Despite that, James and Jordan have never really had much of a relationship. Sure, given Jordan’s ownership of the Charlotte Bobcats and James’ contractual obligations to the Miami Heat (and previously Cleveland Cavaliers), that likely played a role – at least from a public perspective – but James has always longed for more.
He spoke about it in a recent piece for ESPN:
Do you wish you had more of a relationship with Jordan?
[Leans back pensively and starts smiling, as if he's not sure he should answer the question] Ahhh, I mean, I don’t know. That’s a trick question. I do. I do at times. You know, he’s somebody who I looked up to, and I’ve never had a conversation with him about the game. I would love to sit down with him and just know exactly what he was going through and know what was his mind frame throughout all his special years.
James continued on with his answer, suggesting that he would like to know what thoughts were going through his mind as Jordan was dealing with the Pistons, the Knicks, the Pacers before closing his answer.
But just as he closed it, he began to reveal a much more personal desire to speak to Jordan:
[LeBron is seemingly done, winding down his thought. But then he pipes up, realizing there's more he wants to say. He gets louder, more animated.] And then also to hear him talk about me. I would like to know what he thinks about my game and ways I can get better. He probably thinks he can beat me one-on-one right now [laughing]. I know he probably thinks that. I know MJ definitely thinks he can beat me one-on-one right now.
Their lack of relationship always seemed a bit strange, considering the many parallels between the two. But it seems clear James is more than willing to open up things on his end, as for Jordan? That remains to be seen.