Apart from being a tremendous and one of the most versatile basketball players in NBA history, LeBron James is an avid basketball historian. He knows NBA history and understands what other greats before him achieved in their careers. LeBron himself is arguably one of the greatest ever to play the game, and there are ongoing debates whether LeBron is the greatest forward in NBA history. Younger fans would say he most definitely deserves the title as the best forward; however, others would argue that spot still belongs to the one and only Larry Bird.
As a true fan who is highly knowledgeable about the players who played even before he was born, LeBron fully understands the impact Bird had on the NBA. In one of his older interviews, LeBron talks about what he appreciates the most about Bird and his legacy. There are many similarities in their playing style because of their ability to impact the game in multiple ways that weren’t just scoring but also playmaking and making the right decision on the defensive end.
LeBron stated that he appreciated most about Larry was his dedication and the fact he played basketball until he was no longer physically capable anymore after several injuries. On top of that, LeBron wants younger fans to know how versatile and dominant Bird was in his prime, which is something many people who haven’t had the opportunity to watch him play fail to realize.
One of the greatest players to play this game. The kid from French Lick. One of the few guys that was in a three-point contest and shot with a warmup shirt on. He played it until he couldn’t play no more. He played until he literally couldn’t play the game no more. He gave everything he had, and for young guys that don’t know him, they think of Larry Bird as a jump shooter, but he was so much more than that. He was a passer; he averaged double-digit rebounds, he defended, took charges. He is a straight-up complete basketball player. I was always a big fan of Larry Bird, and if I’m linked to one of the greats, especially like him, it’s pretty cool.LeBron James
That isn’t the first time LeBron shared his appreciation for a player from the past. On multiple occasions, he shared his respect for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, George Gervin, Drazen Petrovic, and others. So him talking about Larry Bird isn’t that surprising if you know what Bird meant to the NBA being one of the main reasons for the league’s increase in popularity back in the ’80s. His NBA legacy is truly one of a kind. Even though LeBron eclipsed Bird with individual and team accolades, many will still say Bird is the greatest forward in NBA history, which is a sensible statement when you look back at his HOF career.