So… LeBron passed Michael Jordan in career playoff wins and ESPN praises the heavens. 120 playoff wins is an impressive feat, don’t get me wrong, but for ESPN to make such a spectacle of it, is just ridiculous. If anything it just tells us that Jordan needed less wins to get himself 6 rings, while LeBron has only managed 2 finals wins in 6 appearances.
Not only that, but LeBron has played in a historically bad Eastern Conference his whole career. In the 12 years that LeBron has been in the league, the West has won 8 of the 12 NBA Finals. I can only hypothesize that LeBron’s wins would be far lower had he spent his career in the big bad West.
Michael Jordan had to go through the Bad Boyz of Detroit, Larry Bird’s Celtics, Patrick Ewing’s Knicks, and Reggie Miller’s Pacers. Not to mention the teams that he had to beat in the finals: Stockton & Malone’s Jazz twice, the Seattle Supersonics (who are considered one of the best finals teams ever), Clyde’s Trailblazers, Magic’s Lakers, and Barkley’s Suns!
LeBron got beat by one of the worst NBA finals teams of all time: The 2011 Dallas Mavericks (No offense Dirk).
Now let’s compare Playoff numbers.
Michael Jordan played in 179 playoff games with averages of: 33.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.7 APG, 2.1 SPG, and 0.9 BPG shooting at .487% from the field.
LeBron James has played in 183 career playoff games with averages of: 28.1 PPG, 8.7 RBG, 6.7 APG, 1.7 SPG, and 0.9 BPG shooting at .473% from the field.
Both have impressive stat lines in the playoffs. Jordan has the clear advantage in scoring; 5 more PPG adds up to a lot more points (851 to be exact), but LeBron holds the obvious advantage in Rebounds and Assists. Michael Jordan only has a miniscule advantage with his defensive stats, but is considered by most to be a better defender than LeBron. Jordan also has the slight advantage in shooting percentage. Who has the advantage here? That’s up to you guys.
Now let’s look at their win percentages as of today…
LeBron: 120/183= 66%
Jordan: 119/179= 67%
So, from all of these numbers we can clearly see that these two stand in a class of their own in NBA history; but the fact remains that Jordan faced a much tougher path to the NBA finals, and when he got there, he performed. With a slight advantage in the playoff win percentage, and an undefeated finals record, it is clear that Jordan is, and may always be, the king of the playoffs.