Ex-NBA center explains difference between Lebron James, Michael Jordan

matt-fish-vs-kevin-willis-nbaBasketball is indeed a team sport – something that was proven once more in this year’s NBA finals, when the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat with a 4-1 score.

The NBA’s best player, Lebron James, didn’t get the needed support from his teammates, this is something that a lot of fans believe happened, explaining Miami’s loss.

Former NBA center Matt Fish said in his recent post on SportsBlogs that there lies the difference between Lebron James and Michael Jordan.

“I have always been a fan of LeBron James’s talent and really how he handles himself. He is comfortable in his own skin more now than ever. Here is where I have some issues… He only brings his talents and abilities sometimes. He floats at times and takes quarters off, sometimes halves off,” Fish said.

“Why doesn’t Miami have home court? Because too many quarters were played by LeBron floating around and his beast mode was flipped on too late, or left at home for the game. Therefore, losing enough games during the 82-game schedules to relinquish home-court advantage in the playoffs,” he said.

Fish noted that Michael Jordan would never do something like that, as he made teammates around him better.

“He was a team player, a great teammate and understood the meaning of winning every game.  They won 72 games in one season! They were great! But beyond that, they approached every game during the season the right way. Win-Win-Win every game,” he said.

“LeBron uses the players around him to keep the game close enough so he can be the hero once the “beast mode” is initiated,” Fish said.

Former NBA center went on to recall his own career to draw some parallels.

“I was the type of player that knew time would be limited, at least in the NBA. So I could go with reckless abandon, dive for loose balls and play hard for every second. But then I got to thinking…I always played like that because I had to. I played that way in the CBA (Continental Basketball Association), every game because I was working hard to make it to the NBA,” Fish said.

“I was the No. 1 center, a CBA champion with the Quad City Thunder, and made the All-Star Game. I accomplished this because I could never float on the court. I am the first to admit, I wasn’t the most talented player by far. I accomplished what I did because I went hard all of the time. I didn’t take a quarter off, a half off, a game off. I couldn’t take a play off… I couldn’t afford it,” he admitted.

“There is no way I would have made the highest level if I floated at all. I had to play through pain and injuries. There was no 100% for me. I didn’t even know what playing 100% healthy means. So I always played with pain, because I had to. I never had long-term guaranteed money, never,” Fish said.

Fish went on to say that sometimes he feels Lebron James is too comfortable.

“LeBron is the best player in the world. Why doesn’t he always act like it? I can’t fathom being so talented that I could just involve my teammates to keep a game close and then take over in the fourth quarter to put the nail in the coffin,” Fish said.

A 1992 second-round selection by the Golden State Warriors, Fish made his NBA debut in 1994 with the Los Angeles Clippers. His rookie season with the Clippers was perhaps his finest, as Fish averaged nearly five points in 14 minutes per game.

The 6’11 center played for LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Washington Bullets, NY Knicks and Miami Heat during his NBA career. Fish played a total of 50 games in NBA (9 started), averaging 3.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg in 10.2 mpg.


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