Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James reflected on meeting Michael Jordan for the first time as being "godly" as he prepared to face the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.
James was still in high school at the time and Jordan was embarking on an NBA comeback with the Washington Wizards.
"It was godly," James told reporters. "I've said that over and over before, but it was like meeting God for the first time. That's what I felt like as a 16-year-old kid when I met MJ."
James is now almost 34 years old and just 46 points behind Jordan for number four on the NBA career scoring list.
"Any time I'm even mentioned with the greats that played this game and guys before me who laid the path, laid the grounds in this work and allowed me to be in this position, it's always humbling and gratifying for my city," James said, referring to his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
"Just knowing where I come from, some of you guys know where I come from that's been there, and some of you guys haven't, but where I come from, there's not many of us. It's very limited. It's very, very limited inspirations. Very limited resources. Very limited everything. So for me to be in this position where I'm at today, it's just a blessing."
James went on to praise Jordan for the impact he has had on the NBA, and said he is trying to continue the legacy the superstar helped create.
"MJ made the game global," James said. "He made the game global. He made people all over the world want to watch the game of basketball because of his marketability, because of the way he played the game of basketball, because of who he was. He kind of transcended that era.
"When MJ came in in '84 and started to do what he did, he made the game global. And obviously that '92 Barcelona run that the Dream Team had, it just solidified why he was the best athlete in the world to do as such. And then between MJ and David Stern, they turned it into what it is today, and guys like Adam Silver and myself are just trying to keep it going."
Jordan left an impact on the sport as he finished his career with six NBA championships and five MVP awards, while James has earned three titles and four MVP awards.
The Lakers forward has played in each of the past eight NBA Finals and has helped turn around Los Angeles. They are tied for fourth in the Western Conference at 17-11.
24 de febrero 2019
|Warriors´ Green injured against Rockets|
|I´m tired of saying we came close – Yankees´ Hicks wants a World Series|
|Bauer: Indians can be best team in MLB|
|Isner misses out on Delray Beach final, Auger-Aliassime through to Rio decider|
|Guardiola was criticised early at City – Barkley backs Chelsea boss Sarri|
|Solskjaer hails Pogba´s leadership and focus ahead of Liverpool clash|
|James Harden fined $25k for criticising NBA officials|
|Baddeley hits the front in Puerto Rico|
|Jaguares trump Bulls for first win of Super Rugby season|
|Ivory Coast on brink of qualification, Central African Republic hopes dashed|
|Johnson leads by four at WGC-Mexico Championship|
|Pelicans to rest Davis against Lakers|
|Rockets star Harden to miss Warriors clash|
|Eubank dominates DeGale to claim IBO super-middleweight crown|
|Man United clash will not decide Premier League title – Klopp|
|Solskjaer: Man United must avoid a title drought like Liverpool´s|
|Toulouse extend lead at the top, Stade down La Rochelle|
23 de febrero 2019
|Cruyff instilled Guardiola´s inner belief and desire to win|
|Treviso slay Dragons to go second, Blues stun Edinburgh|
|Tuchel happy with Verratti-Paredes partnership|
|Hodgson never expected to become Premier League´s oldest manager|
|Tigers batter Broncos to go top, Salford storm back to win|
|WATCH: Cantlay goes close to hole-in-one on par four|
|Rafinha confused and disappointed over lack of Bayern Munich opportunities|
|Bayern confirm Coman hamstring tear|
|Puel remaining positive despite Leicester losing again at home|
|Sloane Stephens vents as delayed flight leaves race to reach Acapulco|
|Valverde dismisses Solari complaints over fixture scheduling|
|Van Uytvanck battles into Budapest final|
|Patriots´ Devin McCourty reacts to Robert Kraft´s solicitation charges: ´Let it play out´|
|West Brom 0 Sheffield United 1: Dowell sends Blades back to second|
|Gatland happy for ´special´ Wales to stay under the radar|
|Eddie Jones rues England´s ill-discipline|
|Leicester City 1 Crystal Palace 4: Eagles mark Hodgson milestone with convincing win|
|Mbappe should have scored four or five - Tuchel|
|Sharks down Blues, Stormers clinch it at the last|
|Tsitsipas sets up Kukushkin decider in Marseille|
|Valverde sings Messi´s praises after 50th hat-trick|
|Wolves penalty was cruel on Bournemouth - Howe|
|Ismaily 1 CS Constantine 1: Hamdi own goal denies Egyptians victory|
|Record-breaking Wales fight back to beat England|
|Heidel stepping down as Schalke sporting director|
|Benitez: A great day for Almiron|
|Chiefs pounce on Sarries setback, Quins make it four in a row|
|Paris Saint-Germain 3 Nimes 0: Mbappe reaches Ligue 1 milestone|
|Kovac waiting on Coman tests after winger lasts nine minutes against Hertha|
|Championship Review: Leeds, Norwich both win|
|Messi insists LaLiga is not over despite downing Sevilla with 50th career hat-trick|
|Brilliant Bencic outlasts Kvitova to complete week of Dubai upsets|
|Sevilla 2 Barcelona 4: Messi hat-trick saves LaLiga leaders|
|Bournemouth 1 Wolves 1: King goes from penalty hero to villain|
|Newcastle United 2 Huddersfield Town 0: Magpies four clear of drop as Almiron sparkles|
|Zazai and Afghanistan smash records galore in thumping victory over Ireland|
|Dyche: Burnley have restored key core values|
|Kohli warns India over ´bad habits´ in IPL|
|Bayern Munich 1 Hertha Berlin 0: Martinez sends champions level at top|
|France bounce back as Scotland suffer familiar Paris pain|
|It was obvious! - Lloris furious at Dean decision|
|Maybe the cables crossed in my brain - Pochettino explains Dean row|
|Captaining Ireland an incredible honour - O´Mahony|
|Zazai´s 162 leads Afghanistan to record T20I total|
|Benitez: Ashley and I need to be on the same page|
|Burnley 2 Tottenham 1: Barnes hits late winner after Kane´s goalscoring return|
|Simeone has no gripe with Ronaldo over Atletico Madrid insult|
|Icardi remains sidelined for Inter´s Fiorentina trip|
|Sangakkara leads Sri Lanka plaudits after historic triumph|
|Solari still committed to LaLiga title race|
|Allegri calls on Juventus to ´do something extraordinary´ after Atletico loss|
|DeRozan humbled by reception on bittersweet Raptors return|
|Du Plessis laments lacklustre Proteas display|