This morning on ESPN's Mike and Mike Show, Mike Greenberg started a very interesting panel debate with Bruce Bowen and Chris Broussard.
Mike simply stated that while he is not sure that LeBron James is the best player he has ever seen, the things he can do on the court are simply incomparable. After this debate continued on for awhile, all three were in consensus that LeBron, by the time he is finished in the NBA, will be right there with Jordan in the discussion of best all-time.
The only differentiating factor would come down to what James is looking for in South Beach and can now obtain with just four wins: a championship.
While I may not be an NBA historian or expert, as an Erie, PA resident who watched my city latch on to LeBron and nearby Cleveland basketball, this debate has been replayed in every bar, classroom and home I find myself in.
Ultimately, I agree with what was said this morning on Mike and Mike: at 26 years old, LeBron has the game necessary to justify this discussion. He is an all-around player, something rare at any time, let alone today's age of specialization.
Furthermore, LeBron has proved that he can be clutch in big moments no matter the team he is on or the magnitude of the game. LeBron possesses better court vision than Jordan ever had and may even be better defensively.
Who is the greatest player in NBA history?
So that means the only thing left to compare are the rings.
Jordan has six. This Miami Heat team—if they play the way they have been this postseason—looks like it may win anywhere from three to six, especially considering that Bosh, Wade and James can still develop as a unit. That means the media must find a way to continue the debate if James wins six.
This debate will then come down to how Jordan and James won their championships. As Mike stated this morning, the determination and mental toughness Jordan developed may never be matched by anyone and was developed while at UNC. It was this quality that helped Jordan take his game to a entirely different level and carry his teams to rings.
Like it or not, James will always fall in this discussion.
Personally, I may not have liked how LeBron carried out "The Decision" but I like how he prioritized winning.
The problem is that in the greatest player debate, there will always be those who argue—and perhaps justifiably so—that The Big Three won the championships while it was just Jordan who won for the Bulls.
Yes, Jordan had Hall of Famers on his team to help. The difference is they came to him, not the other way around.
When watching the recent series against the Bulls, Bosh may have played out-of-his-mind good, but it was LeBron's defense and all around game that won the series for the Heat. If that is the way the Finals play out, then yes, LeBron will receive most of the credit for the ring, not The Big Three.
Otherwise, while LeBron may have the better overall game, more rings and more MVPs, the King will always be Jordan, at least the in the eyes of the media.