OT - Team LeBron or Team MJ?

Submitted by trueblue262 on May 10th, 2018 at 10:59 AM

Reading up this morning on the GOAT debate over at ESPN, and was just curious to which camp you are all in? It maybe a generation thing, but I think MJ's path to success was more....."un-artficial" 

MJ didn't have "decisions" and hop around to teams to chase championships. He made his teamates better, not his situation better. What do you all think? 

Go Blue!



May 10th, 2018 at 11:06 AM ^

Lebron in Cleveland lately has been doing more with less. The East is pretty weak, to be sure, but Lebron has been carrying a team that can do little to nothing without him. The Cavs without Lebron don't make the playoffs. Most Championship Bulls teams without MJ would make the ECF. 

Occam's Razor

May 10th, 2018 at 11:27 AM ^

With exception of Lebron's Miami teams and Cav's Championship team, Lebron has been dragging bums to the Finals year after year. 

Jordan lost with subpar players before even getting to the finals. 


May 10th, 2018 at 1:19 PM ^

You are wrong that "Most Championship Bulls teams without MJ would make the ECF"

The two years that Jordan retired (which were sandwiched between his two sets of thee-peats), almost the exact same team that had won the prior three championships DID NOT MAKE THE NBA FINALS.  They lost to teams that didn't even win the championship.


G. Gulo of the Dale

May 10th, 2018 at 1:57 PM ^

... is pretty amazing, but the comparison doesn't seem to be all that illuminating.  Yes, the Cavs without Lebron (seemingly) wouldn't make the playoffs this year, but what they've done instead is finish fourth in the East and have (thus far) won two playoff series--not win an NBA championship.  So, they are currently about "two degrees" better than not making the playoffs.  Just as the Bull's teams without Jordan didn't win the NBA championship or the Eastern Conference championship--and so were (roughly) a couple of degrees worse than they were with Jordan.

Now, Cleveland will likely beat the Celtics and go to the finals, but the Celtics are missing their two best players.  If the Cavs beat the Warriors or Rockets, then certainly that would be incredible.  Maybe Jordan would do less with this year's Cavs... but maybe not.  No one can doubt that Lebron is playing out of his mind in the playoffs as a 33 yr. old.   

carolina blue

May 10th, 2018 at 11:42 AM ^

This is a lazy argument. By that definition, bill Russell is the goat. There is more to it than rings.

For example, I would say Dan Marino is greater than Joe Flacco...but nope, because ringzzzz.

You can use it as ONE OF the criteria, but not the sole criterion.


May 10th, 2018 at 11:11 AM ^

You nailed it - and a big reason why i cannot stand the NBA.  Players pick their teams now.  They make all-pro teams now.  No pride in just getting drafted, sticking with your ream and making the team better.

MJ may be a cocky asshole now, but man he was amazing - made everyone else sooo much better and willed his way to championship after championship.  Lebron cannot do what MJ did - even with better players around him.

FWIW, i think MJ was horrible for basketball (not for ratings, for the game itself).  When i was growing up, all everyone wanted to do was lower their rims and work on dunks.  No one shot free throws anymore or 3 pointers.  It was all about how athletic and cool you looked, not about actually playing efficient basketball.

Thank goodness for Curry - i see kids now working on shooting all the time again.  Breath of fresh air.

oriental andrew

May 10th, 2018 at 11:24 AM ^

As a kid growing up, I wanted to dunk, but I'm a short Asian dude. so instead, I'd practice my buzzer beaters to win the game. Every time I missed, I was fouled. Ever time I missed a free throw, it was a lane violation. I'm pretty sure I won every "game" I played in my head.


May 10th, 2018 at 12:17 PM ^

The NBA had descended to an unwatchable game that was a hybrid of basketball and wrestling. I am not a fan of the physical style embraced by the Bad Boys. Don't get me wrong, I was a Pistons fan and rooted for Laimbeer, Dumars, the Microwave and James Buddha Edwards. I just hated the way they played. The fast-breaking Bulls of Jordan's first three-peat were far more entertaining to me. I realize that is a personal stylistic preference and others have the right to prefer a more physical style of play.
I would take MJ over LeBron. I would take LeBron over Kobe. One of the TNT guys had Kobe 7th all-time and LeBron 8th. That's just ridiculous, but it says something that a guy who played the game at the highest level thinks that little of LeBron. You will never see someone put Jordan 8th.


May 10th, 2018 at 12:21 PM ^

Jordan was a great free throw shooter, a very good three point shooter, and an exceptional passer.  He was as fundamentally sound in every facet offensively than any NBA player in history.  He basically created the post up fadeway that players have been using now for the better part of 30 years.  This is a crazy post.


May 10th, 2018 at 11:13 AM ^

Seriously though, I still say it's too early to really have this debate.  Once Lebron is done, we can go ahead and revisit it but at this point Lebron's career is incomplete.

Santa Clause

May 10th, 2018 at 11:19 AM ^

Don't give a fuck if he went to state, if I had to pick one guy to start my team with, it's him. Amazing playmaker with uncanny length, quickness and basketball IQ. Made every one of his teamates better. Magic was also as clutch as the come (finals vs celtics). Like Lebron, Magic could play all 5 postions in basketball if needed but he also just happened to be the best passer of all time. 5 time champ against those great Celtics teams and the Bad Boyz. I'll take Magic all day everyday.


May 10th, 2018 at 11:22 AM ^

Hard to argue that pick.  In todays game he is less valuable with all the 3 point shooting.

I would say someone like young Lew Alcindor or Wilt Chamberlain, but again, in todays game they are less valuable too.

I would have loved to see Glenn Rice in his prime on a good team in todays game.  I think he would light it up.


May 10th, 2018 at 11:20 AM ^

I am not a Lebron fan. I have rooted against him since day 1 and think man of his antics are bitch boy moves. However, I think he is definitely the best player ever. He is dominant, against much better competition than MJ played against. He is clearly the best athlete in NBA history, among superstars. Guys that big are not supposed to be so springy and fast and graceful. 

The one caveat is that its hard to know what MJ's game would have been like in the modern NBA. Would he have forced himself to become an elite 3 pt shooter, and focused on that more than the midrange game? If so, maybe MJ. 


May 10th, 2018 at 11:41 AM ^

needs the rules changes to be correct, from which MJ did not benefit. The rules have changed to allow LBJ to take advantage of his size (which is amazing and so are the things he does with it...)

But if LBJ had played against Jordan's Bulls and their defense, or the BAD BOYS, or Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, he would be injured half the season and need the other half to "rest".


May 10th, 2018 at 12:27 PM ^

was already pretty solid 3 point shooter.  And this is what people don't understand.  Jordan was so good that he dictacted what other players could and could not do.  You see these guys like Steph Curry and James Harden having a ball jacking 3s from all over the place.  Jordan had defensive closing and recovery ability like these players would not believe.  He would not shut these guys down completely but he would frustrate the hell out of them and they would not be playing their game.


May 10th, 2018 at 11:22 AM ^

Can we at least agree that championship Lebron or MJ teams would absolutely annihilate any teams from the 70s or early 80s? Those teams with scrawny white guys running around? Lebron would kill Larry Bird. 


May 10th, 2018 at 12:01 PM ^

Where your argument fails is since you are putting Bird on the floor at the same time as these others, that means they all have access to the same contemporary nutrition and exercise technology and advancement. If Bird has access to all the modern benefits at his peak he would still be a monster that would dominate.


May 10th, 2018 at 11:23 AM ^

Lebron is not clutch and does well based on his size and athletic ability. MJ was the most clutch ever, was a fantastic role model and had a shot that ism100x better than Lebron imo.