When LeBron James finally led the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA championship this past summer, it was the last truly unfulfilled promise of his career. Sure, he’d proven a few years before that he could win a title when it seemed (fairly or unfairly) overdue, but he knew just as well as all of us that his status as a hometown savior meant that he had to “do it for the Land.” Well, he’s done it — so what’s next? To LeBron, the answer is the same as he’s always admitted to himself, if rarely to others: He wants to overtake Michael Jordan as the greatest of all time (GOAT).
It’s a personal goal,” James told The Associated Press on Monday. “I just never brought it up. It’s my own personal goal to be able to be greater than great. I think that should be everybody’s personal goal.
“If you work for any company or you work for any designer or anywhere, you’re like, ‘Oh, I aspire to be that guy because he’s done it right.’ He’s the greatest and that’s who you look at,” he said. “So that’s always been my personal goal, to use the motivation he gave me as a kid and I’ll use it as motivation now as well that I want to get to where he is. That’s never changed. People kind of wanted to turn it into a conversation, but that’s my personal goal and that’s where I land at.”
If you want to “turn it into a conversation,” the ammunition is certainly there, but LeBron is right — it’s not particularly controversial that, as someone who’s been seen as the best player in the NBA for as long as he has, your goals have to be loftier.