Bill Laimbeer Says He Would Take LeBron James over Michael Jordan

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2017

New York Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer reacts toward an official during the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Connecticut Sun, Thursday, June 16, 2016, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Jessica Hill/Associated Press

Even though Michael Jordan retired in 2003, the debate over whether he was better than LeBron James still dominates NBA talking points seemingly every day. As a result, there are plenty of opinions to go around.

Count retired Detroit Pistons big man Bill Laimbeer among those who thinks James is better than Jordan.

"I'll take LeBron James, absolutely," Laimbeer said to Etan Thomas onΒ The Rematch podcastΒ (h/t Marlowe Alter of the Detroit Free Press, via USA Today).

Laimbeer pointed to James' overall skill set in the comparison: "LeBron can do anything. Michael couldn't get all the rebounds. He couldn't be the assist man like LeBron James can. He was very focused on scoring, a deadly assassin, but the rest of the part of his game, LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan."

James himself talked about how he uses Jordan as motivation while letting others decide the debate among themselves, per Fox Sports Ohio:

It is important to point out the sourcing when it comes to Laimbeer. Jordan's Bulls battled Laimbeer's "Bad Boy" Pistons for years in the postseason, and there was certainly no love lost. Detroit knocked out Chicago in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1989 and 1990, but the Bulls swept the Pistons in the 1991 rematch.

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From there, Jordan and the Bulls proceeded to win six titles in the decade as he staked his claim as the greatest ever.

James is striving to bolster his counterclaim with a fourth career title in this year's playoffs. If he can beat the mighty Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the second straight year, Laimbeer will have another leg to stand on when comparing the King to the Pistons' former nemesis.