LeBron James is on the brink of passing Michael Jordan as the best of all-time. In one category, at least. James is on the verge of becoming the NBA’s all-time leading playoff scorer. Jordan has 5,987 career postseason points, and James could reach that mark on Thursday night, as he needs just 27 more to match that.
It’s coming, and reporters asked James on Thursday morning what matching and passing Jordan would mean to him. Though at times James has been playful about his dominance, Thursday’s press conference took on a more deferential tone.
“Any time I’m linked to one of the greats, and even the greatest—Mike—it’s just an honor,” James said. “It’s a tribute to what I’ve been able to do in this game.”
James stressed that—while the points are there—he’s not a pure scorer by any stretch.
“I’m not a scorer. I don’t want to be labeled as a scorer. I can put the ball in the hoop. But I’m a playmaker. I’m a player. Put me on the court and I’ll find ways to be successful.
When you talk about scorers we have a lot of great scorers in our league. All-time guys that shot a lot of shots. Shooters that can score at a high clip. I’m not one of those guys. I’m a guy who always got happy and excited at seeing my team successful. Seeing my individual teammates be successful. And that’s how I flowed the game forward with Kyrie doing what he did.”
At the same shootaround, though, James told ESPN that chasing Jordan’s legacy is something that motivates him.
“It’s just a personal goal of mine,” James said to ESPN. “It has nothing to do with passing the rings, passing the points, passing MVPs. It’s just my personal goal to keep me motivated—that’s all.”
Goals are good to have, but as long as James is playing his “goals” will be less personal and more a comparison made by every basketball fan on the planet. Soon enough, James will have Jordan beat in postseason points. The rest of the head-to-head matchup, though, is far from settled.