LeBron James still has a few years left in him, but should he already be considered the greatest basketball player of all time? We’re comparing the careers of James and the man most people think should remain the GOAT, Michael Jordan. Do you think James can overthrow Jordan as the best?
Let’s first just describe why Michael Jordan is the GOAT in many people’s eyes. You probably are already aware of the things he achieved as a player but if not, then prepare to be amazed. Jordan is a six-time NBA champion, and in each of those finals, he was named the MVP. He was regarded as the difference maker as he led his Chicago Bulls team to their greatest ever period of success.
Jordan was also named the league MVP five times and played in the All-Star game 14 times. He is in the top five points scorers of all time in the NBA. With a points per game ratio of 30.1, he could have scored more if he played more games.
That said, even though he took some time off to pursue a baseball career he came back and was just as good as he ever was. He has some pretty big and expensively endorsed sneakers for LeBron James to fill.
LeBron James grew up idolizing Jordan, and when you watch him play, you can see some similarities in their styles. James, however, is a little more generous when it comes to his teammates and is more than happy to create scoring opportunities as he is finishing them.
He has proven he belongs in the conversation with Jordan thanks to the impressive career statistics he has amassed during his time in the NBA. James is a three-time NBA champion and the MVP in all of those victorious series. He was named the league MVP four times and played in 15 All-Star games so far.
Most impressively, he managed to play in seven consecutive NBA finals with both Cleveland and Miami. James is very much on a par with Jordan except for one major statistic, their NBA championship rings. With Jordan needing two hands to wear all of his, he’s likely to be considered the GOAT by most.
It’s hard to compare which player has had the biggest influence on their teams. On the one hand, Jordan was able to win six NBA finals that he played in, while James only won three of seven. The greatest achievement James managed was to haul the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA finals four seasons in a row.
He was very much the star of the show, and some feel as though Cleveland would have been nowhere near the postseason without him. James even declared winning the NBA championship with Cleveland as the reason why he was the greatest of all time.
Michael Jordan was able to leave Chicago to chase his baseball dream, but that didn’t stop them getting to the postseason. When James left the Cavaliers for the Lakers, they got nowhere near the playoffs because they missed him so much.
Chasing a ghost
Throughout his career, LeBron James has been chasing one man, and that was Michael Jordan. He grew up loving the superstar’s game, and it’s no accident that his number is 23. James idolized Jordan and even said that he has spent his career chasing a ghost of the past, the ghost who played in Chicago.
Since entering the NBA James has been driven to sit alongside Jordan as one of the greatest basketball players the world has ever seen. Now as his career is winding down, it’s safe to say that LeBron can look back on his time and agree that he belongs alongside Jordan. Has he surpassed the NBA legend though?
Shining on the court
Not everything that LeBron does can be put down on some statistics spreadsheet, and you really have to watch him for yourself to appreciate how good he is. His game is so versatile that he is a coach’s dream because he can guard every single position on the court. Not only is his defensive skill often overlooked, but he can step in and play point guard and still end up dunking home the play he started.
James is incredibly unselfish but is also one of the smartest players to ever take to the court. He runs the show, you just don’t always know he’s doing it, that’s how good he is. James should be considered one of basketball’s best ever players because he combines scoring talent, passing ability, physical dominance, and defensive awareness better than anyone.
He could rival some of the best in each attribute alone but then goes on to show he’s got so much more to his game. Jordan was an elite scorer, and won so much as a player so he’ll always be considered one of the greats. Basketball has moved on since Jordan was in the NBA and players are required to be more versatile these days.
Jordan would still score as heavily if he was transported to today’s NBA, but James would run riot if he went into the past and turn any team into contenders. For that reason, he has to be pushing for GOAT status.