One of the biggest trending stories yesterday was LeBron James’ “My motivation is the ghost I’m chasing. The ghost played in Chicago” quote from a new Sports Illustrated article. One of the ghost’s former teammates, 3 x NBA champ, 1994 NBA All-Star Starter (Mark Price or Penny Hardaway should have been the starter but that’s a story for another day) and now NBA agent B.J. Armstrong, had some interesting things to tell ESPN about LeBron’s motivation.
Chasing a ghost is in make-believe land. That’s far-out, that’s unattainable, that’s something you can’t achieve. This ain’t no ghost. If you want to do it, there’s a blueprint. It’s possible. There’s only one way to get there. It’s not possible for him to do what Jordan did because the circumstances are different, everything is different. What is possible for him is to be bigger than every situation that’s put in front of him, to dominate every situation that’s in front of him.
This is to LeBron James: If you want to be the best, get rid of the comparisons. Get rid of all the comparisons that are out there. That’s what Michael Jordan did. Jordan realized that in order to be the best, you had to get rid of all the comparisons.
Here’s a few more interesting things Armstrong had to say about LeBron and how Michael Jordan approached the game.
Every time he steps on the floor, LeBron has to establish that he’s the best. Every year is an opportunity for him to raise his level to the best of the best. When another player raises his level and has a great year, LeBron has to move his game to an even higher level. Jordan used every opportunity to establish who’s the best. He didn’t go to the Olympics to hang out. He went there to establish who was the best.
Jordan never stepped out on the court to have a good time. He stepped out there to establish that he was the best. Every great player he played against, he went after them — in practice, in games, in the 1984 Olympics, in summer league, in a workout, in the ’92 Olympics. He went after me every day in practice. He went after every player every day in practice. He went after every coach — until, when it was all said and done, there was no one left standing.
I’m saying this because this next generation of young players, every time you step on the court, there needs to be a sense of urgency. “No joking around. Michael Jordan was the greatest practice player I’ve ever seen.
I want these young kids to have that mentality. Jordan had phenomenal talent. He had phenomenal understanding. But he also had a mentality that I haven’t seen. He had a sense of urgency every time he stepped on the floor.