After years of doubt and ridicule, LeBron James has finally captured that elusive championship. To add to that, he had one of the greatest seasons in league history while bringing home his third MVP trophy in the process.
Is it once again time to cue the Michael Jordan comparisons? After another great year, it's likely to happen, but let's not make our final decision until James has retired.
Over the past nine seasons, we have seen some of the rarest feats out of LeBron. He's one of the flashiest passers and freakishly athletic players we have ever witnessed on the court. While he is only halfway through his historic career, it's amazing to think what his resume will look like on his retirement day.
As for Jordan: He is simply viewed as the greatest player in NBA history. And for good reason, of course.
With six rings and Finals MVP's to his name, Jordan dominated the 90's basketball scene like nothing we have ever seen before. Besides his accolades, including five regular season MVP's and 14 All-Star appearances, Michael was the first basketball superstar to ever become a true global phenomenon.
Both players will go down as legends of the game, but the comparison of the two is rather inaccurate at times. We can always sit here and debate over which player is better, but in all honestly, they are two different breeds of athlete.
Looking at James, he has always been that physically imposing player who can either go through or above you to get to the rim. While his mentality has been questioned at times, he is the most talented player in NBA history. He's shown signs of progressing into a stone-cold killer on the floor and looked like a complete player last season.
One of the amazing things about LeBron's game is his ability to make his teammates better. We've watched him thrive along side Dwyane Wade, but also with an average players like Mo Williams in Cleveland. James has learned to play a point-forward role and is always a realistic threat for a triple-double.
On the other hand, Jordan was an extremely versatile player and has always been known for his competitiveness on the court. We've mentioned his awards and accomplishments, but the most notable thing about him was his tough mentality and ability to succeed in clutch moments.
Jordan revolutionized the game of basketball and was the major factor in a popularity spike for the sport. As much as fans have worshiped him since his time with Chicago, would we ever even admit to someone being better?
If anyone currently has that chance, it has to be LeBron. Looking at the two statistically they aren't far apart:
LeBron James: 27.6 PTS, 7.1 REB, 6.9 AST, 1.7 STL, 48.3 FG%
Michael Jordan: 30.1 PTS, 6.3 REB, 5.3 AST, 2.3 STL, 49.7 FG%4
After looking at these, you have to realize that both players have outstanding numbers. So if James is able to pass Jordan in championships, MVP's and other important feats, would it be possible that he is the greatest player of all time?
For another solution, why couldn't we just say both players revolutionized an era? You had Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, then Jordan followed by Kobe. Why can't we just say this is the reign of the King?
Throughout the history of basketball, there have been plenty of unique players to leave their unforgettable legacies. Bill Russell and his championships, Wilt Chamberlain and his 100-point game or even Oscar Robertson's triple-double averages.
So why can't we just say both Jordan and James have added so much to a historic game?
If you want to talk about who was the better player, at least wait until James has had enough time to finish his promising career. He is just now entering his prime and has plenty of opportunities to run off with some more championships.
Jordan will likely go down as the better player based off the impact he has had for the game of basketball. Whether it was winning championships, medals or even starting his own clothing line, Michael has done it all.
While James had the more physical talent of the two, he's just now finally reached that potential we have all been waiting see. With one championship in the books, don't be surprised to see him get near that magic number of six to further his argument.
Talking about the history of the game is part of what makes basketball great. From all-time memorable moments to what-ifs, we will never run out of things to talk about as fans.
So comparing Jordan and James is completely justifiable at times, but let LeBron finish his story before claiming someone as the greatest ever.
Who knows? Maybe one day, we will be waiting for the next coming of LeBron James.
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