jordan in his tracks. Eventually Jordan did manage to get past the Pistons, but they didn't take the losses lightly and the two sides never had what one would call a positive relationship.
So it should come as no surprise that Laimbeer, when asked about who he would take in a battle between Jordan and LeBron, would take LeBron James.
"I'll take Lebron James, absolutely," Laimbeer said to host Etan Thomas on "The Rematch" podcast earlier this month (listen below). "He's 6-8, 285 (James is listed at 250 pounds). Runs like the wind, jumps out of the gym. Phenomenal leader since he's been 12 years old. Understood when he came into the league how to involve his teammates from the start. And you can't guard him. You can't double-team, he's too big, he powers through everything. Michael was a guard. Yeah, he was 6-6, but he wasn't a real thick and strong guard. It took him a lot of years to learn how to involve his teammates in order to win championships. Don't fault him for that, it's a learning experience. But we've never seen anybody like LeBron James physically. He just bullies you.
Laimbeer actually makes some very good points for why he would take James over Jordan. The two players have vastly different styles and it makes sense that one would be preferable to the other for him. However, it's impossible to shake what happened between him and the Bulls back in his playing days. Laimbeer's argument has weight, but it's hard to not wonder how much disdain he still has for Jordan in his heart. That competitive spirit never dies after all.
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