Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James
Throughout history, we like to compare great players from different eras. Sometime we debate that players from a current era are better than players from the past and vice versa. These debates reached a great magnitude when Michael Jordan entered the NBA in 1984. He was compared to Dr. J Julius Ervin. After having such an impact on the game and winning multiple titles, it was apparent that Jordan was the greatest player of all time in most eyes. The comparison didn’t stop however. People wanted the next Jordan. First it was Grant Hill then it was Kobe Bryant. Now it’s LeBron James. What made this even a topic is when Syracuse Orangemen Coach and Team USA assistant Jim Boeheim said “He’s a leader. He gets on the court, he tells people what to do … this guy can guard five (positions) … put him on anybody, he can guard him. I always felt Michael Jordan was the best player I’ve ever seen … I didn’t think it was close … and I’m not so sure anymore … this guy is 6-9, 260 pounds and he’s getting better.” Well let’s break it down.
Let me be quite frank from the start, Michael Jordan is still the greatest player of all time and LeBron James is not there yet. There might be a day where we see a player and say that he is better than Jordan. That day hasn’t arrived yet. LeBron James shouldn’t be in the conversation at this point. Let’s have some prospective for a moment. LeBron James is not even in the class of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell, and Kobe Bryant among others when it comes to championships. It’s disrespectful to other great player to say James is the best when he only won one title and has had his bad moments in crucial times. You mean to tell me if he had lost in the Finals this past season that we would have this conversation?
Take out this past season and we all would look at LeBron James as one of the biggest underachievers in the history of sports. It would be fine to say that James is the most gifted player of all-time. What you can’t measure is a person’s will, heart, and determination to be the best. That’s where Michael Jordan comes in. Who would you want to take the last shot? Have you seen a Michael Jordan led team lose in the Finals twice? Did we see Jordan join two other great players to win a title?
Let’s not rule out that LeBron James could become the greatest of all-time. He has plenty of time to prove many people wrong including myself. I just feel it is too premature to say he’s better than Jordan. Jordan had a team with Scottie Pippen and good role players. They won three NBA Championships then Jordan retired. He played Baseball, came back, and won three more rings. After having six rings, an Olympic gold medal, and built a brand that is the most successful brand by any athlete ever. The impact he has had on the game shouldn’t be taken for granted. Even LeBron wore 23 for years to pay homage.
Who do you think is better, Jordan or James?