People have been debating more and more who is a better player between LeBron James and Michael Jordan. The defining differences people always bring up are the championships and the willingness to take a shot at the end of a close game. Neither of these define whether a player is better than another. Otherwise we would be saying Robert “Big Shot Bob” Horry is better than both of them. He has as many championships as both of them combined and was always willing to drain a dagger three.
Another factor people forget comes into play is the fact that the popularity of the NBA grew leaps and bounds with Jordan. He was marketed like no other by all kinds of companies, such as, Nike and Gatorade. People were told through advertising that Michael Jordan was the greatest player of all time. LeBron hasn’t gotten the same advertising. There is a really good chance the popularity of Jordan will never be passed by Lebron. Again though, this doesn’t make him a better player.
Let’s start to break down why Lebron James is a superior basketball player to Michael Jordan. A lot of people like to bash LeBron having to go to the Miami Heat to be part of a super team to win a championship. This is just the way the league is now. Free Agency is way more of a factor nowadays than it was in Jordan’s era. Jordan didn’t exactly carry his teams to championships like people think. The year before Jordan retired for the first time, the Chicago Bulls went 57-25 and won the NBA Championship over the Phoenix Suns in six games. The year he was retired the Bulls went 55-27 and were one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals. Looking at LeBron with the Cleveland Cavaliers, his final season they were 61-21 and made it to the second round of the playoffs with their second best player being Mo Williams, not, top 50 Player of All-Time, Scottie Pippen. The next year the Cavs went 19-63, 18 games out of a playoff spot and 43 games out of their division lead. This just shows how much more talent LeBron has over Jordan. LeBron clearly has a bigger impact on the court as a player.
In overall stats LeBron has the upper-hand over Jordan, as well. I will say Jordan is a better scorer, but that is about all he has on LeBron. Jordan averaged 2.5 more points per 36 minutes than LeBron has. When it comes to assists and rebounds, LeBrons averages more than an assist per 36 minutes more and a half rebound more a game. LeBron has also been a better three-point shooter than Jordan over his career. Even being on a “super team”, LeBron is averaging more points, assists, rebounds, steals and has a better field goal percentage than any other player on the team. He is also has a better three-point shooting percentage than anyone on the team, a team that includes the best three-point shooter in NBA history, Ray Allen. I am pretty sure, Jordan never did that.
LeBron is just now coming into the prime of his career. His stats are only going to get better. Face it folks, we are witnessing the best basketball player since Oscar Robinson (LeBron vs. Oscar is a debate for another day). You can dislike LeBron because of “The Decision” , but you can’t argue how good he is. Move aside Jordan, LeBron is a better overall player than you.