I was listening to ESPN Radio on my way home one day when I heard ESPN Radio show host Freddie Coleman say something that captured my attention. Coleman essentially said that Alex Rodriguez and LeBron James were the same player but in different sports. I was taken back by Coleman's claim when I first heard it. I then looked into this a little bit more and came to one conclusion: Coleman's right.
Rodriguez has been a talented player for as long as I can remember. But for as much talent as he was given, he couldn't be "the man" in Seattle and ultimately in Texas. A-Rod always put up great numbers in the regular season, but he never routinely led his teams to the playoffs. And even when he was in the playoffs, he didn't come through like he did in the regular season. He eventually got traded to New York because of his massive contract crippling the Rangers' organization. There he joined forces with then Mr. Clutch Derek Jeter and the Yankees won the championship. A-Rod got the title that had eluded him for so long, but unfortunately, I don't think the Yankees won because of his talent. They won because of the clutch play of Jeter and pitching.
LeBron James was a star before he even hit the age of 18. He was big, athletic, quick and at times unstoppable. The Ohio native was drafted number 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers and soon we were all witnesses to some of his greatest moments as he grew up right in front of our eyes. But for all the growing up LeBron did, he never quite has turned the corner as far as taking his team to the ultimate prize. Like A-Rod, a lot of people expected him to have won a title by now. But after disappointments in the NBA playoffs numerous years, James decided to take his talents to South Beach during "The Decision". LeBron is on the doorstep of achieving his first title, but if the Heat win the title, it won't be the way that many envisioned the title being won for LeBron. LeBron has played well this playoffs, but in clutch time in the NBA Finals, Miami has become D Wade's team. Wade has shown up at the right time with that same clutch gene that he and Jeter share.
Now, I will say that LeBron still has more years to play than A-Rod and LeBron even has more time this series to change how he is perceived right now. But as of this moment and time, he and Alex Rodriguez are the same type of athlete. They are supremely talented. They produce huge numbers as well, but in regards to that clutch gene, that's what they both seem to be missing that their superstar teammates Jeter and D Wade seem to have.