Stephen A. Smith: "I Will Never Put LeBron James Over Michael Jordan."

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LeBron James is the closest anyone has ever been to surpassing the great Michael Jordan. In fact, if he wins these Finals, it will only further solidify his claim as the best basketball player ever.

Still, not everyone is ready to make that leap just yet and even for all that LeBron has accomplished, there will always be those who refuse to put him at the top.

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith is one of the many who fall in that category, and he recently explained his position to Max Kellerman and Kendrick Perkins.

"Jordan is the greatest, the GOAT. Okay, it's not just about the seven consecutive years the brother averaged 30+, it's not the six NBA Finals and the unblemished record in the NBA Finals. It's not just the fact that he never even allowed a series in the Finals to reach seven games.

There's something about the road you travel to get there and nobody wants to pay attention to the level of competition that you have to go against en-route to that level of greatness you ultimately accomplish."

Stephen A. also pointed out how that while LeBron may be physically superior to Jordan, he just doesn't live up to His Airness mentally.

"LeBron James in terms of an all-around talent, you could make the argument he's better. But mental toughness, wasn't even in the same league."

Indeed, there was be nobody in basketball history who could break Michael Jordan. He always rose to the occasion, never backed down from a challenge, and was never phased by the hard-nosed tactics of his competitors.

Not even LeBron has lived up to that, and it seems to be one of the biggest reasons why he still sits at second place.