Players don’t need to be measured by titles. Hakeem Olajuwon has 2 rings & he was better than Shaq(4) & Bill Russell(11). Allen Iverson has 0 and was better than Derrick Fisher (5) & Ray Allen(2). LeBron is the most explosive, versatile, & efficient player of all time. In my eyes he’s the greatest of all time. No disrespect to MJ. But hear me out.
LeBron has a higher career fg% than jordan (50%-49%). Does that make Jordan better? LeBron’s & Jordan’s 3pt% are almost identical (Jordan 33%, LeBron 34%). Is Jordan better? LeBron averages 7 assists per game and Jordan averages 5. Is Jordan better? Jordan career rebound average is 6. LeBron’s is 7. Is Jordan better? Jordan averages only 3 more career points than LeBron. He also took three more shots than LeBron per game. The only thing Jordan is just clearly better than LeBron in is free throws. Does that make Jordan better?
For the people who say that Jordan played against “real legends.” Just like Jordan played against Magic, Bird, Barkley, Hakeem, Ewing, Penny, Payton & Wilkins. LeBron played/plays against Kobe, McGrady, Garnett, Duncan, Iverson, Rose, Kawhi, Durant, Curry, Wade, Melo, & CP3. So things are not easier for LeBron by any means. So were Jordan’s opponents really harder? Jordan was a GREAT on ball defender. LeBron can effectively guard ALL positions. LeBron can also play PG, SG, SF, & PF. Is Jordan better? Also look at this: LeBron shot above 50% from ’09 to ’14. 2009 / 2010 = 50% 2010 / 2011 = 51% 2011 / 2012 = 53% 2012 / 2013 = 57% 2013 / 2014 = 57% (Almost 60%!!!!!) Jordan’s highest FG percentage was 54% and that was in 1988-89. Is Jordan better?
LeBron is so much more important to his team than Jordan ever was. In 2014, when he left the Heat, the Heat went 37-45 (a year after making the finals). That same season his new team, the Cavs, went to the finals after not being a playoff team. When Jordan left the NBA for baseball, his team still won 56 games and made the conference finals without him. When he came back they win 58 games and won it all, but he was only a difference of 2 wins. So all this “LeBron plays on super teams” should stop because clearly Jordan’s team was just as good if not better for the time.
Let’s look at stats from playoffs, Lebron has never lost a round one and has made the conference semis since 2005. He also made the finals every season since 2011, 7 straight!! The argument is that Jordan is more clutch than Lebron and clutch isn’t something that you can measure, but by all means Jordan has hit amazing shots at the biggest stage, but not everything is about the last shot. LeBron played the best team in a three year span three years straight in the finals. In the 2015 NBA finals without his second and third best player against a healthy golden state warriors. The cavs lost the series 4-2, but LeBron recorded 2 triple-doubles and averaged 36 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 assists per game in that finals. In 2016 LeBron came back down from a 3-1 lead against a 73 win team and won that finals in Game 7. In 2017 LeBron lost 4-1 against the same 73 win team, but now with the second best player in the world, Kevin Durant (behind LeBron).
Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA. He has made the finals 6 times. LeBron has played 14 seasons and made the finals 8 times. LeBron looks like he’s gonna make at least 3 more finals. Jordan was never able to make it over the hump for years while going against the bad boy Pistons or Bird’s Celtics. LeBron was able to make it over the hump in 2007 and ended up getting swept by the Spurs, but if Jordan was able to make it that far in his early career he would have been swept by the showtime Lakers, instead Jordan got past the hump in ’91 and beat the Lakers right before Magic was diagnosed with HIV and without a retired Kareem. Point is they didn’t play the real showtime Lakers and had no real challenge. LeBron might be 3-6 in his finals career, but he has been an underdog 6/8 years. In Jordan’s finals career the top players he went against were Magic, Drexler, Barkley, Payton, Stockton(2x), and Malone (2x). LeBron has gone up against Duncan (3x), Ginobli (3x), Parker (3x), Dirk, Durant (2x), Kawhi (2x), and Curry (2x).
NOW lets look at that game 5 finals game in which the Heat lost the title to the Spurs, because a lot of people blame LeBron (as usual): Wade shot 4 of 12 (11 points). Bosh shot 6 of 14 (0 of 5 from behind the arch). (13 points). Allen shot 1 of 8 (5 points). James: 10 of 21 (31 points), (10 rebounds), (5 assists), & (2 blocks), (1 turnover). Was that LeBron’s fault? Their names are Wade, Bosh & Allen, but where were their stats? Now lets take a look at one of the Bulls title wins (Game 5 vs Lakers/1991) Jordan had (30 points), (10 assists), (4 rebounds), (5 steals) (6 turnovers). Pippen had (32 points), (7 assists), (13 rebounds), (5 steals) (7 turnovers) Paxon even had 20 points. You see how well that worked out for Jordan? Lets do another one: (Bull’s game 6 finals win against the Sonics/1996). Jordan had (22 points), (7 assists), (9 rebounds), (2 steals), (5 turnovers) Pippen had (17 points), (5 assists), (8 rebounds), (4 steals), (3 turnovers) Rodman had (9 points), (5 assists), (19 rebounds), (3 steals), (1 block), (0 turnovers) Harper had (10 points). Longley had (12 points). You see how well that worked out for Jordan? All coached under a man with 11 rings (Phil Jackson). Yes, Jordan did go 6-0 in his finals career and LeBron is 3-5, but LeBron has gone against 27 half of famers in the finals and Jordan has only gone against 9.
Rings are great, but that only measures the greatness of a team, not a of a player. You can’t just say that Jordan is better than LeBron because has has 6 rings. Because with all of the facts I left; Is Jordan “better” than LeBron or did Jordan just have a better career? LeBron isn’t slowing down and that is shown by his average of a triple-double in the finals (2017). Now it is arguable between who is better because they both put up crazy numbers, but it’s not fair to automatically write off LeBron as being one of the greatest of all time just because he doesn’t have as many rings as the next guy. That’s so simple minded.
-Harris Reimer and Maxwell Schildcrout