- Cowherd, is it difficult for other stars to play with LeBron?
- Yeah. I think it's like touring with Kanye or Bieber. I think you get caught in the media quicksand. And I think it's just the reality of it. Michael Jordan was punching teammates and wearing Pippen out in the end. And Shaq and Kobe lasted for a short time.
The number one NBA star-- there's always like one. It was Magic. It was-- it was MJ. It was Shaq. It was LeBron.
The number one NBA star is the number one sports star in America because A-- NBA promotes its stars more than the NFL and baseball.
Number two is, you wear them home. Kids have shoes, not of Brady, of LeBron. So LeBron is at home in your closet. He's on your feet at school. You feel a kinship, a closeness with him. He is-- you are-- you play the video games with him.
So it's hard when you're the number one sports star in America in a league that promotes you, you just get caught up in the Bieber's, Kanye's quicksand.
- I think it's a false narrative though to equate LeBron to Michael Jordan. The burden of playing with Jordan to the burden of playing with LeBron. And again, some of this is technological advances. But I don't think that if Jordan were around in this era, I don't know if the passive-aggressive stuff over Twitter and social media would be going on with Michael Jordan. I think he's just a little too mature, too grown for that, even in his earlier years.
I think that LeBron, because of his desire to have control over the organization and exercising control over the Cleveland organization makes it more difficult. Michael Jordan wanted some control over Chicago. They wouldn't give it to him. You answered to Jerry Krause. You answered to ownership.
I just think the burden of playing with LeBron is more difficult than any superstar we've seen in any sport before. I give--
- You're not playing LeBron.
- Well, yes and no. Again, you got to take the good with the bad. LeBron has been in seven straight finals. He's won three championships.
He's great to play with on the court. So I think you have to deal with it. But I do think Kevin Durant is making a pretty good argument and case where Kyrie's like, saying, man, I just want to go play basketball. I want to go compete for MVPs and build a championship team in my image. I got no problem with it.
- Why do you guys keep using Michael Jordan? I mean, was it difficult to play with Magic Johnson? That's who I think LeBron is more like, between the court vision, the passing.
You guys know top 25 assists, NBA history. There's 24 point guards, and there's LeBron James. I think Magic and LeBron are much better, when you compare the two playing style, I mean, Magic got everybody involved. LeBron gets everyone involved, gets you in a position to score. And then if you have to take over, LeBron will do that.
I don't see how it's difficult at all to play with LeBron. I mean, you take a poll in the League. How many players would want to play with LeBron James? 95%.
- Well, I'm sure players want to play with him. Doesn't mean it's not difficult. And when you talk about Magic and his personality, Magic didn't have-- he has an alpha personality, but not a domineering personality. And that's what this gets down to, I think the player's personalities is what you're dealing with.
Kyrie is an alpha. You had two alphas on that team. So the alphas and the alphas, they need to be somewhere where they can be an alpha. And I think that was the problem.
I think that's what happened with Durant and Westbrook. You have to move on. And playing next to LeBron James, you no longer get to be the alpha.
You're Chris Bosh. You used to be the guy in Toronto. Now you're not. You're Kevin Love, you used to be the guy, and now you're not. Kyrie Irving, they paid him to be the guy. Now you're not.
I think that's a part of the difficulty because just from a personality standpoint, you're accustomed to that attention, and you're accustomed to being the cure. And no one's coming to you like that.
- Chris Bosh, those guys didn't win anything.
- But I like your Magic Johnson analogy, because I think-- when I sit here and talk about the personality differences between Michael and LeBron, I do think if Magic were around in this era, he would be passive-aggressive over social media. He would display some of the--
- He got a coach fired, didn't he, early on?
- Yeah. But just not just that. Magic likes-- he's using Twitter, and he's no good at it. Magic likes the attention of Twitter.
- He's recruiting.
- He's more like LeBron. But the thing where Magic wasn't able to be so domineering was because Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was on his team.
- That's what I'm saying. He doesn't have that domineering personality that LeBron has. That's what I'm saying.
- Shaq and Kobe, it's the only time the two best finishers in the League may have played in the same team. Kyrie and LeBron, you think they fit guard forward. They really need the ball. Like, they're not a great long-time fit. Right?
- No. They're--
- Magic and Kareem are.
- Yes. Because Magic was going to feed Kareem. And Kareem was going to create space for Magic.
- Kyrie wants to quarterback. And LeBron feels he's a quarterback.
- But guys, when do we not want to be around greatness? There's a bunch of alphas at this network that people want to get here to work with.
- I'll tell you what.
- Colin, Whitlock, Skip Bayless. People want to be around greatness and good leaders.
- I'm gonna--
- There's a lot of value in that.
- He's just playing to our vanity.
- You know what? I'm going to--
- --and just quickly. Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders, opposite sides of the ball, both of them the greatest at what they did. Jerry did not want him around because there was too much attention falling on Deion. We could have made a big-time run if they had kept that group together, that secondary that we had.
I put it up there with the best all-time. And it had to be broken up because that greatness didn't want that greatness around. All greatness doesn't want to be there. Sometimes that guy wants to be "the" guy.
- U2 is the exception. Rock bands break up after about two albums. I mean, the truth is, there's just too many stars. It works for those guys from Dublin.
But generally, and it works with the Stones, but they've had their issues. Generally, those bands break up, man.