LeBron James Better Than Michael Jordan? I Don't Think So

Gary JohnsonContributor IMay 15, 2010

BOSTON - MAY 13:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers wipes the sweat from his face in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at TD Garden on May 13, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Cavaliers 94-85.  NOTE TO USER: User Expressly Acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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I want to be as fair as I can to LeBron James. He came into the NBA as arguably the most hyped and talked about high school athlete of all time. He did not pronounce himself “King James.”  The media put that crown on his head and for the most part this young man has worn it well exceeding almost every expectation. 

Looking back there were signs of intoxication. James chose to wear the No. 23 jersey.  Now I understand that move was to pay homage to Michael Jordan, however, that only serves to fuel the conversation that LeBron James is declaring himself the next Michael Jordan.  

In terms of his off the court business moves, LeBron is coming close to being a global icon, some would say he has achieved that goal. 

I am here to tell you any argument or comparison of LeBron James to Michael Jordan needs to STOP right now. After the last two seasons of being knocked out of the playoffs, and particularly the way the Cleveland Cavaliers were bounced from the Eastern conference semifinals earlier this week, there is nothing to talk about. 

LeBron and the Cavaliers quit in the fourth quarter of their last two games. Their last performance was worse than choking in my view. When you choke you’re at least trying. 

LeBron James is a great player—throughout the regular season. At this point in his career, LeBron James has morphed into an Avatar built for ESPN and other sports stations' highlight reels.  

Comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan is cruel and not fair to LeBron. In fact, it’s probably a borderline call to compare LeBron James to Kobe Bryant. Jordan and Kobe never quit. 

This is not to say that years from now, when LeBron’s playing days are over that he won’t eclipse both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, but from what I can see, it’s simply unfair to do that now. 

Michael Jordan has six championship rings. Kobe Bryant has four championship rings.  LeBron James has none. 

At this stage of his career the only measuring stick for LeBron James is championship rings. So the question in my mind is this:  “Can LeBron James win a championship in Cleveland, Ohio?”  

The Cleveland Cavaliers team have tried to surround LeBron with a cast of players but this efforts have fallen short. I think it’s time for LeBron to move on to another city and get motivated with the only challenge that cements him from true greatness—a NBA championship. 

I don’t want to hear any comparisons of LeBron James to Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson or any other great player until LeBron wins a championship. Outside of that STFU! 

Let’s just wait until LeBron's career is over and then we can accurately reflect on his entire body of work and then discuss his place in NBA history.