LeBron’s Brilliant Response To The Idea That He Doesn’t Have A ‘Killer Instinct’ Like Michael Jordan

LeBron’s Brilliant Response To The Idea That He Doesn’t Have A ‘Killer Instinct’ Like Michael Jordan

TONY MANFRED OCT. 15, 2013, 3:43 PM 9,341 3

There’s a great interview with LeBron James in the newest ESPN The Magazine. He talks a lot about Michael Jordan. At one point, ESPN’s Chris Broussard asks him about the popular notion that he doesn’t have a Jordan-like “killer instinct.” The consensus among some NBA fans is that MJ was one of the most maniacally competitive people ever, whereas LeBron is a weaker personality. LeBron’s response to that is absolutely brilliant and self-aware. He makes an analogy to wild predatory animals — saying there’s more than one way to kill. Here’s what he told ESPN:There are different ways to hunt. I watch the Discovery Channel all the time, and you look at all these animals in the wild. And they all hunt a different way to feed their families. They all kill a different way. Lions do it strategically — two females will lead, and then everybody else will come in. Hyenas will just go for it. There are different ways to kill, and I don’t think people understand that. Everybody wants everybody to kill the same way. Everybody wants everybody to kill like MJ or kill like Kobe. Magic didn’t kill the way they killed. Does that mean he didn’t have a killer instinct? Kareem didn’t either. But does that mean Kareem didn’t have a killer instinct? The same with Bird. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a killer instinct. Tim Duncan don’t kill like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, but I’ve played against Tim Duncan twice in the Finals and I know for sure he’s got a killer instinct. So there are different ways to kill. MJ had a killer instinct for sure. But if people really think that MJ didn’t talk to nobody and didn’t smile on the court, they’re crazy. They’re crazy. I’ve seen him. I was watching a clip the other day of him blocking Charles Barkley, and they’re laughing about the play — on the floor. Right now, if I block Kevin Durant on the floor, or I block Carmelo Anthony and we laugh about it? Ahh, I’m going to get killed [laughing]. I’m telling you. But there are different ways of killing.

This is a great quote for so many reasons.

The way we think about “greatness” in the NBA is largely defined by Michael Jordan. He is the baseline for how every other player, including LeBron, is judged.

That’s why LeBron still gets criticized for not “taking over” (i.e., shooting low-percentage shots like Jordan did) late in games.

LeBron is the first great wing player in the post-Jordan era to be anti-Jordan in some important ways. Kobe is one of the best players ever, but he’s great in all the same ways Jordan was great.

LeBron is different. He’s not a pure scorer. He’s not a trash-talker. He’s not Jordan.

And as this “killer instinct” quote shows, he’s completely comfortable being different.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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