“LeBron James is a mixture of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Jerry West, and Bill Russell”: Pat Riley believes the Lakers superstar is in a class of his own

Arjun Julka
|Published January 27, 2022

Miami Heat President Pat Riley pays LeBron James the ultimate compliment, calling him a mixture of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Jerry West, and Bill Russell.

There is no denying that LeBron James is truly a generational superstar and will go down as one of the greats. The Lakers superstar continues to defy all odds when it comes to age, currently playing at an MVP level. James is on his way to dethroning Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time scorer in the NBA.

The four-time Finals MVP is also a top 10 all-time leader in assists. An elite scorer, playmaker, and defender, James is a basketball savant. James’ versatility stems from the fact that he can play the forward, point guard, and center position.

Though he still has a couple of years left in his prime, James has cemented his legacy as one of the greats. However, one cannot deny that the four-time champion has been controversies’ favorite child. In what many believe, James initiated the concept of super teams.

Also read: “Joel Embiid is the best clutch scorer in the NBA!”: How the Sixers MVP candidate has trumped the likes of LeBron James and DeMar DeRozan in clutch-time scoring

Known as The Decision in 2010, James joined forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. James became an overnight villain in the NBA for doing so. However, he made four trips to the NBA Finals and won two championships. Recently, Heat executive Pat Riley spoke about the greatness of James.

Pat Riley believes LeBron James is in a class of his own.

Over the years, the relationship between James and Riley has strained. Though they enjoyed a successful partnership, Riley didn’t take James leaving him very well initially. In all his four years in Miami, James made the Finals each time, winning two titles and was the Finals MVP in each case.

However, James decided to return to Cleveland during his free agency in 2014. According to reports, Riley had big plans for the Heat and was infuriated with LBJ’s decision to go back. The two still don’t see eye to eye. Nonetheless, as time passed, Riley came to terms with James’ decision, understanding the pressure of delivering his hometown a championship.

In light of the NBA’s 75th anniversary, Riley had nothing but praise for James, calling the former scoring champion a mixture of various NBA legends.

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These words of appreciation come as a surprise, considering Riley’s past statements on the superstar. Not so long ago, the Heat President had put an asterisk on LBJ’s bubble championship. However, things have taken a complete u-turn since then. Recently, Riley was fined $25K for tampering in light of trying to recruit James.

Also read: “I was practicing what to say to Kobe Bryant in the mirror”: Kyrie Irving revealed how nervous he was to challenge the Lakers legend to Kevin Durant

Though it’s a distant possibility, James playing for the Heat again would instantly make them championship favorites with the roster Erik Spoelstra and co have assembled.

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About the author

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka is a NBA author at The SportsRush. Basketball isn’t just a sport for this 26-year-old, who hails from Mumbai. He began watching the sport after stumbling upon a court in his society, helping him identify an undiscovered passion for the game of hoops. Now an ardent fan, Arjun supports Stephen Curry and the Warriors but also enjoys watching Giannis Antetokounmpo own the paint. When it comes to the GOAT debate, the TSR author feels LeBron James is yet to receive a lot of his due but cannot deny marveling at Michael Jordan’s resume.

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