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YouTube Gold: The Ruthless Nature Of Michael Jordan

This was not a player you wanted to wind up.

Chicago Bulls v Washington Bullets
 LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 14: Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls dribbles up court during a basketball game against the Washington Bullets at the Capitol Centre on December 14, 1991 in Landover , Maryland. The Bulls won 113 -100.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

After the Los Angeles Lakers were swept 4-0 by the Denver Nuggets, LeBron James said that he had things to to think about, making it clear that he could decide to retire.

Whenever that day comes, whether it’s this spring or next, as soon as he announces, people are going to begin assessing his place in the game and, inevitably, the comparisons to Michael Jordan will crank up.

It’s not a fair comparison. James is much bigger and stronger than Jordan ever was.

And he couldn’t touch Jordan for a very simple reason.

Jordan was insanely competitive. James is highly competitive too, but Jordan’s fire was off the charts. As this video shows, Jordan sought out slights, real or perceived, and used them as motivation (before you hit that link, be advised that there is some NSFW language here).

Eventually, people figured it out: you didn’t want to say or do anything that he could turn against you, because once you got Jordan in that zone, you weren’t going to beat him.

Recency bias will have people arguing for James, but the truth is, he would have kept it zipped too. Jordan had the entire league on mental lockdown.