“My motivation,” James says, “is this ghost I’m chasing. The ghost played in Chicago.”
Months after coming off winning an NBA title, the first championship for the city of Cleveland in 52 years, we reflect on how LeBron kept his promise. He promised the city of Cleveland an NBA championship, and he delivered. That was his motivation.
When he left for Miami six years ago, he quickly became the most hated man in Cleveland. Cleveland was LeBron’s home. The Cavaliers were his team, and he just stabbed them in the back in hopes to win championships down in South Beach.
But that hate turned back into happiness and love when LeBron came home after four years and two championships down in Miami. He came home looking to keep his promise of winning the city of Cleveland the championship they oh-so-deserved.
Well, here we are almost two months after the victory. LeBron won his third NBA title and delivered on his promise. What’s next for LeBron? What’s his new profound motivation to keep him going and want to keep winning more and more? That ghost. Yes, THAT ghost. THAT ghost from CHICAGO. Now you get it?
LeBron’s cemented his legacy in the NBA and has done almost everything there is to do. His next goal is to become the greatest. He’s chasing Jordan now. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, he says,
“My career is totally different than Michael Jordan’s,” he says. “What I’ve gone through is totally different than what he went through. What he did was unbelievable, and I watched it unfold. I looked up to him so much. I think it’s cool to put myself in position to be one of those great players, but if I can ever put myself in position to be the greatest player, that would be something extraordinary.”
Two different career paths for the two indeed, but LeBron wants to end his differently. He seeks to be the one to go down as the greatest of all time. He wants to be known to have impacted the game just as much as Jordan. He wants his name carved into the NBA’s Mount Rushmore. He is going after basketball immortality.
LeBron is already there, though. He is already known as one of the greatest NBA players of all time. He’s already considered a top-5 if not a top-3 player of all time. Jordan is still the best on most people’s lists, though. And that’s what LeBron’s new motivation is all about, being the best. He might not go down as the greatest of all time, but he’ll try his hardest too. You have to understand, LeBron has half the rings Jordan does, and it took him more tries to achieve so. I’m not in any way ragging on LeBron, but Jordan is 6-6 in the NBA Finals, which is an impressive feat. Not everything’s about rings, but that’s the argument basketball fans will be making when discussing who’s the greatest ever to play the game of basketball. If we only are talking rings, Bill Russell would be the greatest of all time, but that isn’t the case with many.
If LeBron’s making it known that he’s chasing the “ghost from Chicago” the league should be worried. We’ve seen LeBron take over this league his whole career, but now we’ll see a different LeBron James; a new and improved LeBron James. A LeBron James with a different goal and mindset, to be the greatest of all time. That should scare a lot of people; like he didn’t scare his opponents already.
LeBron’s got his rings, but now he wants the crown. Not his crown from his “King James” moniker, but Jordan’s crown.