There is no doubt that every generation of basketball players has players that end up defining that generation. Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant are all players that are well-known for dominating the league during their careers.
Clippers coach Tyronn Lue is someone that has experience being around all three of those great players. He was notably teammates with both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant and coached LeBron James during his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Recently, Tyronn Lue explained why Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant are "the same" when speaking on the Knuckleheads podcast. Lue revealed that what separates those players from their competitors is their work ethic.
“Just seeing Kobe first, and then I left there and went to Washington and played with Jordan when he was 40,” Lue said. “Just seeing those two, and the way they worked, and how they grinded, and then, like you said, getting LeBron, those three guys, they all the same. Want to win, whatever it takes to win, but their work ethic — you come to the gym, you come in two hours early, and they already finished the workout. They sweating. They’re done.”
There is no doubt that Tyronn Lue has the unique experience of being around many all-time greats. He knows what it takes to get to that level and be successful. No one becomes an all-time player without living in the gym.
At the end of the day, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant are all players who have heavily defined the game of basketball, and it is clear that they all had the talent, but also the intangibles to get to their level. There are some who believe that there isn't just one GOAT and from Ty Lue's quote, we can surmise that to be considered in that tier, one has to put in a lot of work.