On one side of the spectrum, you have a guy from the Miami Heat podcast who threw a tantrum at LeBron’s ‘I want my damn respect‘ speech. On the other side, you have Kareem Abdul Jabbar, who wasn’t the least bit surprised with LeBron’s Finals MVP speech.
It was typical LeBron. He’s a very proud and accomplished individual, and he wants that to be his trademark. It wasn’t surprising at all.Kareem Abdul Jabbar, First Take
Check out LeBron’s social media pages. The guy’s gloating, smoking his cigars, throwing subtle shots at NBA media guys, initiating the discussion about what does winning the fourth ring means for his all-time ranking. The guy is on cloud nine, as he’s bearing the fruit of the legacy enhancing fourth championship.
The fact he’s able to do it wherever he goes – that’s LeBron’s biggest legacy boost, according to Kareem. Because he’s done it all already. Now it’s time to be unique. To do things that had never been seen before. And this title run, in so many ways, is just that.
People will remark on the quality of his presence in three different cities. That’s pretty impressive, and if that is his only legacy, it’s extraordinary. But he’s done a lot more than that, both on the court and off the court. That’s why I got a lot of respect for him.Kareem Abdul Jabbar, First Take
Kareem didn’t fall for that superficial, siding with one over the other type of stuff. Instead, he showed respect to LeBron and every single one he’s being compared to. He didn’t fall for it even when it was time to compare himself to James. Instead of pulling a “LeBron,” demanding respect for often being overlooked in a GOAT conversation, Kareem showed humility.
He didn’t choose himself over LeBron, nor the other way around. Because, according to an NBA icon himself, those types of arguments are meaningless. Too many hypotheticals are involved, too many different circumstances every guy has played in, too many different playstyles. There’s no way of taking all of those into account and coming up with a non-biased argument.
That’s why the best thing we can do is show respect, both where it’s earned and demanded (yes, LeBron). If an all-time great like Kareem can do it, we all can.