Debating LeBron James Versus Michael Jordan

No matter how much basketball fans want to spark up controversy about who is great, you always get the argument of dominance by certain individuals. There is no mistaking the legacy of Michael Jordan, but there appears to be a disconnect about the player and his supporting cast. Regardless of whom you ask, there will always be a perception of the greatness of Jordan. You will hear things like “Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player to ever live.” There is a truth to this, but if we break down the complete game of Michael Jordan and not just look at the scoring, a few guys may have a legitimate argument of being as good as Jordan in a few categories.

Last season during the Bulls-Heat playoff run, Scottie Pippen said that James has the ability to be the greatest basketball player ever. People immediately chastised him and be raided him as bitter that he couldn’t do anything without Jordan. Let us not forget: had the officials made the right call, Pippen and the Bulls would have beaten my New York Knicks and probably won the NBA championship over the Houston Rockets.

When you break down the two players, they have a lot of similarities and a lot of differences. Jordan probably has more of a repertoire of offensive game, as he can beat you inside and out. Lebron’s offensive game is maturing, but it’s not as seasoned as Mike’s was. However, if you look at their careers at age 26, Lebron may be further ahead offensively than Jordan was.

Lets run the Tale of the Tape: 

Three-Point Shot – Advantage, LeBron

Mid-Range Jumper – Advantage, Jordan

Post Game – Advantage, Jordan

Free Throw Shooting – Advantage, Jordan

Passing – Advantage, LeBron

Ball Handling – Advantage, LeBron

Man-to-Man Defense – Advantage, Jordan

Off-the-Ball Defense – Advantage, Jordan

Shot Blocking – Advantage, LeBron

Rebounding – Advantage, LeBron

When you finish looking at the tale of the tape, it is a lot closer than you think. The difference would be the difference in advantages. For example, Lebron may have a slight edge over Jordan in the three-point shot, but Jordan’s post game is light years ahead of Lebron's. Jordan’s free throw shooting may only be slightly better than Lebron’s, but Lebron’s passing ability is much better than Jordan’s.

Keeping these things in perspective, you can argue, for now, that Jordan is a significantly better player. Jordan has that killer instinct. Lebron has yet to develop it to the point that he will not take his foot off your throat as Mike so often demonstrated. However, if Lebron continues to improve his post game and defensive game, you can see where Scottie Pippen was coming from. Needless to say, in some people's eyes, James can’t ever be a winner. It’s too bad that we are letting a talent get chastised for doing things his way. It’s a shame, but in our society, if you aren’t Dudley Do Right, you get ostracized.

Stay Breezy ~ I’m Out!

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