MJ vs. LBJ

Phil Jackson came out with some comments on ESPN Radio about who is better, Michael or LeBron? To sum up his comments, the Zen Master who arguably knows Jordan more as a Basketball player than anyone else, said that James has the potential to be a better player than Jordan. Put it this way, LeBron will be the first player to 30,000 points and 10,000 rebounds and assists. If LeBron wins 5 more rings? Now there’s a stronger argument for LBJ. But while everyone is trying to compare the two,I think they’re simply incomparable.  Two completely different Era’s, two different styles of play, playing  in two totally different NBA’s, it’s hard to compare anything but their stats and how many rings they have. I am not saying they don’t have any similarities but you cannot compare them like people are trying to. So here is my perspective.

In the late 1980’s and all of the 1990’s no name carried more weight in sports than Michael Jordan. He was an inspiration, he was magical, he was the best. 6 Championships, 6 Finals MVP’s, 5 time Most Valuable Player in a NBA where there was more Hall of Fame players playing than ever before. You could name all his stats, all the great moments from the shrug  to the Flu game, but you cannot measure Michael Jordan’s greatness with those, but it helps. So, I’ll simply put it this way, he was the first to do it all. With a boom in technology and the surge of the internet and TV in the 90’s MJ media wise, was the first to be that one athlete that everyone knew about and everyone talked about, like LeBron today. Jordan’s name grew bigger in Pop culture, where you were cool if you had his shoes, he was that popular. But most of all, he set the standard in which every great player in the NBA today will try to accomplish. How many times has it been brought up about how Kobe has been trying to chase that elusive 6th ring? Without Michael, that 6th ring isn’t elusive.” Averaging 30 points in a career nowadays is over looked. MJ’s consistency cannot be over looked and I think it has. We all make a big deal about how old an athlete is and how that will affect his performance. His last two seasons,(with the Bulls) Jordan averaged 29 and 28. You think Lebron or Kobe will average that in their final years? Not likely. It is hard to measure, but Jordan’s desire to win and hatred of losing has been unmatched in the NBA today. Even Kobe cannot match Jordan’s will to win. And just for kicks, Jordan was the star of the best record in NBA history (72-10 in ’96) a record that will never be broken.  Like I said, Jordan’s  impact on the game will forever be felt by future NBA generations because he was simply the first to do everything and set the standard of winning in the NBA.

The Chosen One. The bad boy. Call him what you want, LeBron James is the best player in the NBA today. After leaving Cleveland for Miami the season after was a trying time for LeBron. He went into every arena in the NBA the most hated player in the league, and admitted that he found not too much joy in winning because he was constantly mad. A season later, Bron’ was having fun and was winning. Remember Game 6 in Boston? On the brink of once again coming up short, LeBron powered through with 45 points and 15 rebounds, making shot after shot. Right then and there, most people new that the hated Heat would become NBA champions. A week and half later, the King could finally back up his nickname. NBA Champion. For that I respect him. Going through all the controversy and criticism he won his first the hard way. Not the easy way by any means. But can he be better than Jordan? Statistically yes. He has to win 6 rings maybe more and keep pace on his way to 30,000 points and 10,000 rebounds and assists. But LeBron cannot match Jordan’s impact on the game, He can only accomplish Jordan’s achievements, and set a new standard of winning. It is a tough task, but if Lebron does it, then he is the best. Tune in 10 years or so from now and we can end this discussion.

It is a little premature to compare Jordan and James fully yet because LeBron just entered his prime and still has a lot of catching up to do, so to speak. A decade we will be able to look back at this and probably say who the best is, but if Kobe adds a 6th ring then he is also in the conversation. But let’s be honest, by then there will be another young gun trying to match Jordan, Kobe and LeBron. But that is why we love talking about Sports, because the conversation and arguments never end.

I’m back Annie Wood.


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