Dennis Rodman is a five-time NBA champion and was part of the Chicago Bulls' three-peat from 1996 to 1998 that capped off Michael Jordan's legendary career with the franchise.
On The Dan Patrick Show on Friday, Rodman indicated that there is no comparison between Jordan and Miami Heat superstar LeBron James and stated that James would be an "average" player in Rodman's era.
Paul Pabst, who produces the show, documented the extent of what Rodman had to say:
It’s really not a comparison. If Lebron was playing in the late 80’s or early 90’s, he’s just an average player. But to do what Mike has done, seriously. Michael…what he did is more charisma, is more artistic and stuff like that. LeBron is more like…boom. There’s no flash to his game. He’s a great player, don’t get me wrong. He’s a hell of a player. I’ll give him that…to be his size. But for me…Scottie and Michael are one of the best one-two punches I’ve ever seen, dude. Seriously.
It's hard to read into what Rodman precisely means by "charisma," but a consistent knock on James over the years has been that he promotes his brand rather than lets his play do the talking. James silenced many detractors by winning the NBA Finals MVP award in guiding the Heat to the title last season.
That marked the King's first championship ring, and Miami is vying for a repeat but trails the San Antonio Spurs after Game 1's 92-88 home loss on Thursday evening. James did tally a triple-double in last night's contest, shooting 7-of-16 to finish with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists.
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Rodman references the dynamic duo of Jordan and Pippen that took the Association by storm for years and presumably thinks they are far superior to the Heat's combination of James and Dwyane Wade.
James often draws comparisons to Jordan, perhaps unfairly, but nevertheless, he has to face them constantly.
These comments by Rodman come from an extremely physical player from a different era. He clearly feels strongly about his former teammate in Jordan and how he stacks up with James, who is the reigning league MVP.
At 28 years old, there is still plenty of time for James to write his legacy. Until then, though, the parallels to Jordan will be drawn.