Wednesday, June 20, 2012

HEAT Check: Conversations Between Pat Riley, Michael Jordan and LeBron James

Have you ever wondered what Pat Riley says to LeBron James before big games?

Riley & Jordan
This youtube video and article from the Sports Fan Journal provides about Riley's interview with Michael Jordan provide some insight.

The Lost Conversation Between Pat Riley And Michael Jordan: During the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, soon-to-be New York Knicks head coach Pat Riley sat down with Michael Jordan for what resulted in one of the most revealing interviews of His Airness’ career[...]

The most interesting part of the interview for me was at the 2:13 mark. Riley asked Jordan if he wanted to go through Magic Johnson to win the 1991 Finals and prove he was the best player or get revenge on the Portland Trailblazers for picking Sam Bowie over him in the 1984 draft.

Jordan said he'd rather face the Blazers for 2 reasons:

1. They would be an easier team to beat because they don't have Magic and the Lakers' championship experience.

2. The hype of a Magic vs. Michael matchup in the Finals would overshadow his teammates and the goal was to get them to step up in the spotlight with Michael, not get overlooked by it.

The LeBron What If...
What if LeBron said he preferred to play the Spurs in the Finals instead of the Thunder because LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant would put too much of the spotlight on him and he would prefer to share it with his teammates?

Would Jordan criticize LeBron if he made that statement? The article LeBron vs. Jordan: Where's the Beef makes you think that he would.

Finally, compare LeBron's 2012 MVP acceptance to Jordan's in 1991, the season he won his first title. They're eerily similar.

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