NBA fans have been comparing Michael Jordan and LeBron James for almost two decades now. This is the infamous GOAT debate that has kept the modern NBA world entertained for several years now. Especially after the King surpassed Kareem Abdul Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, fans only have one question – which player is better?
What makes the question quite difficult to answer is the fact that MJ and LeBron never played in the same era. In fact, one exited the league just as the other entered. Therefore, all fans have been able to do for multiple years is hypothesize on who could be better, based on factors that each individual feels to be relevant.
A throughout comparison between both these NBA legends and a sharing of the most important factors will certainly help fans make their own decision on which player is better.
Is LeBron James better than Michael Jordan?
That is certainly what the majority of the world is claiming at the moment. After all, it has been over two decades since we saw Jordan on a professional basketball court. On the other hand, we have seen the King dominate throughout this timeframe and break multiple NBA records of the past.
As we all know, Michael Jordan won 6 NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls. Moreover, he has never lost in the NBA Finals or even seen an elimination game there. While his entire career was only for 15 years, we should still remember that Jordan was unstoppable for most of the 1990s.
LeBron James went through something Michael Jordan did not. He had an otherworldly pressure of being a potential great on his back even before entering an NBA court. Hence his nickname The Chosen One.
LeBron certainly had a tougher time winning NBA titles. He joined the Miami Heat to win his first two championships. Then he returned to Cleveland and brought a championship back to his hometown. Finally, he won again with the Los Angeles Lakers.
That sums up to 4 NBA titles and two short of catching up to Michael Jordan. However, even if LeBron manages to win 2 more NBA titles before his career ends, will fans truly accept that he is the undisputed NBA GOAT?
Who is the NBA GOAT?
There is no denying that LeBron James and Michael Jordan are the clear-cut frontrunners for this title. Several analysts, especially the older ones, claim that MJ could have destroyed LeBron James in a 1v1 situation. Others say this is unlikely due to LeBron’s superior size and athleticism.
LeBron James vs Michael Jordan
(5 yr. Peak)
Two players who are often compared by NBA fans. Is the comparison warranted? pic.twitter.com/IYQJLhumvt
— KBs GOAT (@KbsGoat) December 12, 2020
Michael Jordan certainly had a peak that was higher than LeBron James. He won 6 NBA titles in the fashion of two three-peats. We have not seen a three-peat from LeBron throughout his career. However, James has been playing at the highest level for far longer than MJ did. Moreover, he went further and did more with much worse teams compared to Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.
Now that LeBron has passed Kareem Abdul Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, some are of the opinion that he will inadvertently surpass Michael Jordan. Be that as it may, Jordan fans will forever use the fact that he was undefeated in the NBA Finals over LeBron James who lost 6 times so far.
The comparison that everyone wants to know: playoff Michael Jordan vs. playoff LeBron James
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 24, 2020
They both were part of different basketball systems and had varying opponents each time they made it to the NBA Finals. However, Jordan never lost there and LeBron has lost more than he has won. Until that changes, if it even can at this point, many people might continue presuming that MJ is the GOAT and was better than LeBron James.