LeBron James has learned a lot from Michael Jordan over the years. He has watched old tapes of him from his playing days. He has studied some of the moves that he perfected. He has learned from the way that MJ reacted to certain things that took place during his career. And according to a new profile of LBJ in ESPN The Magazine, he even spent this summer watching old MJ videos like 1989's Come Fly With Me, 1990's Jordan's Playground, and 1999's His Airness while he was away on vacation.
But curiously, LeBron has never actually sat down and had a full conversation with Jordan. He spoke with him very briefly at MJ's 50th birthday party earlier this year, and he has met him on several occasions. But they've never spoken at length, which is something that LeBron wants to do in the near future in order to learn a thing or two (or 50) from Jordan.
"He's somebody who I looked up to," LeBron tells ESPN The Mag's Chris Broussard, "and I've never had a conversation with him about the game. I would love to sit down with him and just know exactly what he was going through and know what was his mind frame throughout all those special years. Throughout his pains—you know, not being able to get past Detroit, then overcoming Detroit. Or asking him, 'Why did you retire? What made you come back? What made you come back again?' You know, everything that we all think we know. Just kind of have a sit-down conversation."
"And then also to hear him talk about me," he continues. "I would like to know what he thinks about my game and ways I can get better. He probably thinks he can beat me one-on-one right now. I know he probably thinks that. I know MJ definitely thinks he can beat me one-on-one right now."
He sure does. But that doesn't mean that these two can't sit down and have a convo, right? Er, right, MJ?!
Some other interesting things we learned about LeBron from his interview with ESPN The Mag:
-In addition to studying old tapes of MJ, LeBron also studies film of Allen Iverson. "AI was like my second favorite player growing up," he says, "after MJ."
- LeBron is a big fan of the Discovery Channel and equates the different ways that animals hunt their prey to the different ways that NBA players finish off games. "Everybody wants everybody to kill like MJ or kill like Kobe," he says. "Magic didn't kill the way they killed. Does that mean he didn't have a killer instinct?"
-LeBron thinks he could average 40 points a night…if he wanted to.
-LeBron still feels bad about the time he told people that they had "to wake up and have the same life that [they had] before they woke up today" during a press conference after the Heat lost to the Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals. "That wasn't who I am," he says. "I don't even know where that came from."
With the 2013-14 NBA season right around the corner, it's almost time for LeBron to get back to business. But the ESPN The Magazine piece catches him one more time before he prepares to three-peat. You can check out the entire feature on LeBron here. Whether you love or hate LeBron, it's well worth your time.