LeBron James: Tom Brady can’t be the greatest athlete of all time
LeBron James is among the best pure athletes to ever put on a uniform of any kind and Tom Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback to ever strap on a helmet. But the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar, while a great admirer of the New England Patriots signal-caller, believes Brady cannot be considered the greatest athlete of all time.
James stated his reasoning about Brady on the ESPN series “The Shop,” which chronicles discussions the Cavs superstar has with fellow athletes at a barbershop. The discussion was spawned by Maverick Carter discussing Brady’s remarkable legacy, with James arguing no football player can be heralded as the greatest athlete of all time, even Brady.
“My only argument with a football player being the greatest athlete of all time is that they only gotta play one side of the floor, man,” James began. “Yes, Brady is unbelievable. Brady is the greatest quarterback I’ve ever seen but he affects the game one way. …
“Just as a basketball player, and the pounding that you take and running both sides — ‘OK, I gotta do offense. Oh (expletive), I gotta get back on defense. Oh (expletive), I gotta get back on offense. Oh (expletive), I gotta get back on defense.’ As physical as football is — and to the body, I know it’s crazy to the body — but for a quarterback, [Patriots coach Bill] Belichick has done a great job of implementing those five guys in front to protect that asset. …
“For us [as basketball players], every single night, you gotta know both sides. We both played football … the offense never even talked to the defense — all week! We don’t even speak to y’all! When I played football, offensively, I never even talked to the defensive side. I never even talked to y’all! Ain’t nothing to talk about! I’m sitting down like this on the bench — ‘Oh, turnover? Oh, where’s my helmet?’ … You remember that!”
“I’m not saying he’s not great. He’s the greatest football player of all time.”
A compelling argument, to be sure. And odds are Brady will remain a big fan of James despite the assessment.