STORY BY JUSTIN DURUJI
Every time you turn on ESPN or SportsCenter these days there seems to be an on-going debate about who the greatest NBA basketball player is.
There are two names that are usually flip-flopping the top two spots.
Michael Jordan, the legendary Chicago Bull shooting guard, and LeBron James, who is best known as having the ability to play every position on the court, are the two players constantly debated over.
LeBron James, who is still currently in his prime, is quite the NBA player and is considered one of the best players currently in the league.
He started his career at the young age of 18 after being recruited for his skill directly from high school. However, Michael Jordan should always win in the discussion of Jordan vs. James.
Players across all levels are often quoted saying “winning isn’t everything’’ but when it comes to being the greatest, it is the only thing.
It is often noted that LeBron has won two NBA Titles and was also named the NBA Finals MVP of both of those teams.
This is impressive but pales in comparison to Michael Jordan’s six NBA Titles where he had six NBA Finals MVP awards.
Jordan also earned 10 scoring titles and won the Defensive player of the year award in 1988.
LeBron, on the other hand, has never won a scoring title or been named Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA thus far.
But enough about facts. Some say that numbers don’t lie but they also don’t tell the whole story so let’s just dive into career facts.
When Jordan was drafted by the Bulls in 1984, he remained with his team until his retirement in 1998.
Jordan, unlike LeBron who was originally drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers but after 7 years of not winning a title, LeBron decided he needed a better team to play on.
So in 2010, he joined the Miami Heat in a three team trade that also allowed Chris Bosh, another very good basketball player, to go to the Miami Heat to join Dwayne Wade who had already proven he was skilled enough to win an NBA title.
This was the forming of the “Big 3.” My point?
LeBron knew the challenge would be too big for him in Cleveland so he went to a better team so less pressure would be just on him to win an NBA Championships.
How can y0u even think to compare that to the likes of Jordan?
Don’t get me wrong, Michael Jordan was a part of amazing teams and had he had good players on his teams, but those teams weren’t made amazing by pure talent like some other teams have been.
They simply refused to be mediocre and rose to the occasion to set up a dynasty. All this aside, the biggest fact that separates Michael Jordan and LeBron James is their NBA Finals Records. Jordan went an incredible six for six in the NBA Championship titles which is the highest percentage of any NBA players with at least three appearances.
LeBron’s NBA Finals record? Two for five. Don’t get me wrong, LeBron James is a hell of a player and is one of the greatest NBA players but he simply is not Michael Jordan.
Jordan was truly in love with the game and took any opportunity to compete in any sort of basketball including the dunk contest which LeBron has refused to partake in.
Rather than thinking about Jordan vs. James we should think about it as Jordan THEN James.
Jordan paved the way for NBA players.
He changed the game from the business perspective of being the first NBA player to have his own brand of shoes. He also was determined to show his refusal to lose when it counted the most.
But because of all the attention Jordan brought to basketball, the fan base currently is massive. People watching the games on televison today see LeBron jumping over people left and right simply forget that Jordan did it first.