Following Game 6′s 25-point, six-assist, four-rebound performance in 31 hyperkinetic minutes by LeBron James — who was hellbent on rebounding from his foul-plagued Game 5 — in an overwhelming 117-92 Heat win Friday night, Pacers coach Frank Vogel was emotional at the lectern. He spoke to assembled reporters about the disappointing end of Indiana’s season, and their third consecutive loss to the Miami Heat. Then he compared James and the Heat to Michael Jordan and the Bulls teams who conquered every challenger in the 1990s.
Said Vogel when talking to reporters after the lopsided close-out game:
“It’s bitterly disappointing to fall short of our goals, and it’s bitterly disappointing to lose to this team three years in a row. But we’re competing against the Michael Jordan of our era, the Chicago Bulls of our era.”
When informed of the comparison, LeBron was humbled, as USA Today‘s Jeff Zillgitt relays:
“Any time I hear my name or our team in the same breath with legends and great teams and franchises, it’s so humbling, man,” James said when told of the latest comparison. “It’s like — I really don’t know.”
The admiration he has for Jordan is obvious.
“Me and (Heat star Dwyane Wade) grew up watching the great Chicago Bulls team and the great Michael Jordan and the rest of those guys,” James said.
The Heat will face the winner of the up-and-down Thunder-Spurs battle in the West, but the Heat, with James, Wade and Chris Bosh as their triumvirate of stars, are the first team since Larry Bird‘s Celtics in 1984-1987, to reach the NBA Finals in four straight seasons. Not even MJ did that…
Is LeBron the Michael Jordan of our era?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.