LeBron is good but he's no M.J.

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell is a huge fan of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, but he took exception yesterday after practice when James was being compared to Michael Jordan.

"It's not fair to compare LeBron to Michael. They're two different people. Like it wouldn't be fair to compare you to Albert Einstein," Mitchell told a reporter. "Everybody talks about the next Michael Jordan. There may not be a next.

"When (James) gets six championships, then you can start talking about Jordan," the coach said. "Until you get six, you can't put him the class of Michael Jordan. I don't think you can put anyone in that class right now. I think LeBron James is going to be a great player, but there were other things that made Michael Jordan the greatest. I've seen Michael Jordan literally beat teams by himself, on sheer will."

Mitchell is, however, very impressed with the way James has played for the Cavaliers this season, and, of course, wouldn't mind if the second-year sensation had an off night this evening when the Raptors come into town. James is averaging 25.3 points, 7.6 and 7.2 rebounds per game and would like to average a triple-double for a season in the future.

"He's getting better in every area," Mitchell acknowledged. "The points and rebounds you expect, because he's big and strong and athletic. The thing that's impressive is his seven rebounds and seven assists (and field-goal percentage)."

LEARNING TO DEFEND

Mitchell has not been pleased with his players' defensive efforts of late, and was not pleased when it was asked if his players lacked the know-how on defence to go along with their lack of effort.

"They know their assignments, they know what they're supposed to be doing, they just haven't done it," he said.


Videos

Photos