The Age Old Debate: LeBron or Jordan?

I have researched this topic over the course of the past 6 months and have composed an article full of legitimate reasons LeBron is better than Michael Jordan all-time. Please take a look, and read every word I have written.

So, I am posed with the question what does LeBron need to do to pass Michael Jordan? He needs to absolutely nothing he has already passed Michael Jordan as far as who’s the best player ever.

When you break it down by the tale of the tape, the case is clear: Jordan is clutch scorer with six rings and a perfect finals record, but LeBron is the better all-around basketball player, who has overcome much more and statistically he is so much better than Jordan they are not comparable. Many argue that Jordan has more rings than LeBron. Yes, six beats three. But what matters is how you got those six, and what those six really mean. The goal in basketball is to win a championship. A championship is the premium accomplishment. Nevertheless, if we’re talking about accomplishments, Jordan’s not the GOAT. It’s Kareem. And if it’s not Kareem, it’s probably Bill Russell. Bill Russell is most notably known because of his eleven championship rings. However, how can Bill Russell be considered the greatest of all time when Bill Russell did not even average the most points or assists on nine of his eleven championship teams, John Havlicek did. So, we’re not really talking about accomplishments. We’re talking about, “Who’s the best?” Who’s the better player? One game to decide your life, who do you want in all-time history? So, for LeBron to pass Jordan, we need a time machine to go back about 23 months, when he passed him the first time. LeBron’s claimed the best player ever title in 2016 and this started about midway-point of Game 6 of the 2016 Finals, and all he’s done since then is continued it. He’s on the greatest streak in postseason history since Draymond Green called him the b-word, and Klay Thompson said his feelings were hurt. LeBron haters were licking their chops, he was down 3-1 and it looked as if the Golden State Warriors were going to repeat. But, James turned it on and scored 41 in games 5 and 6. In game 7, LeBron recorded a triple-double, a game-saving freakish block and hit the championship-clinching free throws. Arguing LeBron did not hit the game-winner, is thoughtless, LeBron led his team in every stat category in game 7, during the finals and throughout the season. He led his team to the greatest comeback in NBA history. He also knocked off the “greatest team of all time” record wise. LeBron continues to blow people’s mind. No player in their 15th season averaged 20/5/5, LeBron is averaging 28/9/8, and 34/9/9 in the playoffs. Absolutely incredible. Back to the Jordan argument, when we’re just comparing the two players, LeBron averages more rebounds, assists, blocks than Jordan, shoots a better percentage from two, shoots a better percentage from three, is the more versatile defender, can guard all five positions — he can do everything Jordan could do, but better. Jordan fans will continue to throw the phrase “LeBron is 3-5 in the finals and Jordan is 6-0.” This can be accredited to the alignment of the conferences. Michael Jordan could not beat Bird’s Celtics dynasty or Thomas’s Pistons dynasty. That caused Jordan to lose in the first round three times and lose three times to the Pistons before reaching the finals. If the Pistons and Celtics had been in the West, Jordan would have been in the finals and would have lost. He would not have 0 final losses. Jordan never beat Bird’s Celtics, he only beat the Bad Boy Pistons because age had beaten them first. On the other hand, LeBron’s 3-5 finals record can also be attributed to the fact that he plays in the era of mobility in the NBA. Kevin Durant the 2nd best player in the NBA went to the 73-9 Warriors. The second-best player in the NBA joining the best team of all time is quite the task to overcome. That would be like Hakeem Olajuwon going to Malone and Stockton’s Jazz or Barkley and Johnson’s Suns, Michael Jordan would have lost. Michael Jordan also had arguably the greatest coach of all time, Phil Jackson coaching him. Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen. Michael Jordan never won a championship without Scottie Pippen. Michael Jordan also had a former two-time defensive player of the year and double-double machine Dennis Rodman. Jordan had the defensive player of the year on his team, LeBron has faced them. In the playoffs, LeBron has faced 8 former defensive players of the year (4 being in the finals) compared to Jordan, who has faced two. LeBron is also easily more valuable than Jordan. LeBron left the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Cavs went from the playoffs to 1st in the lottery. He left Miami and they went from a championship team to failing to make the playoffs. Jordan left the Bulls and they went from a 57-win team to a 55-win team. The Chicago Bulls value to Jordan was extremely evident in a game when the Bulls were down 2-0, Jordan shot 3-18 and his team ended up winning by 20.  Not discrediting Jordan’s value, it is just another area LeBron crushes Jordan in. Another area to debate is the clutch factor. Michael Jordan is clutch, but he isn’t as clutch as LeBron. LeBron James in close-out games averages 34.9 points per game. He shoots 57% in the final two minutes of the game. He has 5 playoff buzzer beaters compared to Michael Jordan’s mere 3. Jordan also notably has not shown up in several close out games. Let’s go year by year. In Game 5 of the 1991 Finals, Scottie Pippen puts up 32/13/7 and Jordan puts up 30 on 23 shots. In the 1992 NBA finals, MJ goes to the bench down 15. His team goes on a 14-2 run and wins the title. In the 1993 Finals, the Bulls score 12 straight points when MJ goes to the bench and John Paxson goes on to hit clutch shots late. Game 6 of the 1996 finals, MJ shoots 5/19 against an injured Gary Payton and is rewarded Finals MVP. Game 6 of the 1997 finals, Jordan scores 39 points on 35 shots while being guarded by Jeff Hornacek, and then passes to Steve Kerr who hit the final shot to clinch the title. In the 1998 finals, Jordan hits “the shot” and puts up 45 points while shooting 35 shots and having one assist. That game is regarded as the “most clutch performance” of Jordan’s career. In some of MJ’s most highly regarded series, he was guarded by the likes of 180-lb Craig Ehlo, 175-lb Danny Ainge (who actually outscored him in an elimination game), 180-lb Jeff Hornacek and 6’1” Kevin Johnson. While LeBron has been guarded by DPOY Draymond Green, 2x DPOY Kawhi Leonard, Again, not doubting Jordan’s clutchness and value, just analyzing the differences. In Jordan’s trips to the finals, he has faced 8 Hall of Famers. Worthy, old washed-up Magic, Malone, Stockton, Drexler, Barkley, Ewing, and Payton. While LeBron has come across 26 Hall of Famers in his finals trips. My final point, is LeBron’s overall dominance compared to Jordan. Yes, Jordan was dominant but LeBron is more dominant. LeBron for the past 15 years has romped the Eastern conference, he has buried spectacular teams. The 60-win Hawks, Rose’s Bulls, the Big-3 in Boston, The 60-win Raptors, Paul George and Hibbert’s Pacers. Out of LeBron’s 15 years in the League he has been the best player in the league for 11 or 12 of them. Jordan was the best player in the league for 8 years.

 

These are the reasons why LeBron is a better basketball player all-time than Michael Jordan. LeBron is the greatest basketball player of all time. The only thing left for LeBron to do from a basketball standpoint is becoming the all-time point leader in NBA history and continuing to win, and thusly improving his legacy and cementing himself as the greatest ATHLETE ever. I hope you enjoyed this analytical report.

2 Replies to “The Age Old Debate: LeBron or Jordan?”

  1. LeBron himself said he was chasing a ghost (Jordan). One of his best friends, Dwayne Wade, said LeBron will never be better than Jordan. Maybe you should compare LeBron to Kobe. Good arguments though.

    Like

  2. Jonah, Wow, unbelievable research and article! You’ll probably get some heat from all the Michael Jordan lovers! As always I’m impressed! Nana

    >

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s