Rich Paul highlights difficulties LeBron James had to face that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant didn’t

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read

Recently, Rich Paul — agent of Los Angeles Lakers superstar forward LeBron James — highlighted the difficulties that James has had to face during his time in the NBA that former Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant didn’t.

James, 38, has played for three teams — the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Lakers — across his 20 seasons in the NBA. He averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game in 55 appearances with Los Angeles during the 2022-23 regular season (54 starts). James also shot the ball efficiently from the field, as he converted 50.0 percent of his field-goal attempts.

The 6-foot-9 forward has accomplished a whole lot during his two decades in the NBA, both from an individual and collective standpoint. James is a 19-time All-Star, 19-time All-NBA selection, four-time regular-season MVP, three-time All-Star Game MVP, six-time All-Defensive team selection and member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team.

But, most importantly, James has led his teams to four NBA titles in 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2020.

James’ first two titles came when he was a member of the Heat alongside stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The Heat beat Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games in the 2012 NBA Finals and Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs in seven games in the 2013 NBA Finals.

The forward’s third title came when he was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. James and the Cavaliers rallied all the way back from a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals against Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors to win the series in seven games.

The 38-year-old’s most recent championship came against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat. James and star big man Anthony Davis helped the Lakers beat the Heat in six games in the 2020 NBA Finals.

Paul makes a great point about how Jordan never had to deal with the amount of media attention that James gets. Here’s to hoping that James will be able to win the fifth title of his NBA career in 2024.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.