Making the Case LeBron Is Better Than Jordan



You are wrong. I’m just gonna put it out and the open and say it, you are wrong. Well, technically we are all wrong because everything sports related besides who has more of what in number form is an opinion, so technically we are all wrong. An opinion is an opinion and you really can’t prove an opinion wrong unless it’s something factual based regardless how ignorant or how tangibly wrong the opinion is. Although I do think the common consensus is that people now think MJ and LBJ are the greatest ball players ever, there is gonna be the one person on twitter or in the comments of this article to call me out on how LeBron has 3 rings and Kobe has 5. To that person, in advance, I tell you this. You, sir, are correct. Kobe does have more rings than LeBron and 90% of the people on my top 10 of all time list, and I applaud you for being able to do simple math and realize that, so congratulations. I also applaud you for being so narrow-minded, so to make you so happy I’ve included this link. I want you to click here, and tell me how using your “rings logic” how Kobe is better than every player here and how he has more “killer instinct” than these players if they have more rings? And to that, I say let’s get into this article.

Fair Warning: Most of this article will be on the offensive that LeBron is better than Jordan, comparing things LeBron has done compared to things Jordan hasn’t done. So if you think this is a 1-1 comparison, you might be wrong. This article is not having a 1-1 debate with myself on the subject matter, rather pointing out things Jordan hasn’t done compared to LeBron. I also like to mention that LeBron and Jordan are polar opposites. LeBron is an all-around star and doing everything to win, Jordan is versatile but not nearly as versatile as James and is a pure scorer If you can’t recognize that, I’m sorry but you just don’t watch basketball. Enough rambling let me explain.
Case #1: Better with less

The concept that Jordan and LeBron’s teams are equal is so far fetched even from a bystander that not it isn’t even a reasonable statement, although it is an opinion like mentioned before. LeBron has only had one losing season in the regular season once, and that was a rookie year where he went 35-47 and expectedly, missed the playoffs. The next year LeBron would 42 games and still miss the playoffs, then win 50 in his third year and come away with a 4th seed. Let’s take a look at Jordan’s first 3 seasons. Jordan would win 38 games in his rookie year and make the playoffs, he would win 30, you read that correctly THIRTY games in his sophomore season yet make the playoffs… He would then go on to win 40 games in his third season and once again make the playoffs, so the concept that Jordan’s early career was better because he made the playoffs every year is preposterous. Now let’s look at Jordan’s playoff win % for this first 3 playoff appearances. Any guesses? Probably something reasonable right? Well, it was 10%… He won 1 game in 10 attempts in his first 3 playoff appearances. Let’s look at LeBron’s. LeBron won 63% of the playoff games he played in his first 3 appearances and that’s including the gentleman’s sweep he was served by the legendary Spurs in ’07. That leads us right into our next part of this segment. It took Jordan 7 seasons to reach the NBA finals, a feat only took LeBron 4. Not only did it take Jordan 7 seasons, but it took the addition of Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen and countless others, LeBron had Larry Hughes as his second option.


Case #2: Better all around player

Mathematically, LeBron blows this one out of the water. Jordan played 1072 career games compared to LeBron’s 987 and Mr. James leads Jordan in the majority of the major stats, and if he doesn’t lead him in that stat it’s a surmountable margin that can be accomplished in the 85 games Jordan has played more than LeBron. On top of that, James leads Jordan in FG% and 3 point %, regardless how small the margins are (+.001% in G% and + .013% in 3P%) it’s still leading. As far as per game goes, LeBron leads in the majority of major stats as well. Let’s look into advanced stats now. LeBron is -2 in Offensive rating compared to Jordan but is +1 in defensive rating, so that is technically even. LeBron has had to guard much more talented players and always guarded the #1 option these arguments are numbers so let’s keep it that way. Once again, when we look at advanced stats LeBron leads in the majority of the stats and if he doesn’t it’s something he will most likely surpass within the next 85 games Jordan has played more. Most if not all these majorities also hold true when comparing playoff stats so there is no reason for a whole separate subsection of this article. According to advanced stats and numbers, LeBron is also a better defender, not by a massive margin but something to look at when comparing.
Case #3: LeBron has done more on the biggest stage.

This might sound weird to all those people who count rings, but I kid you not Mr.James has actually been better in the finals overall. Their finals average compared side by side are as follows LeBron: 26.7 PPG 9.6 RPG 7.1 APG, Jordan: 35.1 PPG 6.0 RPG 6.1 APG. As we have seen so many times before, LeBron James is consistently the better overall player. As far as defense goes and defensive rating, LeBron has only ranked outside of the top 5 in his team’s defensive rating twice of his 7 finals, Jordan has only ranked top 5 twice. LeBron has also made one more finals appearance so his averages also have a higher chance of being skewed down, especially with him making an appearance at 23. Yes, LeBron has that horrendous finals appearance vs the Mavs in 2011 which is completely unacceptable, but things happen. The fact that his numbers are still overall better than MJ and his points are close including that series prove how much he has done even in his other 3 finals losses.

Case #4: LeBron has played better teams in the Finals
Before we get into this I must explain. Yes, Jordan did have somewhat of a harder path to the finals than LeBron, but his help around that he needed that we proved in Case #1 cancels that out for me. LeBron’s east up till 2014 was also just as good as Jordan’s east. I also think that most people would agree they would rather work hard than face an easy team or have an easy test than cruise through and have a culture shock of a final opponent or test etc. According to the Simple Rating System, something that measures team strength, LeBron’s Finals opponents have been, on average, 7.31 points stronger than the average NBA team. Jordan’s had an average rating of 6.84.
LeBron has gone head to head against three teams that were better than the hardest team Michael had to play. All three of those teams had a rating over eight; Jordan only played one ever team with a rating that high, know what happened? He got swept.
Jordan might have more accolades, but he also had less competition across the board and that can be proved with numbers like we have seen. The bottom line is at 31 Jordan also only had 3 titles, 4 NBA MVPs and 3 Finals MVPs, DPOY, so LeBron can easily catch up in that realm, but has far as the plethora of stats LeBron is winning in vs Jordan? Jordan can never catch up. Now I’m not saying James is 100% better than Jordan, but there is 100% a case of him being better, even at this moment. In my eyes, LeBron is the best ever, but that’s why its an opinion. I will say this, numbers never lie……

About Emmanuel Godina

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