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Radio Facts: Originally posted October 8, 2013 – Kudos to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for just pulling off a historical comeback in the NBA Finals vs. the Golden State Warriors.  Although it was a remarkable accomplishment, this story I wrote more than a year ago still applies. 

Here we go again with this debate of who is better. For years people have been searching for the air apparent to Michael Jeffrey Jordan. They try to compare Kobe, LeBron, Magic, and some had the audacity to compare Harold Minor a.k.a “Baby Jordan” to his airness back in the day.  Due to his back to back championships and obvious skill set, LeBron James has been the latest ballplayer to be mentioned in the conversation with MJ.  LeBron himself even said he wants to be the greatest of all time but admitted he had some years to play to before he should even be considered.  Well, LeBron, I think that is a great goal but these are the top 5 reasons why he won’t be able to dethrone Mike. (Click “Next” above or below to see next segment)

5. The Change in Rules

Unfortunately, this one is out of King James’ hands. Since the league has become more offensively friendly by eliminating hand checking it makes it easier for superior athletes to drive to the basket. Also, the emergence of flagrant fouls keeps the violence down when players drive to the middle. In Jordan’s day, especially playing teams like the Knicks and the Bad Boys of Detroit, you would get virtually murdered trying to drive to the hole. With hand checking the way it was back then it was essential for players to have a great mid-range game. LeBron’s mid-range game is suspect because of his streaking shooting. LeBron definitely has the strength to be productive driving but his sometimes shaky mentality may have kept him from penetrating back then. The point is, LeBron plays in era where the rules are more catered to the offensive player.
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4.The Decision

The day LeBron James made the decision to take his talents to South Beach is the day he conceded the title of the greatest to MJ. In this current NBA, where testing the free agency waters has become the standard, King James chose to leave Cleveland and join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a dynamic trio in order to win championships. I actually don’t see anything wrong with that except, LeBron had to join an already proven champion in Wade in order to win his first title. Jordan, on the other hand, stayed with the team that drafted him and aided in developing the talent around him.
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3.Kobe Bryant

Before LeBron can even be mentioned with the likes of MJ, he first needs to surpass Kobe and that isn’t an easy task. Currently, LeBron is a better player than Kobe due to the age factor but Bryant has 5 championship rings, a superior jumper, and a better array of moves. Not only does LeBron have to catch Kobe first but the fact that there are other players in the league that you can arguably say are just as good as LBJ is the problem.  No one has LBJ’s all-around game especially when he is hitting his jumper.  When Jordan played, there was no one in the league even close to his level. Even the great Larry Bird had this say about MJ, “He is the most exciting, awesome player in the game today. I think it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.” Larry Legend and his Celtics were the reigning NBA champs at the time.
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2.The Rings

Jordan won a total of 6 championships. The man was able to lead his team to three-peat twice. One of those years his team won a remarkable 72 times in an 82 game season, which is still the best record of all time. Some debate that MJ and the Bulls could have won 8 straight titles if Jordan didn’t take time off to play baseball. Not only that, Jordan successfully defended his NBA title every time. He never lost in the Championship. As we already know, LeBron James has come up short twice in the NBA Finals and once with D. Wade and Chris Bosh by his side. Jordan never allowed that to happen. LeBron has already won 2 rings now but in this day of free agency I don’t see him winning six but I could be wrong.
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1.The Clutch Factor

Michael Jordan was one of the greatest fundamental players of all time but he also was a superior athlete. You could definitely argue that Lebron definitely surpasses MJ in regard to athleticism but not even close when it comes to pure fundamentals. MJ’s footwork is better, overall knowledge of the game is better, jumper is better, the mid-range game is better, and definitely the free-throws. With all that said, what MJ has more than any other player I have ever witnessed is the will to win and the ability to carry it out. No one can argue that LeBron possesses MJ’s will due to the many times we have seen King James disappear during the critical parts of the game. LeBron has gotten better at it but MJ had the clutch gene ever since he hit the winning shot at North Carolina to seal the NCAA title for his Tarheels. Remember “The Shot” against Cleveland, MJ’s last shot as a Chicago Bull won his sixth Championship,  the infamous “Flu” game, and the countless others. MJ is a hard act to follow and sorry LBJ is phenomenal but he isn’t his Airness.

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  1. I am tired of hearing that LeBron James is even in the same league as Michael Jordan. I watched them both play for many years. I have tried to give James the benefit of the doubt because there is a bias against anyone who presumes to approach “His Airness” in greatness. But, greatness is determined by what you do over time in key moments. James has had moments of greatness, but he has also had moments where he didn’t show up. Who would you rather have in a championship game, a healthy LeBron or a Michael Jordan with the flu? You had to think for a moment, didn’t you?


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