Let It Be: Is Lebron James Really the Next Michael Jordan?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2010

BOSTON - MAY 07:  LeBron James #23 takes a breather against the Boston Celtics in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden on May 7, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. 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 Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

You know a player is pretty darn special when the entire NBA world would rather focus their attention on his free agent future, rather than the already exciting NBA Playoffs.

However, that is the reality that Lebron James faces. He's used to it, he knows how to deal with it, and in reality the spotlight hanging over Lebron James' head isn't looking to evaporate any time soon.

Aside from the free agency talk that has been speculated to death, a more diverse and controversial issue has arrived on the scene: Is Lebron James the next Michael Jordan? 

A select group of fans say yes, while the other, more experienced fans have seemingly grouped together to try and block out any form of Lebron James chatter—in an almost ozone layer effect, shielding the NBA.

Now before I continue, I am aware that Lebron James puts forward some fairly convincing arguments; his two MVP awards tell a promising story for the future, and his six-time NBA All Star appearances also make us believe that this man is going to have more than just a promising future.

These are all factors we know, and anybody out there that questions Lebron James' ability probably isn't worth talking to. But unfortunately for Lebron James, I feel, anyway, it is time to extinguish this smouldering fire that is the Michael Jordan comparison.

For you see, ability really has nothing to do with this argument. Both Michael Jordan and Lebron James are and were prolific dunkers, both could hit shots from anywhere on the court, and both were iconic figureheads not only in the NBA, but the entire sporting world.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

No, ability has nothing to do with it, as a more mental side of the game comes into play when considering Lebron James and Michael Jordan. It's called leadership, and it's something, as a player, you either have a ton of, or you have very little of depending on your capabilities.

So the question must be asked of Lebron James as to whether or not he is a true team leader, or if he is indeed a "I in team" type player. 

In the series against the Boston Celtics, Lebron James played fairly consistently in games one to three. He was shooting well, was playing with the expected demeanor that we have come to admire from Lebron James, and was of course simply putting points on the board.

Then came Game four, and the ultimate collapse of Lebron James was seen by the entire world. Things weren't going his way, he was consistently guilty of turnovers, and as a result, Lebron failed to step up for the Cavaliers at a more than vital time in the Playoffs.

Is this not enough to convince you? Well let's rewind to last year, and bring up the old worn out argument of Lebron James' poor sportsmanship after the series against Orlando. A new title of "Lechoke" was awarded by some, but more importantly, Lebron James once again failed to play with intensity and diversity, despite his last-minute buzzer-beater to ensure that his fans did have something to remember him by for the long offseason.

Now we return back to Michael Jordan, and ask the same question: Was Michael a team leader? Sure, he struggled with the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics early in his career, but for the most part, Michael still played with integrity, sportsmanship and most importantly, loyalty toward the Chicago Bulls.

So therefore, no—Lebron James isn't close to Michael Jordan, in reality he is still several light years away. But with this said, there is, of course, time, and the fact that Lebron is considering moving away from his hometown of Ohio may do him more harm than good should a deal actually be arranged.

Unless Lebron James suddenly moves to Chicago, racks up six Championships and struts his way to the NBA Hall of Fame in years to come, then a move to the Bulls probably isn't the smartest path Lebron James can take. Is the New York Knicks smarter?  Probably not, as the comparison to the 2008 Boston Celtics has already grown as weary and tiring as listening to teenagers rave about Justin Beiber around the clock.

To quote The Beatles, "Let it be, yeah let it be, oh there will be answer, let it be." Sooner or later this question will be answered, but for now just relax—Lebron has some important decisions to make.

Don't forget to check out RealSportsNet.com for all your NBA and sporting news! http://realsportsnet.com/

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!