Lebron or Jordan?

One of the biggest debates in sports is; who is the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T)? Michael Jordan dominated the 90s and is the main reason why many other NBA stars never won an NBA championship. His Jordan brand is still one of the biggest in the world and he helps raise the popularity of the NBA to what it is today. Lebron James is the most dominant player today, and every social media follows his every move. Lebron has his own brand and is a strong voice for players using their platform to raise social issues. There is a long list of other peoples that would try to argue that they are in the running for G.O.A.T. Bill Russell with his 11 trophies, Kobe Bryant dominated the years between Jordan and Lebron, Kareem Abdul Jabbar with the most points in NBA history, Wilt Chamberlain and his 100 point game. There only two players in NBA history to win 4 MVP awards and 3 Finals MVP, and that is Lebron James and Michael Jordan. At the end of the day, the argument will always come down to Jordan or James at who is number 1. Just looking at their on-court stats, I’ll put down the stats for these two superstars.

Lebron and Jordan both have been considered the G.O.A.T (Photo by basketballforever.com)

Lebron Pros

  • 1st in career Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) (129.79), next player on the list, Michael Jordan (104.43)
  • 1st in career Box Plus/Minus (9.13), next player on the list, Michael Jordan (8.09)
  • 1st player ever to average more than 27 points, nine assists and eight rebounds while also shooting better than 52% over the course of a full season
  • 4th in Career Points 32,543 (5th Jordan 32,292)
  • Most consecutive double-digit scoring games (928 games)
  • Most Conference Player of the Week (61 times)
  • Most Conference Player of the Month (44 times)
  • Only NBA player to lead his team in all five major statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks) twice in there career
  •  13 consecutive years in the top-5 in the MVP race is the longest streak in league history
  • one of two players to win 4 MVPs in 5 years (Russell), one of two players to win multiple MVPs on two teams (Kareem)
  • 8 constitutive NBA Finals appearances
  • Lebron’s playoff stats this century– points- 6,911 (Bryant 4,376), Assists- 1,687 (Parker 1,143) Defensive Rebounds- 1,756 (Duncan 1,746), Steals- 419 (Ginobili 292), Made 3s- 370 (Curry 378)
  • Playoff’s All-time leading scorer (Jordan 2nd), fields goals, and steals
  • Lebron has the most game-winning buzzer-beaters in Playoff history
  • NBA’s highest career scoring average in Game 7 (34.9 PPG) and elimination games (32.8)
  • 22 career (35-8-8) playoff games, Jordan has 9
  • In 2016, LeBron became the first and only player ever to lead BOTH teams in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals in a playoff series. 
  • Came back from being down 3-1 to defeat the 73-win Warriors
  • Only favorite in one Final Appearance
  • Cavs seasons without Lebron James, finish 15th, 13th,13th, 10th, and 14th this past season.
  • No Hall of Fame coach at any time in his career

Lebrons Cons

  • NBA Finals record 3-6
  • Everyone wanted to be “Like Mike”, nowadays kids want to be like Durant, Curry, other stars
  • Jordan brand everywhere
  • “Ray Allen saved Lebron Legacy”
  • Lost to the Mavs, when Miami was a heavy favorite
  • Un-loyal to Hometown Cavs
  • Ring Chaser
  • Started the super team movement by joining Miami
  • Weak Eastern Conference
Lebron James Return to Cleveland Banner (Photo by Cleveland.com)

Jordan Pros

  •  Only NBA player to win a NCAA title, 2 gold medals, and multiple NBA rings
  • Only NBA player in history to win Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, MVP, All-star game MVP, and Finals MVP
  • 1st in career Player Efficiency Rating (PER) (27.91), next player on the list Lebron (27.59)
  • 1st player to win MVP and Defensive Player of the year in same season
  • 1st player to lead the league in scoring and steals in the same season
  • Led the Bulls to second best record in a season 72-10, never lost 3 consecutive games since 1991 0-3 start
  • NBA All-Defensive First Team selections: 9
  • Blocked shots by a guard, career: 893
  • Blocked shots by a guard, season: 131 (1987–88)\
  • Only guard in NBA history to lead his team in all 5 categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks) during a playoff series
  • Played 82 games at 40 years old
  • Only player in NBA history to average at least 30 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists in a title run (2 times)
    Only player in NBA history to shoot at least 38% on 3-point field goals in 3 NBA Finals runs
  • Led NBA in scoring as a rookie
  • Most 30, 40, 50-point games in playoff history
  • Playoff record for points in a game- 63 against Bird’s Celtics
  • Games scoring 30 or more points in their career (562)
  • 29 Game Winning Shots
  • 2nd most 2,000 points seasons (11), Lebron (10)
  • 1993 NBA Finals averaged 41 PPG against Barkley’s Suns
  • Consecutive seasons leading the league in scoring- 7
  • Never lost in the NBA Finals (6-0)
  • 2 3-peats with the Bulls
  • Iconic Moments, “The Shot”, free throw line dunk, “The Shrug”, “The Flu Game” (44 minutes and drops 38)

Cons

  • Never average more than 8 rebounds, or 8 assist or 54% in a season
  • 97-98 MVP season averaged 28-4-6-46%, Lebron last season with the Lakers (miss playoffs) 27.5-8-8-51%
  • First playoff run lost 3-1 to Bucks in first round
  • swept twice by Celtics in first round
  • Scottie Pippen (Jordan teammate) often in Top 50 of All-Time list
  • No social Media during playing days
  • retirement for baseball
  • Wizards years
  • Hall of fame coach, Phil Jackson whole Chicago career
  • The two season without Jordan, Bulls were 2nd and a 3rd seed and lost in the conference semi-finals
Micheal Jordan with his first NBA Trophy (Photo by Sun-Times file photo)

Head-to-Head Stats (As of June 1st 2019)

JordanLebron
NBA Draft1985 ROY* Round 1, 3rd pick2004 ROY* Round 1, 1st pick
Years in NBA1516
NBA Finals Record (MVP)6-0 (6)4-6 (3)
MVP 54
All-star appearance (MVP)14 (3)15 (3)
NBA Scoring Leader101
All-NBA First Team1012
All-NBA Defensive Team95
Triple Double2581
Double Double151443
Games Played1,0721,198
Minutes 41,011 (30.1 MPG)46.235 (38.6 MPG)
Points32,292 (30.1 PPG)32,543 (27.2 PPG)
Most points in a game69 @ Cavs 199061 @ Bobcats 2014
Assist5,633 (5.3 APG)8,662 (7.2 APG)
Rebound6,672 (6.2 RPG)8,880 (7.4 RPG)
Steals2,514 (2.3 SPG)1,937 (1.6 SPG)
Blocks893 (0.8 BPG)921 (0.8 BPG)
Turnovers2924 (2.7 TPG) 4,163 (3.5 TPG)
Field Goal%.497.504
Free Throw%.835.736
3-point%.327.343

ROY*=Rookie of the Year

Micheal and Lebron (Photo by AP, USA TODAY)

Who Wins?

In my honest opinion, Lebron James gets the crown as the G.O.A.T. Micheal Jordan is the best scorer of all-time and can take over a game at any moment, but he always had talented players along with a hall of fame coach with him. I understand it isn’t MJ’s fault for having such surroundings, but it does hurt his argument for the G.O.A.T. Micheal Jordan’s 6-0 finals record may never be touched and prevented many superstars from a title of their own, making him one of the best players of all-time. I believe if Micheal Jordan didn’t retire for baseball, or came back to play with the Wizards for the end of his career, or if social media was a big deal back in Jordan’s playing days, this might not even be an argument. We have to look at the facts and compare Lebron and Jordan for what they have done on the floor. One of the reasons Lebron wins this argument is Lebron supporting class. Lebron has made it to 8 straight NBA Finals and even though he has only won 3, he only has been the favorite in 1 of them. The season after Lebron left Cleveland they went from a 1st place team to a 15th, When Jordan retired for baseball Chicago went from 1st to 2nd and 3rd. After Chicago 2nd 3-peat when Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson contract was expired and Pippen and Rodman were going to be free agents, was when Jordan retired a second time. Another reason is Lebron does it all, a bad season in which Lebron miss the playoff he averages 27.5 PPG-8 Rebounds-8 Assists-51 FG%, during Jordan’s 97-98 “Most Valuable Player” season he averaged 28PPG-4 Rebounds-6 Assist-46 FG%. Jordan has never averaged 8 rebounds or 8 assists or shot 54% from the field at any point in his career. Lebron took over as the G.O.A.T., when Cleveland came back from being down 3 games to 1 to defeat the Warriors who had 3 all-stars in the same season in which they finished the regular season with the best record in NBA history. During that series, he became the first and only player ever to lead either team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals in a playoff series. After that series when Lebron blocked Iggy off the backboard to seal the win in the final game of the finals, Jordan official handed over the crown as the G.O.A.T.

King James wins this battle (Photo by google)

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