LeBron James can pass Michael Jordan for first on the NBA's all-time postseason scoring list Thursday night. For a player that wears No. 23 as a tribute to his idol, it's not surprising that the mark is a personal target for James.
"It's just a personal goal of mine," James said after shootaround Thursday, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "It has nothing to do with passing the rings, passing the points, passing MVPs. It's just my personal goal to keep me motivated, that's all."
James needs 28 points in a potentially clinching Game 5 against the Celtics to surpass Jordan's record of 5,987. While he understands comparisons to Jordan are inevitable, he feels they end up subtracting from individual accomplishments across the league.
"(Media members) are going to have the conversations about who is greatest of all time and things of that nature," James said. "It doesn't matter to me. It's so funny that the conversation is always talked about in the NBA about who is the greatest but it's never talked about in the NFL about who is the greatest quarterback. It's just like: Marino, Elway, Manning, and Brady. All great quarterbacks, you know - and it should be the same for us."
To be fair, the same debate has happened in the NFL, although it likely hasn't been as virulent. James still trails Jordan in championships 6-3 - a comparison that, for better or worse, remains the tiebreaker for some.