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 abril 2019
|United v City: De Gea, Pogba and the Red Devils´ stars in need of a ´reality check´|
|United v City: Aguero ready to shine after Old Trafford absences|
|Ferguson convinced me to take up management – Milosevic´s road to Partizan|
|United v City: Solskjaer out to correct Manchester derby record|
|United v City: Were the Red Devils too hasty to appoint Solskjaer?|
|Wheeler impresses in Mets´ win over Phillies|
|Raptors, 76ers advance as Lillard´s buzzer-beater sends Blazers through|
|Lillard´s stunning buzzer-beating three eliminates Thunder|
|Embiid: 76ers can win NBA Finals|
|Tigres UANL 0 Monterrey 1: Visitors draw first blood in Champions League final|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Cruzeiro stay perfect, Mineiro eliminated|
|Sterling reveals Van Dijk snub in favour of Kane|
|Frappart to become first female Ligue 1 referee|
|Cousins ´highly unlikely´ to return for Warriors in playoffs, says Kerr|
|Long´s Premier League record will be hard to beat – Hasenhuttl|
|Jovic to Madrid a ´real possibility´ – Eintracht director|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five overrated prospects, starting with a first-round QB|
|NFL Draft 2019: Teams with most riding on outcome|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five best first-round fits|
|Emery launches defence of Arsenal´s Mustafi|
|Valverde not bothered when Barca are crowned LaLiga champions|
|We have a chance to make change – Sterling calls for more to be done to combat racism|
|Solskjaer: Man Utd not ready to compete with City or Liverpool next season|
|Pochettino still harbours hope of Eriksen extension|
|Klopp set for Dortmund reunion in US friendly|
23 de abril 2019
|49ers kicker Gould trying to force trade|
|Saracens wing Strettle to retire|
|Sevastova serves up Stuttgart bagel to oust Ostapenko|
|Man City have ´definitely not´ been offered Pogba again, insists Guardiola|
|Lucky loser Jarry shocks struggling Zverev in Barcelona|
|Guardiola rejects Solskjaer claims over City fouls|
|Deportivo Alaves 0 Barcelona 2: Alena and Suarez put champions-elect on brink of title|
|Rams pick up Goff´s fifth-year option|
|Hamburg 1 RB Leipzig 3: Poulsen and Forsberg fire visitors into DFB-Pokal final|
|Watford 1 Southampton 1: Gray cancels out Long´s record-breaking strike|
|Tottenham 1 Brighton and Hove Albion 0: Eriksen´s late stunner gives Spurs control in top-four battl|
|Long, King and the Premier League´s fastest goalscorers|
|Playing alongside Ronaldo is a pleasure, says Dybala|
|Watson ends drought as Super Kings go top|
|Southampton´s Long scores Premier League´s fastest goal|
|Seahawks reportedly send Frank Clark to Chiefs|
|AFC Champions League Review: Giovinco strike earns 10-man Al-Hilal win|
|Messi benched for Deportivo Alaves v Barcelona|
|Alexander-Arnold happy to support United in Manchester derby|
|Hudson-Odoi to have surgery on ruptured Achilles tendon|
|NFL Draft 2019 Big Board: Murray & Bosa the top prospects|
|ATP to decide on Gimelstob future following sentencing|
|F1 Raceweek: Ferrari looking to kick-start season with SF90 updates in Baku|
|Gattuso rejects surprise Newcastle links|
|Leeds United´s Alioski to miss remainder of Championship season|
|Injured Anderson to miss clay-court season|
|Manchester City star De Bruyne out of derby as Guardiola urges caution|
|I perfectly understand his position – Guardiola supports under-fire Solskjaer|
|Emery urges Arsenal to retain belief in top-four race|
|Mahrez is going nowhere - Guardiola|
|Simeone delighted ´extraordinary´ Oblak has signed new Atletico deal|
|O´Sullivan ´struggled to stay awake´ in Crucible upset|
|O´Sullivan stunned by amateur Cahill in another early exit|
|Wolfsburg confirm Glasner as new head coach|
|Suns fire coach Kokoskov after one season|
|Iniesta named new Vissel Kobe captain|
|Retiring too early would haunt me forever - Khan|
|Burnley laugh off ´anti-football´ jibes|
|Solskjaer convinced he can turn Manchester United´s slump around|
|Halep withdraws from Stuttgart Open with hip injury|
|They will snap at your ankles and kick you - Solskjaer mindful of Man City tactics|
|Sterling says racism ´runs deep´ in football & calls for radical changes|
|Defending Favors ´draining´ for Rockets – Harden|
|Mitchell thanks Jazz team-mates after flashing Game 4 warning at Rockets|
|Former Celtic captain and manager McNeill dies aged 79|