LeBron James VS Michael Jordan: The G.O.A.T. NBA Player

 Everyone always argues about who’s the G.O.A.T. NBA player between LeBron James and Michael Jordan. Both of these players are entertaining to watch on the basketball court. Making a comparison of Michael Jordan and LeBron James is going to take more than bias ,and opinion. In this essay, I will list both of their NBA all time statistics and career awards and highlights. Then, I will proceed to state why I think LeBron James is the best player ever.

They both bring unique skill set to the NBA, but the question will always be asked, who is the greatest of all time?

Although LeBron didn’t quite finish his career and is still playing at a high level. It is easy to say that the majority of his career is finished and his portfolio speaks for itself. Michael Jordan accomplished many impressive feats during his playing career which are 6 NBA Championships, 6 Final MVPs, 5 Season MVPs, 10x Scoring leader, NBA Defensive Player of the Year, NBA Rookie of the Year, 14x NBA All-Star, 3x NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, 2x NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion, 11x All-NBA selections, 9x All-Defensive selection, NBA All-Rookie selection, and 2 Olympic Medals all in 14 seasons.

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Michael Jordan recorded over his astonishing career 32,292 pts, 6,672 rebs, 5,633 asts, 2,514 stls and 893 blks. LeBron was able to accomplish 3 NBA Championships, 3 NBA Finals MVPs, 4 NBA Most Valuable Player, 16x NBA All-Star, 3 NBA All-Star Game MVP, 15x All-NBA Selections, 6x NBA All-Defensive Selections, NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA All-Rookie First Team, NBA scoring champion, and 3 Olympic Medals in his 17 playing seasons so far.

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LeBron was able to record 33,918 pts, 9,298 reb, 9,235 asts, 2,003 stls, and 946 blks. The evidence shows Michael Jordan has more championships, MVPs, points per game, free, scoring titles, NBA All Selections, steals ,and Final MVPs. He is regarded as a better scorer out of the two. I think LeBron is the best overall player in all aspects. He is a solid defender who can guard all positions including the Center, there is game film to prove it as well. LeBron beats him in All-NBA Team selections, All Star Selections, Final Appearances (9 in total and 8 in a row), and Olympic Medals. LeBron James is the only player in NBA history with over 30,000 points, 9,000 assists and 9,000 rebounds. Hopefully, LeBron will be fortunate enough to be first on the all time scoring list, he is currently third on the list.

LeBron’s physical dominance at 6’9 and 250 pounds is all the reason I chose him as the best ever. With his physical stature, he is often overlooked, people don’t realize that it isn’t normal for an athlete to play with physicality or “bully ball” and finesse as he does. It also isn’t normal that a Small Forward is able to score 30,000 pts, 9,000 asts ,and rebounds. His physicality allowed him to dominate nearly two decades and “cake walk” through the East for 8 years in a row. Fans recognize people like Karl Malone ,and Allen Iverson, players who lack Championships, as some as the best ever. They only made it as far as final appearances, so where is the credit due to make to the finals, because that is a difficult feat in itself. If you’re still hung up on champion rings, I will like you to know that Michael Jordan wouldn’t be the “goat” in that aspect either because Bill Russell has 11.

The competition between the eras is the one point in the argument as well. I recognize that MJ’s era of NBA might have been tougher, but today’s era is leaps and bounds ahead of all older eras in terms of skill. Today’s era in basketball is where Centers and Power Forwards can dribble and live on the three. I didn’t even mention the 7ft Small Forwards like Giannis and Kevin Durant. This may sound controversial, but LeBron faced better competition than Jordan. Michael Jordan went 6 for 6 vs Lakers (Old Magic), Blazers, Suns, Supersonics, and Jazz (2x). LeBron went 3 for 9 only loss to the Spurs, Mavericks, and Warriors. Mavericks wouldn’t have probably beat the Bulls. The Spurs and Warriors dynasties would definitely beat the Bulls. Michael Jordan hasn’t faced the quality opponents LeBron has. LeBron has faced more hall of famers in the Finals than Jordan. I am going to briefly break down each and every team that Michael Jordan faced. The 1991 Lakers had Magic and James Worthy, who was the leading scorer. James Worthy was out game 5 and so was Byron Scott who was also a crucial piece. MJ won it in Game 5. He faced 3 hall of famers Magic Johnson, Vlade, James Worthy. The 1992 Portland Blazers were the weakest team the Bulls faced in the Finals, led by Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter. The problem with the 92 Blazers was they had a weak bench. They had 1 Hall of famer. In 1993, the Phoenix Suns won 62 games, and Charles Barkley won MVP. This Suns team included the likes of Barkley, Kevin Johnson and Dan Majerle all in their prime. They also had Danny Ainge as well. Phoenix made the series extremely close, being in position to win any game. In game 6, John Paxson hit a three to win it. This team had 1 Hall of Famer. In 1996, the Bulls faced the Sonics who had 1 Hall of Famer. In 1997 and 1998, the Bulls faced the Jazz who had 2 Hall of Famers. In no way shape or form is any of the teams better than Warriors,or the Spurs.

All in all, with all the given accolades and stats, LeBron is the superior player. His skill set, basketball IQ, and pose is all the reason why LeBron was the easy pick for the greatest ever.

Works cited

  1. ESPN. (2021, May 14). LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan: The key stats that will decide who is the greatest NBA player of all time. Retrieved from https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/31496286/lebron-james-vs-michael-jordan-key-stats-decide-greatest-nba-player-all
  2. NBA. (n.d.). LeBron James. Retrieved from https://www.nba.com/players/lebron/james/2544
  3. NBA. (n.d.). Michael Jordan. Retrieved from https://www.nba.com/players/michael/jordan/893
  4. Basketball-Reference. (n.d.). LeBron James. Retrieved from https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jamesle01.html
  5. Basketball-Reference. (n.d.). Michael Jordan. Retrieved from https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jordami01.html
  6. Helin, K. (2020, May 25). Jordan vs. LeBron: Defending the myth of NBA GOAT supremacy. Retrieved from https://nba.nbcsports.com/2020/05/25/michael-jordan-vs-lebron-james-legacy-goat-debate/
  7. Whittingham, R. (2018). Chasing Perfection: The Dilemma of LeBron James. Rowman & Littlefield.
  8. Smith, R. L. (2018). Michael Jordan vs LeBron James: The Final Debate. RJ Publishing.
  9. Strauss, E. (2017). The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty. HarperCollins.
  10. Lazenby, R. (2018). Michael Jordan: The Life. Back Bay Books.
Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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LeBron James VS Michael Jordan: The G.O.A.T. NBA Player. (2024, Feb 06). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/lebron-james-vs-michael-jordan-the-g-o-a-t-nba-player-essay

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