LeBron James – Mr. “not one, not two, not three, not four” himself – thinks a player’s ring count doesn’t always define a career.
This has been the major topic at hand over the past couple of days. Lets take a look at what exactly was said by these two. Here is the Jordan quote, from Cindy Boren of Washington Post:
“If you had to pick between the two, that would be a tough choice, but five beats one every time I look at it,” Jordan said of the Los Angeles Lakers star’s five NBA championship rings in an NBA TV interview. “And not that [James, who has only one] won’t get five. He may get more than that, but five is bigger than one.”
And here’s LeBron’s reaction, from Fred Kerber of New York Post:
“He said he would take Kobe over me because five rings is better than one … That’s his own opinion,” James said. “At the end of the day, rings don’t always define someone’s career.
“If that’s the case, then I’d sit up here and say I’d take [Bill] Russell over Jordan. But I wouldn’t take Russell over Jordan. Russell has 11 rings, Jordan has six. Or I’d take Robert Horry over Kobe. I wouldn’t do that. But it’s your own personal opinion.”
James, whose recent scoring and shooting has been record-setting, wasn’t finished.
“You look at a guy like Jud Buechler who has multiple rings,” James said of the journeyman who won three rings with Jordan’s Bulls. “Charles Barkley doesn’t have one ring. He’s not better than Charles Barkley. Patrick Ewing is one of the greatest of all time. Reggie Miller is one of the greatest of all time. Sometimes, it’s the situation you’re in. Timing as well.”
LeBron has a point. You don’t take Robert Horry over Kobe Bryant because of ring count. You do, however, take Jud Buechler over Charles Barkley. If you want to know why, Steve Kerr has the answer: