Sports agent and CEO of Klutch Sports Rich Paul believes LeBron James’ road to success was as hard as Michael Jordan’s, if not harder.
Rich Paul has played a crucial role in popularizing the term sports agent. The 40-year old has built an empire for himself, representing clients like LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, and Draymond Green. Paul is no less than a celebrity, making red carpet appearances.
Recently, The Athletic released its list of top 75 players of all time, which had James at the second spot, making it clear that Michael Jordan would be at the top of the heap. The GOAT debate between James and MJ is America’s favorite barber-shop conversation and a never-ending conversation.
The two global icons enjoy a massive fan following with their careers having great storylines, respectively. Both James and MJ are generational talents who have cemented their legacies, with James playing at an MVP level in his year 19th in the league.
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With James earning the second spot on The Athletic’s list of top 75 players, his agent and close friend Rich Paul made some interesting points to further his client’s case.
Rich Paul talks about the constant scrutiny on LeBron James since his debut in the NBA.
Probably, one of the most hyped high school prospects to enter the NBA, King James was under the public eye from a very tender age. Surprisingly, James exceeded the unrealistic expectations people had from him, proving why he could earn a seat at the table consisting of all-time greats.
Paul, whose friendship with James extends beyond the player-agent relationship, had the following to say on learning about The Athletic’s rankings.
“The road for LeBron was just as hard, if not harder than the road was for Michael,” Paul told The Athletic. “For a number of reasons. And I think the biggest reason is, everyone wants you to do something the way somebody else did it previously.”
“LeBron was a kid. (The media) wanted LeBron to be like Mike, they wanted Michael to speak to them in any capacity, which he probably didn’t. They wanted Michael to be his friend, which he probably wasn’t. They also wanted LeBron to act like, be like Michael, and he wasn’t. There were more people that smiled and hoped LeBron failed than there ever was rooting for him to succeed in the beginning.”
There is no denying Paul’s statements as James has been subjected to immense scrutiny and false narratives throughout his career. However, the four-time Finals MVP has never seized to prove his critics and naysayers wrong.
At age 37-years old, James continues to play at an MVP level. The former scoring champion is the sole engine of the Lakers, comprising multiple All-Stars like Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. The King is currently averaging 29.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 6.5 APG, shooting 52.2% from the field.
The James-MJ debate is a never-ending subject. The two basketball legends played in different eras and rules. Having entertained us with their basketball brilliance for years, the two deserve all the praise in the world.