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Who Said It: LeBron James or Kanye West?

Dan CarsonTrending Lead WriterJanuary 5, 2017

Who Said It: LeBron James or Kanye West?

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    As Kanye West once said, "Hood phenomenon, the LeBron of rhyme. It's hard to stay humble when you're stuntin' on a Jumbotron."

    Indeed, it's a rough life being loved and hated by millions, as Kanye West is always quick to remind us, and it's also difficult to stay modest when you're a basketball demigod like LeBron James. I wouldn't know; I don't have strangers from towns I used to live in breaking the law just to hug me during the day.

    Either way, both men have 64-ounce egos to go with their towering talents, and both are constantly defending themselves in the press and on social media. With that, it can be difficult to tell one from the other when you take away the names and leave just the bare quote sitting on paper.

    The following quotes are gemstones of wisdom, narcissism and humor from LeBron James and Kanye West. Good luck guessing who said what, because sometimes it really is a condescending coin flip.

Ref Referencing

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    “You know, if Michael Jordan can scream at the refs, me as [myself]...can go and say, ‘This is wrong.’” 

Said By: Kanye

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    In a recent interview with the New York Times, West called himself the “Michael Jordan of music.”

    West went to say that if Jordan could complain to the refs about bad calls, he could complain about not winning Grammys he was convinced he’d earned. He might’ve been more accurate sticking with the “LeBron James of rhyme" comparison considering how much James revels in arguing calls.

Cloning on You

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    “I’m only one guy...if I could clone myself, we’d be all right. But I can’t.”

Said By: LeBron

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    While we could all certainly imagine Kanye West saying the world needs more Kanye like it needs more cowbell, this particular gem belongs to the King.

    A Cavaliers-era James took a moment before Game 3 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals to ruminate on a disappointing reality—the fact that the technology to carbon-copy his excellence and reproduce himself in a laboratory is yet to have been developed. 

    James’ remarks stemmed from his frustration about not having scoring support with the Cavaliers.

Mo’ Agua Mo’ Problems

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    “I hate when I’m on a flight and I wake up with a water bottle next to me, like ‘Oh great, now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle.’”

Said By: Kanye

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    LeBron James has first-world problems of his own, but they’re nothing compared to Kanye West waking up with a baby Fiji on his doorstep and having to raise the little guy.

    This complaint came from West’s Twitter account, which reads a bit like a dude wandering around the world's largest Crate & Barrel trying to plan the decor for a wedding where he marries himself.

Going into Contractions

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    “I had no idea what the word ‘contraction’ meant before I saw it on the Internet.”

Said By: LeBron James

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    I might've slipped one past the keeper on some of you with this misleading quote.

    This one doesn't have to do with Kim Kardashian's recent contractions; it involves less screaming and an entity people actually like—the NBA.

    James learned the term after inferring the NBA would be better off if some of its crappier teams didn’t exist. 

    “Imagine if you could take Kevin Love off Minnesota [Timberwolves] and add him to a team and you shrink the [league]...I’m not saying let’s take New Jersey and let’s Minnesota out of the league...”

    Actually, that’s exactly what you were saying, LeBron. James would later deny he wanted to eliminate teams, saying he didn’t know what “contraction” meant.

Devil of a Question

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    “#DoyouthinkLucifer uses in ear monitors or signature Beats by Dre headphones...”

Said By: Kanye

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    God hates ugly, but the devil probably loves bulky headphones. 

    Kanye West and LeBron both have done their fair share of promotion for Dr. Dre’s headphone line, but only one is worried about copping the ones Mephistopheles rocks. 

What Winners Do

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    “I’m a winner...It doesn’t make sense for me to go over and shake somebody’s hand.”

Said By: LeBron

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    After losing to the Orlando Magic in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009, James walked off the court without shaking hands or acknowledging any member of the opposing team.

    James would later apologize for his actions by not apologizing at all.

    It’s hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them. I’m a winner. It’s not being a poor sport or anything like that. If somebody beats you up, you’re not going to congratulate them. That doesn’t make sense to me. I’m a competitor. That’s what I do. It doesn’t make sense for me to go over and shake somebody’s hand.

A Hero Among Us

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    “I don’t want anybody to know my [true] identity. I’m like a superhero.”

Said By: LeBron

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    When asked why he didn’t want to be weighed or have his height measured prior to the NBA draft, a 17-year-old LeBron James told ESPN the Magazine reporter Tom Friend that he was a superhero and wanted to remain mysterious. 

    “Call me ‘Basketball Man,’” James said. 

    It's not Superman, but then again, it beats the dog-tar out of Aquaman.

    GIF via

One of a Kind

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    “One day [the world] might have another [me]. Maybe.”

Said By: LeBron

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    One day the world might see another LeBron James, but don't get carried away with the idea—he's just saying it's possible.

    After announcing his controversial “Decision” in 2010, LeBron James told reporters that $2.5 million of the proceeds from the commercial space sold during his nationally televised announcement would go to the Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the nation.  

    “This is an incredible moment for myself,” James said. “This is great, also for the kids. The kids are our future. One day we might have another LeBron. Maybe.”

He'll Never Know How Beautiful He Looks out There

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    “God chose me. He made a path for me...But my greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform.”

Said By: Kanye

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    Perhaps “perform” was a strong context clue for this one, but feeling put out by your metaphysical inability to leave your own body in order to watch yourself do your job does sound like a #LeProblem. 

    But where James’ comes equipped with a thought-strainer between his brain and mouth that catches his most narcissistic thoughts, Kanye West does not.

    The rapper delivered this mournfully egotistical line during a performance for VH1 Storytellers as half an orchestra of musicians watched him wallow on the ground saying things that popped into his head.

The Magical Slammin’ Salmon

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    “I ordered the salmon medium instead of medium well I didn’t want to ruin the magic.”

Said By: Kanye

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    "She got a light-skinned friend, don't like salmon well-done. Got a dark-skinned friend, don't like salmon well-done."

    This Kanye West tweet really doesn’t have any arrogant undertones or ridiculousness involved that could be confused with the king of professional basketball.

    It is, however, amazing and probably the best tweet you’ll ever read about the anadromous trout-like species. 

I'm the Best...Around!

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    “I love being the best. I just want to get better. It’s not about being’s just how I am.”

Said By: LeBron

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    Nope, this wasn’t Kanye on an “I Am a God” rant (or a line from an immaculate Joe Esposito song). It was just LeBron James in 2005 talking about his skills as a player. 

    At this point he was a 20-year-old superstar and the toast of Ohio. His powder-splashing likeness hung 200 feet wide over the downtown Cleveland area. So bear in mind he was the biggest swinging-est kid in the league—and he was throwing up the rock.

First Tweet Ever

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    “Hello World, the Real [my name] is in the Building “Finally.” 

Said By: LeBron

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    The Roc may be in the house, but LeBron James was in the building when he first came on Twitter with this message, proving that just because it’s your first tweet doesn’t mean it has to be in the first person.

Getting out There

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    “There is no astronaut training for celebrity...even though this whole life is so outer space.”

Said By: Kanye

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    It’s tempting to insert some allusion to the astronomical levels of stardom that LeBron James and Kanye West have risen to, but ‘Ye said it best.  

    He and LeBron are out there, or up there, in that most rarified space, where the air is no longer crisp—it’s nonexistent. And it's that anaerobic environment we have to thank for these amazing "what-the-what" moments.

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