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!

Comments

marineblue

May 10th, 2018 at 4:57 PM ^

comparing does a discredit to both players....different times ...different scenarios...harbaugh is a firm believer in this...i agree...AND....connie hawkins.

Hold This L

May 10th, 2018 at 6:22 PM ^

That the showing from Lebron that year was bad. But one bad series shouldn’t define his legacy or else jordan getting bounced in the first round all those early years would negate any argument for him being the best as well. So I agree it was a bad series, I just don’t think it’s a strong argument against any player. It could apply to most sports. Like “Montana wouldn’t have lost to the giants in 07.”

randomtask

May 10th, 2018 at 8:48 PM ^

If I had to bet on one player to win you one series, I bet on Jordan. He will not lose to an inferior player (Dirk) with a better cast (Wade and Bosh). Football is an entirely different animal. One player plays an inordinate amount of difference even compared to a QB. Also, that was not one game; it was a seven game series.

Avant's Hands

May 10th, 2018 at 6:12 PM ^

I'm not a big basketball fan, but I'm old enough to have watched both of them play. I can't logically give a good opinion on this because I'm not knowledgeable enough about the sport to really know. Then again logic doesn't seem to be a big contributor here. There is a pretty sharp age divide I would bet and it's all Get Off My Lawn vs LBJ is athletic and physical enough that he would have dominated back in the day. Let's be honest and say that no one will really ever know and this debate will go on forever.

There are a few things in particular that bother me about this. For one, it is not Lebron's fault that he got drafted by Cleveland and his GM was terrible at bringing in anything resembling help for him, causing him to go to Miami to play with Wade and Bosh (who are not remotely on the same level as some 90s examples people have thrown out). Whole lot of "Jordan made his teammates better he didn't go join other good players." That's a bad take and you should feel bad. Whether he is the best player or not, I don't think I have ever seen someone raise their teammates up like Lebron does. He just sees the court differently than most other players. The championship count thing is also stupid, unless someone wants to argue that Dilfer is better than Marino. Or what about all the guys that have won more titles than Jordan in basketball? It's a team sport. MJ played on better teams. 

Personally, I don't want to pick a favorite. Enjoy great players while they are around for what they are and do the debating once they retire if you need to. I'm becoming convinced that if our heroes from the 90s played during the internet era they wouldn't be nearly the heroes they are today.

Hold This L

May 10th, 2018 at 6:40 PM ^

MJ was the best athlete in nba history. Kobe was the best/most skilled basketball player ever.
Add: to defend my opinion, I’ve never seen a player get in zones like Kobe did or make absolutely impossible shots. He had every fundamental down like clockwork. Jordan was able to out run and out jump everyone he was playing against. He’s one the top 2 or 3 ever. But literally not a person on this planet could stop Kobe when he was in his zone. I don’t really care what the metrics say or the shooting percentages because kobe’s Teams from 05 onward were absolute garbage. I don’t think any one of those teams without Kobe would have beaten the 07 cavs without Lebron. All three are the top three players ever in my book, just have Kobe at the top because of his unmatched skills and mastery of the fundamentals and crazy footwork. There’s also no one I’d rather have taking the last shot than the black mamba

butuka21

May 10th, 2018 at 6:48 PM ^

This is not even a debate Michael Jordan was the GOAT. There will never be another. People should really stop trying to compare Lebron, Kobe, whoever it’s not even close.

butuka21

May 10th, 2018 at 7:17 PM ^

So your in game 7 of the championship and before you start the game you have a choice to take Jordan or lebron who do you take?

It’s not close you can throw all the stats you want out there. Jordan always figured out a way to beat you. He made everyone around him on his TEAM better was a relentless defender. Jordan would never have teamed up with other guys and made super teams he would have figured how to beat you, and he sure as hell would have never lost a championship playing alongside Bosch and wade. It’s not close at all.

uncle leo

May 10th, 2018 at 7:28 PM ^

I could have sworn LeBron has taken multiple teams to the finals that literally did not have a 2nd option.

Guys like Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman didn't just get better because they had Jordan. That entire narrative is so exhausting. Those guys are incredible basketball players, and would have been with or without MJ. You think Jordan is winning as much as he did with Kevin Love and JR bleeping Smith?

butuka21

May 10th, 2018 at 8:45 PM ^

Pippen would have never been the same ball player had he not played with Jordan. I grew up watching Jordan grow and the team around him grow and no Jordan did not make rodman but if he definitely held him in check as much as he could which helped the TEAM. I’ve watched both play it is my preference to have Jordan over anyone and no one can convince me otherwise. It is a different era now though and I actually can’t stand it. The lack of defense and team play drives me nuts. Jordan had better competition in my opinion as well.

randomtask

May 10th, 2018 at 9:01 PM ^

Completely agreed with respect to Pippen. People somehow believe that Jordan had no role in developing Pippen. I saw Pippen play as a rookie. There is no way he becomes even remotely as good as he ended up without a huge assist from Jordan.

I have no doubt Lebron belongs on the pantheon of NBA history. Having seen both play in their primes, however, I would on Jordan in any head to head matchup.

shoes

May 10th, 2018 at 6:53 PM ^

in 9 of his 13 seasons with the Bulls (9 of 15 if you include the second comeback with Washington) Lebron has been all NBA first team defense in 5 of his 15 seasons. 

RLARCADIACA

May 10th, 2018 at 10:02 PM ^

MJ all the way, a much better player all around and a better team mate and team player. MJ was cocky and confident but no where near the ass hat that LBJ is. And by the way I'd take Magic and Bird before LBJ. Both much better team players. Can't wait to see the Cavs and LBJ go down again.

deejaydan

May 10th, 2018 at 10:54 PM ^

I hate to compare players, because it lessens others.  I think Harbaugh said something to that effect.  They are both great players, but I really think that Kareem gets overlooked as a great player of his era.  LeBron is the best currently.  MJ was the best in his time.  They are both different, and both great.

 

Kinda like the Tom Brady vs. Joe Montana arguement.

pwnwulf

May 11th, 2018 at 5:53 AM ^

Lebron James is such a selfish player. He never improves the people around him which is why he’s 3-5 in the finals. Instead of trying to do everything maybe try using your teammates. MJ was incredibly skilled and could do it all but the thing that made him better than lebron was how he used his teammates and made them so much better. That’s also why he never lost in the finals. Player sthat improver teammates always prevail. Lebron is also a selfish asshole OSU fan, I just can’t be a fan of someone who jumps teams and makes an entire ESPN special about it. What a selfish asshat.

DTOW

May 11th, 2018 at 1:29 PM ^

its Amazing reading these comments and seeing who has absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. I’ve seen both of them play and the people saying MJ and it’s not close are completely delusional and are just regurgitating false narratives that they’ve heard in the past. I’m not saying Lebron is better than MJ but what I am saying is that some people are so invested in MJs side that they just throw out fallacies and false narratives so let’s just get a few things out of the way that are just flat wrong:

#1. Overall, NBA players today are better than they previously ever have been and it’s not particularly close. Just watch reruns of the game from the 80s-90s and it’s obvious. Steve Kerr, whom played with Jordan, has also stated as much.

#2. MJ played on Bulls teams that had significantly more talent than any team Lebron has played on and further Lebron has taken much lesser teams farther than Jordan ever did. Go take a look at the 2007 Cavs team and see what Lebron drug to the finals. That team without him might not have won 25 games. His second best player was Larry Hughes!

#3. Yes MJ is undefeated in finals appearances. But what is worse, getting there and not winning it or not being able to get there at all? It’s debatable.

#4. MJ was a better teammate? Huh? What? MJ used to get in fist fights with teammates. People take pay cuts to play with Lebron.

#5. Lebron James doesn’t make his teammates better? This is so blatantly absurd. It’s truly at the next level of stupidity.

#6. MJ was smarter. Also false. Lebron James is, arguably, the smartest basketball player of all time. A quick google search would show you many examples of this and there’s been numerous articles written and numerous coaches talking about the sophistication of Lebrons basketball IQ. Lebron’s coach was MIA for illness this year and Lebron was a virtual player-coach in his absence.

#7. Lebron isn’t clutch. This is dumb dumb talk. He’s made numerous game winning shots and had numerous unbelievable game 7 performances throughout his career.

That’s just some of the nonesense I’ve seen in this thread. Like I said, I don’t know who is better. They’re completely different players. I would say MJ was a better scorer. Lebron is a better at almost everything else. Defense is a wash because MJ was a better on ball defender but Lebron offers much more defensive versatility. Gun to my head, I’d probably take Lebron for the simple fact that he is so good in every aspect of the game. MJ wins it in the scoring, Lebron wins it when it comes to all around game including longevity. Also from a statistics category Lebron is going to blow MJ out of the water in everything. If you’re interested in this topic you should read the below article as it is fantastic:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theringer.com/platform/amp/nba/2018/2/…

Basic run down of the above article:
- Lebron is on pace to surpass Kareem as the all time scoring leader with a chance to surpass the 40,000 point mark
- Lebron is on pace to rank second all time in assists behind only Stockton
- Lebron is on pace to be top 25 (top 5 in non Centers) all time in rebounds