LeBron James reflects on first meeting with Michael Jordan, says it was 'godly'
James clearly remembers the first time he met his idol
Barring any injury issues, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is poised to pass Michael Jordan (32,292 career points) on the NBA's all-time scoring list this season. With that accomplishment in mind, James reflected on the first time he met Jordan, his childhood idol, as a high school prospect in 2001.
"It was godly," James said of meeting Jordan for the first time, via ESPN. "I've said that over and over before, but it was like meeting God for the first time. That's what I felt like as a 16-year-old kid when I met MJ."
James credits Jordan with globalizing the game.
"MJ made the game global," James said. "He made people all over the world want to watch the game of basketball because of his marketability, because of the way he played the game of basketball, because of who he was. He kind of transcended that era.
"We needed [Larry] Bird and Magic [Johnson] when they came into the league. It was fitting. It was perfect timing for Magic to be with the Lakers and Bird to be with the Celtics and all the battles that they went through. And then when MJ came in in '84 and started to do what he did, he made the game global. And obviously that '92 Barcelona run that the Dream Team had, it just solidified why he was the best athlete in the world to do as such. And then between MJ and David Stern, they turned it into what it is today, and guys like Adam Silver and myself are just trying to keep it going."
Like Jordan, James hopes to one day own an NBA team.
"I would love to be a part of a franchise -- if not at the top. ... My dream is to actually own a team," James said in 2016. "I don't need to [be] fully hands-on. If I'm fortunate enough to own a team, then I'm going to hire the best GM and president that I can. But I feel like I got a good eye for not only talent, because we all see a lot of talent, but the things that make the talent. The chemistry, what type of guy he is, his work ethic, his passion, the basketball IQ side of things. Because talent only goes so far."
A lot of kids grew up idolizing Michael Jordan, but very few of them grow up to be mentioned in the same sentence as him when it comes to basketball, or pass them in all-time scoring. With Jordan as his inspiration, James has built quite an impressive legacy of his own.
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