Myles Garrett aims to become the LeBron James of NFL defenders

Cleveland Browns Training Camp
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Myles Garrett‘s older brother, Sean Williams, was a first-round draft choice of the New Jersey Nets in 2007, so the Browns pass rusher knows a thing or two about the NBA. He saw LeBron James take the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals for the first time in 2007 before the team added Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to win the title in 2016.

So why not the Browns, who have the most talent they have had in a long, long time?

The All-Pro pass rusher now has Jadeveon Clowney and Malik Jackson with him on the line, and Garrett wants to do what James did for Cleveland’s pro basketball team. He wants to deliver a championship to Cleveland and become one of the best NFL defenders ever.

“I’ve got my Kyrie and my Love?” Garrett asked rhetorically during an interview with Nate Ulrich of the Beacon Journal. “Well, hell, I have to prove that I’m LeBron first before anything. I have to prove that I’m the playmaker at all levels. Hell, he’s top three in any debate that you have.”

James recently called Garrett a “flat-out beast” on social media.

Garrett has 42.5 sacks and 83 quarterback hits in 51 career games, but he has missed 13 games in four seasons with injuries, a suspension and COVID-19. He has played all 16 games only once.

The former No. 1 overall choice has shown he’s capable of being in the defensive player of the year conversation, but Garrett hasn’t done that yet.

“I feel like I have the talent to put out a hell of a year, one that will be remembered for a long time, especially here with the things we’re doing or hope to do this year,” Garrett said. “If I can have the year they expect me to have and that I hope to have, then it will be remembered for a long time. It will be just what I’m hoping that I could’ve done the last two years and continue to do for the rest of my career.”

Garrett concedes he has to do a better job of being available if he’s going to do what he wants to do.

“The guys who were in the talks to win DPOY (defensive player of the year), (T.J.) Watt and (Aaron) Donald, great players, but I was right among them before I was hit with COVID,” Garrett said. “They didn’t get it, so they were available. They were on the field, and they took care of themselves. That’s on me for not doing that — however I got it — and I’ve got to make sure I’m available this year for my team, for the individual goals that I have and for whatever run we’ll have in the playoffs.”