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Kevin McHale: LeBron James’ GOAT chatter ‘disrespectful’

Add Kevin McHale to the list of NBA legends from previous eras to hit back at LeBron James over the Los Angeles Lakers star’s recent “GOAT” talk.

James ignited a firestorm — not to mention some blowback — by saying that leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a comeback victory over the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals “made me the greatest player of all time.”

McHale, a three-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and Hall of Famer, took issue with James’ proclamation, arguing such a bold statement is “disrespectful” to the iconic players who came before him.

“We all sit at this table all the time and sing his praises, I think LeBron is a great player,” McHale said this week on NBA TV, via “I just think that’s disrespectful honestly to Bill Russell.

“Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan,” McHale added. “There are just so many. Two of my good…Larry and Magic, just led teams and turned the league around. You don’t need to say that about yourself. Let other people say that for you. I mean I was kind of surprised because I’d read about it, but that’s the first time I’d actually heard him say it, ‘Made me the GOAT.’ I’m like, damn.”

It’s hardly surprising that James’ comments drew the ire of the NBA’s old guard. Interestingly, Michael Jordan, who of course is among those as deserving of the “GOAT” moniker as James, has taken a similar stance as McHale, arguing that hearing others herald him as such is “embarrassing,” adding it’s difficult to quantify given he “never had the chance to compete against other legends that was prior to me.”

McHale, more than anything, did not like how James even mentioned himself in such a manner.

“I just didn’t like the way that sounded to me,” McHale added.