Cavaliers Nation

Dwyane Wade Compares LeBron James to Michael Jordan, Says Teams ‘Dream’ About Beating Him

Dwyane Wade Compares LeBron James to Michael Jordan, Says Teams 'Dream' About Beating Him

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has been compared to the legendary Michael Jordan in a variety of ways. One thing the duo definitely has in common is in their ability to take care of all other contenders when it comes to the Eastern Conference, with James having dispatched 11 different teams over the past six years.

James and the Cavaliers are on the verge of sending the Indiana Pacers home for the summer, holding a 3-0 advantage, with Sunday’s Game 4 in Indianapolis potentially completing the sweep. During those previous six years, five different Eastern teams have lost in the conference finals to a James-led team.

In the first round of this year’s postseason, the Boston Celtics are the top-seeded team in the East. Yet they find themselves trailing 2-0 to the Chicago Bulls, with two more losses giving the Cavaliers back home-court advantage over the next two rounds.

However, James has proven that having the top seed isn’t required to reach the finals. On five separate occasions, his teams have had the second seed as they have this season, and in each case, his team has reached the finals.

Like Jordan, it took James some time before such conference dominance became evident. However, should the Cleveland reach the finals again this year, it will put the four-time MVP in the rare category of players that have reached the NBA Finals in seven consecutive seasons.

“He’s that great of a player,” says Dwyane Wade, James’ former teammate with the Miami Heat. “We talked about that in Miami: Once he got in, it was like Jordan—it was going to be hard to get him out. And he’s proven that.”

The psychological impact of such domination now has teams trying to unlock a secret formula that will somehow eliminate James and the Cavaliers. Many teams have tried to parlay success during the regular season against the Cavaliers, only to find James and his teams more energized once the threat of elimination becomes part of the formula.

“There’s teams that, all they dream and sleep and eat and think about is beating LeBron and beating Cleveland,” said Wade.

Boston has amassed a number of top picks, yet are considered underachievers, while Chicago was on the verge of rebuilding its entire team before reversing course. The prospect of Paul George being dealt from Indiana could drastically alter that franchise, while an up-and-coming team like Washington has yet to encounter the major playoff pressure that James has dealt with on a yearly basis for much of his career.

All of those teams, along with the other trio of teams still alive in the East: Atlanta, Toronto and Milwaukee, still find themselves snoozing when it comes to finding the key to getting past a James team. Unlocking that door may continue to be a frustrating endeavor, considering that the 32-year-old James has no intention of retiring any time soon.

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