The best shoes that I’ve ever owned are my pair of LeBron x John Elliott in black. Why? It still looks new after six months. My last pair of shoes, Air Jordan 1 Retro in black leather, already had signs of wear by this mark and looked jacked up for about the last two years I wore them. The new synthetic fabric on the LeBron’s maintain its integrity much better than good ol’ leather. For those who don’t clean their shoes often (if ever), it makes a big difference. I’ve never cared about what people think about my shoes, but there are some that use them to gauge a man’s wealth. +1 for LeBron.

See, I’m not against him. I don’t mind sporting his namesake wear. LeBron’s a great basketball player and one that I’d consider as the starting small forward on my all-time team because of his power, versatility and selflessness. But, to be considered the greatest basketball player of all-time, he’s made several poor decision and accomplished too little, too late. You could argue that LeBron’s his own man and is comfortable in his own shoes. Had he kept his mouth shut that would be plausible, but on an episode of ESPN’s “More Than An Athlete” that aired in 2018, LeBron called himself the “GOAT” because his Cavs came back from 0-3 to beat the 73-9 Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. First, those Warriors were a great team, but evidently not the greatest. They had the best regular season – emphasize “regular season” – record in NBA history, but that’s it. Second, maybe it’s just me, I don’t think the GOAT would be down three games in any best of seven series. It’d be a different story had LeBron sat out the first three games and then came back and willed the team to four straight wins.

Moving to Miami must have been awesome, as a 25 year old multi-millionaire nonetheless. The warm year-round weather, scenic waterways and Latin-inspired culture are nice perks, and living near his best friend must have been rewarding. I don’t blame him. Coming from Akron, if I had a choice to live in either Cleveland or Miami, I’d choose Miami, regardless. But, unfortunately, I never had the chance to be recognized as the greatest anything ever. Comparatively, MJ was mature beyond his years. Give credit to his parents. He choose to spend his prime in Chicago and never used his celebrity to make a spectacle of any decision or statement. MJ was larger than life, but respectful to the game and everyone that came before him. LeBron choose life over legacy.

Unlike in Jordan’s era where size and strength were important player qualities since the game was much more physical, players in LeBron’s era didn’t need to be the tallest nor strongest to succeed because the game changed. Combined with athleticism, LeBron has both the size and strength to dominate games. He can (and has) used his dominance to overpower opposing players, but not with regularity. Rather than using his strengths to get high percentage shots and forcing fouls for an and1, LeBron has fallen prey to today’s game. All too often, I’ve watched him use screens to take a three. Whereas MJ was the aggressor – the Alpha, LeBron is a pacifist. That’s his downfall.

LeBron is one of the greatest basketball players ever, just not on MJ’s level. I’ve never rooted for one of LeBron’s teams to win, and I don’t think I ever will. Had he gone to college, maybe he would have been a different player, a better one. Regardless, criticism sucks but that’s one of the trade-offs for being a public figure.

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