Dennis Rodman claims LeBron James would be an “average” player if James competed in the more physical 1990s version of NBA basketball. And forget about making any comparisons between James and Michael Jordan.
In the NBA finals, the San Antonio Spurs defeated James’ Miami Heat 92-88 in game one on Thursday night; the teams meet tomorrow night at 8 pm Eastern in American Airlines Arena for for game two.
Rodman, who was nicknamed “the Worm” during his playing days, made his feelings about superstars LeBron James and Michael Jordan clear on the Dan Patrick Show yesterday. “It’s really not a comparison. If LeBron was playing in the late ’80s and early ’90s, he would be just an average player. To do what Michael has done … what he did was more charisma, there was more articulating and stuff like that. LeBron is more like … there’s no flash to his game. He’s a great player, don’t get me wrong, he’s a hell of player, I’ll give him that … But to me Scottie and Michael are probably the two best one-two punches I’ve ever seen.”
Today’s NBA players have it comparatively easy compared to the rough-and-tumble NBA of previous years, according to Rodman: “LeBron came into the age of the game at a perfect time. Michael came into the game when back then you could hit people, knock him down, shoot a free throw and get back up. And LeBron can’t do that. All they do today is bitching about a foul. All they do is bitch.”
MJ — who averaged 30 points a game in his career — would thrive even more in today’s NBA, Rodman insisted: “If Michael played today … really? If he played the game today at 28 years old, he would average 40 points a game, probably more .. I’m just sick and tired of people always comparing [James] and Michael Jordan. It’s a whole different era, man.”
As far as a head-to-head matchup between today’s Miami Heat and Rodman’s Bulls, the NBA Hall of Famer known primarily for his rebounding said it would be no contest. “The Heat has better talent than we had, but we had smarter players.”
Dennis Rodman also claimed that in his prime, he could shut down LeBron James: “If I was 28 years old guarding LeBron … are you kidding me? Rodman said. “If he scored on me, I would be like, okay, thanks. Guess what, though? Sooner or later, somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose, and most of the time I don’t lose.”
Watch/listen to the Dennis Rodman interview on the Dan Patrick Show:
Do you agree with Dennis Rodman that LeBron would only be average if he played in Rodman’s era? Are you surprised that to some degree the Worm is turning on James?