Tuesday, May 21, 2013

0 Jordan vs. Lebron


By Shaee Flatt

On Tuesday, Alonzo Mourning was speaking at the opening of a local Microsoft store in Miami, and towards the end, was hit with the famous “MJ vs. LeBron” question. Mourning laughed, before telling the audience that Scottie Pippen told him he thinks that LeBron would “kick MJ’s ass," Mourning then went on to say he responded by saying “Scottie, you’re right.”

I’m just twenty one years old, so I didn’t watch Jordan play live in his prime with much basketball knowledge. I watched the end of his career, and knew he was great, but couldn’t really break his game down or anything. However, I have since watched many tapes of Jordan, YouTube videos, etc. I’ve seen all of his great games, in their entirety and I’ve watched almost every game LeBron has played in since he entered the league, and even many of his High School games. He definitely has the best case against Jordan out of any other player since Jordan retired.

Some people say Kobe Bryant, but Kobe isn’t really close at all. Jordan did everything. He not only scored, but he rebounded, assisted, and defended exceptionally well. The only area that Bryant is even comparable to Jordan is scoring. Bryant could score with anyone in his prime, and still can, but he’s not close to Jordan as an all-around player.

LeBron on the other hand, is arguably as good as or better than Jordan in every area of the game. At this point in LeBron’s career, the only area’s I would certainly put Jordan ahead of LeBron in is scoring and closing. I would give LeBron the edge in rebounding and passing, and I would also give LeBron a very slight edge in defense. Jordan could guard specific players better, but in my opinion, LeBron is the most valuable defender of all-time. He can defend any player in the NBA, and do it well, so I would rather have LeBron as a defender because no matter who you’re playing, LeBron can take them out of the game. Jordan couldn’t defend post players, or point guards nearly as well as LeBron can.

As for the scoring goes, LeBron certainly has the chance to surpass Jordan before his career ends. He will never average 35 points per game because of his pass tendencies, but if he wanted to, he definitely could. If James can continue to improve his jump shot every year, just as he has thus far in his career, his potential is unlimited.

As for as who the better individual player is, its’ a toss-up. You can’t go wrong with either one, and I think they’re the two best players of all-time. However, when ranking the best players of all-time, you always start with Michael Jordan because of his ability to close games, and his six NBA Championships, and six NBA Finals MVP awards. LeBron could be starting that list one day, but halfway through his career, his greatness hasn’t surpassed Michael Jordan’s.

That being said, lets come back to this when LeBron’s career is finished, or at least close to being finished. The guy is just 28 years old. He will either finish his career as the best of all-time, or the second best of all-time, we don’t have to decide which one it will be right now. 

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