With LeBron James' legendary championship run this year, ending the Cleveland sports curse and winning another Finals MVP, the question that has been discussed over the years is being brought up again frequently... is LeBron James the greatest basketball player to ever live? For most, the only player standing in "The King's" way, is Michael Jordan, who has rivaled James' great career in almost every way.
In this article, we will be comparing some of the greatest basketball players to ever live, Michael Jordan and LeBron James. We will be analyzing 8 reasons LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan, and 8 reasons that he is not better than him. This article will most likely spark some debate, as many people just don't want to accept that LeBron James might be the most dominant player to ever play the game. It is a debate that is still one sided in the eyes of many fans, as many will refuse to put anyone in the same class as MJ.
As always, feel free to leave any other reasons that could have been included on this list, as we would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.
Here are 8 reasons LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan and 8 reasons he's not.
13 Is Better: Defensive Versatility
12 Is Not Better: Championships
11 Is Better: Passing
10 Is Not Better: Killer Instinct
9 Is Better: Rebounding
At 6'8 compared to Michael's 6'6 frame, LeBron James should probably be a better re-bounder than Jordan, which he is. Rebounding is as important to LeBron as any other part of his game, as he takes it seriously just like a center would. Jordan on the other hand, while he did sky to some rebounds in his day, LeBron has already surpassed Jordan in total rebounds for both of the two men's careers. This is saying a lot about LeBron, as Jordan is very respectable in this category, even averaging 8 rebounds a game in one season. The playoffs are when LeBron really turns up his re-bounding, as he averages over 2 more rebounds than Jordan did in the playoffs.
8 Is Not Better: Clutch Factor
Michael Jordan was much more clutch than LeBron James is today. We have seen LeBron disappear multiple times in some very clutch moments, which is a time where Jordan would have shined. Countless examples of Jordan's will to win can be discussed. Whether it be knocking down the game winner to give North Carolina the championship in 1982 or it was "the shot" against the Cavaliers, Jordan has a long list of clutch shots. LeBron has had some game winners too, but his fourth quarter self just didn't change as much as Michael's did, as MJ became a total monster when he needed to. LeBron's clutch factor has gotten better but it still doesn't rival Jordan's.
7 Is Not Better: "The Decision"
6 Is Better: Hometown Hero
5 Is Not Better: IQ
4 Is Not Better: Scoring
MJ has the total edge over LeBron when it comes to scoring. While it seems as though James could score 40 a game if he really wanted to, the killer instinct Jordan has when it comes to putting the ball in the basket just trumps LeBron. Jordan averaged over 30 points a game through his career, while James trails behind with about 27 points a game. It is without question that Jordan's scoring led to some big wins during his career with the Bulls, as he is definitely one of the greatest scorers of all-time. Let me just leave you with a little statistic, Jordan had 10 scoring championships to LeBron's lone 1.
3 Is Better: Value To Team
2 Is Better: Team Player
1 Is Not Better: Worse Competition
Something that absolutely needs to be brought up when comparing LeBron and Jordan is the different era's they played in. Jordan was considered to play in the golden age of basketball, as he competed against some of the greatest players ever each night. The 80's and 90's was when the NBA's competition was at it's peak, as each team tried to take down Jordan by any means necessary. The "Bad Boy" Pistons even made the "Jordan Rules," which was a defensive strategy designed to pretty much break Jordan mentally and physically, as he was hounded all night by multiple different players. The question that arises with this, is would LeBron be able to handle the pressure that Jordan did each night?
The NBA today is so buddy-buddy it really makes me sick. While I don't think LeBron would have gotten eaten alive if he played in Jordan's era, the competition that Jordan faced during his tenure in the league was far better than what LeBron faces today.
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