Lebron James Says His Role Models Are MJ (Duh) and AI (Huh?)

The Miami Heat MVP says he constantly watches tape of Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson to improve his game.

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Eric Gay / AP

In an upcoming ESPN The Magazine cover story on Lebron James, the basketball star said he constantly watches two players on tape. Obviously, the first is the greatest of all time, Michael Jordan. The other choice? Allen Iverson, a former NBA All Star mired in tragedy and controversy who struggled to get back into the league and officially announced his retirement in August.

But even though Iverson may seem like a strange choice, James said he aims to emulate Iverson’s heart.

“He was one of the greatest finishers we’ve ever seen,” James said. “You could never question is heart. Ever. He gave it his all. AI was like my second favorite player growing up, after MJ.”

James also praised Jordan’s fearlessness, and admitted that even though he now has two championships and four MVP titles under his belt, he still hasn’t mastered Jordan’s courage. “That’s one of my biggest obstacles,” James said. “I want to succeed so bad hat I become afraid to fail.”