A Superstar Comparison That’s Closer Than Most Think

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.

15 Responses

  1. Totally agree on those comparisons. I think A-Rod is done winning titles. Lebron still has time to change his legacy. Another similarity between both players is that they’re both immature in their own ways. A-Rod cracked under pressure, leading to steroid use. LBJ did “The Decision”, called a reporter retarded, and mocked Dirks illness. I think he needs to look at himself and say “how can I become a better leader?” Once he does that, I think his game will change dramatically.

    • Well, time is on LeBron’s side. He is still growing and, like in a lot of the superstars’s careers, he has to learn how to win in the big-time. And with that will come even better leadership.

  2. I’ve heard this comparison b4, anyway really nice article.

    Both will probably be hall of famers, but they’ll always be remembered as the guys who werent clutch, esp. compared to jeter and wade

    • We shall see. A-Rod definitely but LeBron is yet to be determined right now.

  3. nice post, something to thnk about. sports is very intresting when it comes to they way players win, how they win, who helped them win, how they handle their career and so on. as i get older i really look at the way players handle there choices in their sport or life and they way they want to people to think about them, or if they could care less.

    • I think LeBron needs to decide whether he wants people to care about his image and figure out why some don’t like him or if he is just going to focus on winning and block out the negativity some fans view him with.

  4. Kareem Howard

    I can that comparison. Both players are used to beating up on small teams, but when it’s time for clutch plays, they fall through the cracks and need some assistance. If Lebron is ok with being 2nd to Wade on winning several championships, then he will be fine in Miami, but in my opinion, despite all of the champioships they may win, he will want the spotlight as being the man and may end up leaving Miami in 5yrs for a chance to win it by himself with someone else.

  5. 7Boss1

    Well written piece but 2 things. 1 the year the Yankees won the title it was largely because of A-Rod. 2 Miami always have and always will be DWades team. LeBron played good in the Chicago and Boston series because there was no pressure. Since the start of the finals DWade has shown why its his team and will be as long as he’s there

    • These two are the same people. The only difference is LeBron does have time to change the way people view him and I will never say never because things and situations can change.

  6. I was watching PTI and there were also talking about how D-Wade is Jeter and Lebron is A-Rod after the whole making fun of Dirk Nowitzki’s sickness incident.

  7. Lee Love

    The Heat was Wade’s team before LBJ joined and is still Wade’s team, I think Heat will find a way to even series up regardless of what LBJ does. Like ARod the bar was set so high LBJ may never achieve super-super stardom that he proclaimed for himself even if his team does go on to be successful. We must not forget what the Mavs have accomplished, it’s not all about what the Heat gave them. As far as the ARod/LBJ comparison is concerned that maybe accurate to some degree especially where the killer gene comparisons are concerned.

    • Agreed. I’m not forgetting what the Mavs have done. They’ve played great all series and have gone toe-to-toe with Miami.

      And as far as A-Rod and LBJ, I’m convinced they paths are both the same. Both super-talented but lacking that clutch gene.

  8. 7Boss1

    Good read good points but 2 things. 1 that year the Yanks won the title it was largely because of A-Rod he couldve easily been the MVP but Matsui was a lil bit bigger in that series. 2 Miami has been and will always be DWades team that’s why LeBron went there. LeBron had good series against Chicago and Boston but when it matters most he hasn’t been there but DWade has been and will be the man in Miami

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