Cleat Geeks

LeBron vs. MJ; The Great Basketball Debate

25orMorePointsNo one can dispute the fact that LeBron James is one of the best basketball players of all time; however, some argue that he isn’t as good as some of the all-time greats like Jordan, Magic, or Bird. Analysts are sharply divided on this issue of where LeBron James stands among the all-time greats: while some claim that he possesses the highest basketball IQ in history, others maintain that his attitude and general arrogance make him one of the worst team players the game has ever seen.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of LeBron James neither on nor off the court and his recent issues with Cavs head coach David Blatt validate this claim.

There is no doubt that LeBron James is one of the most dominant players in the game today, but calling him one of the greatest of all time is a great injustice to other players who have actually earned the title of “greatest of all time”.MJvsLJ

Let’s not beat around the bush here – everyone who is reading this wants to know the answer to this question: who is better – LeBron or MJ? And to answer that question, let’s look at some statistics from both of these players at the same age (28):

POINTS: Michael Jordan def. LeBron James, 32.3 – 27.6
REBOUNDS: LeBron James def. Michael Jordan, 7.3 – 6.3
ASSISTS: LeBron James def. Michael Jordan, 6.9 – 6.0
MVP’s: LeBron James def. Michael Jordan, 4 – 3
NBA TITLES: Tied 2 – 2

Based on those statistics, it would appear that LeBron James is the better individual talent – and that’s the truth. Michael Jordan didn’t have the individual talent or physical prowess that LeBron James possesses – but you know this debate isn’t over.

The fact is that Michael Jordan is a better team player than LeBron ever was or will be.

Michael Jordan played on teams that were always stocked with premier talent. Whether that be Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, or any other player, Michael Jordan was surrounded with outstanding basketball players and coaches for the vast majority of his illustrious career.

LeBron James on the other hand has always had to do it himself and craves the spotlight. Anyone who thinks that Miami’s “Big 3” was really a “three-part machine” is clearly stuck in the past. The Heat was the LeBron James Show with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade as the opening acts. LeBron isn’t a team player, but that doesn’t make him a bad player – it just makes him a different kind of player.

To answer the age old question, “Who would win in a game of one-on-one, LeBron or MJ”, the obvious answer is LeBron: he is physically more gifted than Jordan and is just a more talented basketball player than MJ ever was. However, and this is a GIANT however, Michael Jordan is a better team player than LeBron and a more gifted player with the basketball.lebron-james-michael-jordan-career-graphic

So to answer the question, who is better LeBron or MJ, I don’t really think there is a conclusive answer: LeBron is a small forward and has the physical makeup to play that position better than anyone in NBA history; on the other hand, Michael Jordan is a shooting guard and plays that position better than anyone in NBA history. One thing, however, is true: both of these players are as talented as they come and are both once-in-a-generation-type athletes.


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