Lebron James has been getting compared to Michael Jordan since he entered the NBA out of high school in 2003; he was immediately dubbed “the chosen one”. NBA fans were longing for another “Jordan-like” player and LeBron was looked upon to fill that role. LeBron was an immediate force in the league, just as Jordan was, but he took a lot of heat from fans and analysts, who claimed he couldn’t lead a team to a championship, and he didn’t possess the “clutch-gene” that Jordan did. However, as the years have passed the argument for LeBron gains more steam. Approaching his 14th season in the league, what does the superstar need to do to be crowned the GOAT?
Well, first things first, let’s compare the players numbers as of last season:
*disclaimer*: LeBron has 4 MVP’s not 3.
Michael Jordan holds the obvious advantage in scoring, having won 9 more scoring titles than LeBron, boasting a career average 3 points higher, while maintaining the same fg% as LeBron. Michael is undoubtedly the greatest scorer ever, and it is next to impossible for LeBron to top Jordan’s scoring feats. However, LeBron has always been a better rebounder, and passer than Jordan. LeBron’s vision has always made him a double-threat on offense, making him (in my opinion) just as lethal as Jordan on the offensive end.
Michael Jordan also has the advantage on the defensive end, having made the all-defensive first team 4 more times, and holding better steals, and block averages. Michael is arguably the greatest two-way player in the history of the game, being only one of two players to win the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. That’s not to say that LeBron is a bad defender, but he isn’t quite the defender that M.J. was.
LeBron does have a few things going for him though. For example: LeBron has the advantage of beginning his NBA career 3 years earlier than Jordan; because of this he was able to log in more seasons before turning 30, not to mention the fat that he hasn’t retired like Jordan did, twice. LeBron has been able to fully take advantage of his youth, and with 3 more very good years left in him, he is sure to break some records. When it’s all said and done, Lebron will most likely hold the #2 spot on the all-time scoring list.
Yes, Jordan never lost an NBA finals, but he did lose a lot in the playoffs. He lost a total of 7 series in the playoffs. LeBron has lost 4 times in the finals, but the fact that he’s been to 7 NBA finals in just his 13th year in the NBA is mind blowing.
Last year LeBron had one of the all-time great NBA Finals performances leading the Cavaliers in every statistical category.
Add that to the fact that he led the Cav’s back from being down 3-1 against the Warriors who possessed the greatest regular season ever, and you can’t argue against the greatness of Lebron. After last season he locked himself, as a sure top 5 player of all-time, but what does he have to do to be the best?
LeBron will never match some of the things that Jordan did, but LeBron isn’t Jordan, he’s LeBron. He dominates the game in different ways. He is, in my opinion, the most polished athlete the game has ever seen, and with a few more solid years he can put himself into the GOAT position. Two more rings and one more MVP, and I think he takes the crown.