Competition is the main agenda behind all sports. It is the competition that results in a forceful comparison of one athlete with another in a bid to determine which player is the best among other players. Although the comparison does not mean a lot in some other team sports, it means a lot in basketball since each individual player has to fight offensively and defensively against five opponents in the opponent team at every moment. This means that stars shine best in National Basketball Association (NBA) because no other team sports can be reduced to just a one-on-one action except boxing. The world of basketball playing has been dominated by two superstars; Michael Jordan and LeBron James. The two have been considered as the gurus in NBA past events. Statistics show that Michael Jordan is the overall legend in this sector of sport while LeBron is currently the world’s best basketball player. In most of his entire career, Michael Jordan was a Chicago Bulls player while LeBron James started by playing for Cleveland Cavaliers but later on moved to play for Miami Heat where he plays to date. During his time at Chicago Bulls, Michael Jackson led the club in winning six NBA championships. At a close comparison in NBA history, this paper examines both LeBron James and Michael Jordan who to every fan of basketball around the globe have engaged in enjoyable games despite the fact that Michael Jordan is the best player considering that his passing and defending tasks have been effectively established.
Jordan was the talk of the day in the 90s and early 2000. James is the talk of the day in the current times. In this paper, the two have been compared since LeBron joined the league. The first comparison entails the superstars’ general resumes. James attained 7 All-NBA selections, five All-Defensive 1st team selections, four MVP awards in a period of five years, ten All-Star game Selections as well as a pair of championships ring. This is an impressive achievement (Brown, Josh and Mia 149). by comparing this with Michael Jordan’s achievement of the same point i.e., for 11 seasons where he had already taken 2 years off to deal with his father’s death, the latter’s performance is way far impressive than the former (Brown, et al. 150). For Jordan by 1996 had ten-time All-Star, eight-time ALL-NBA 1st time player in the defense position of the year, 4 time MVP, 4-time Finals MVP, 4 times NBA Champion as well as a seven-time All-Defense first team. In addition to Michael Jordan’s perfection of his game, is his Final performance, he always won his series. Therefore, no matter LeBron’s accomplishments, it will be hard for him to outdo Jordan’s 100% success rate on the matches’ biggest stage (Brown, et al. 152).
The second comparison deals with their scoring titles. In all manner of perceptions that basketball fans view the sport, there is no way that the value of scoring can be underestimated. Michael Jordan was not a chucker despite the fact that he averaged 23 shots in every game in the first 11 years of his league life (Batchelor 75). According to Batchelor, he was a machine, getting eight scoring titles ever since he joined the league up to 1996, a time in which he and his club, the Chicago Bulls, could go 72-10 on their way for a second 3-peat. Moreover, Michael Jordan is the leading all-time career leader in Win Shares (Piette, Sathyanarayan and Kai 47). On the other hand, LeBron is somehow doomed in this journey in that he has been occupied by twitter, TMZ, blogosphere microscope in the entire time of his career. Therefore, it will be hard for him to outdo Michael Jordan since the latter was allowed to be a mythological body whose life was spent in the basketball court; something that LeBron will find hard to be. According to the Celtics, LeBron is a great player but he will never be ‘God in Basketball Shoes’ (Piette, et al. 50) because there is only of them- Michael Jordan.
The third consideration in this comparison is passing. Michael Jordan had the following statistics of assists per game; 5.2 for the regular season, 6.5 for the postseason, 10+ assist games (297 for regular season and 63 for the postseason), 5+ assist games (531 for regular season and 109 for the postseason) (Brown, et al. 171). On the other hand, the following were LeBron James assist statistics: 6.9 for regular season, 6.5 for postseason, 10+ assist games (132 for regular season and 19 for postseason), 7+ assist games(442 for regular and 76 for postseason), 5+ assist games(681 for regular season and 120 for post regular season). From these statistics, it is evident that James outdid Michael in total regular-season assists by playing 256 lesser games (Piette, et al. 56). Although Michael has been an efficient passer during his career, it is vivid that LeBron has outdone Michael as far as passing aspect is concerned since e has shown a higher assist per game averages all along the regular season, post as well as the NBA finals. He also outdoes Michael Jordan in total in fewer games (Batchelor 45).
The next consideration is defense. The ability that Jordan possesses of attacking from the weaker side to block an opponent shot, take the ball, play the passing lanes as well as playing impressive on-ball defense on and on makes him the best defender. Jordan record an all-time best of 9 all-defensive teams while on the other and LeBron records only 5 (Batchelor 45). The other reason to settle on Jordan on defense is that he never failed to appear in the defensive second yet LeBron failed to make it in 2014 (Batchelor 46). Moreover, Michael Jordan boasts of 10 titles of defensive player of the year, top-five for 7 times while as James LeBron did not make it top-ten players in the defense positions until 2009, his 6th year in the league. However, after that year, LeBron has been in the top 10 ranking defensive players of the year 6 times and top 5 for three times (Piette, et al. 71).
Finally, the use of rebounds is another consideration in comparing the two stars. Statistics demonstrate that Michael Jordan had the following averages of rebound per game; 6.2 in the regular season, 6.4 in the post rebound season and 6 in the NBA Finals (Brown, et al. 150). On the other hand, James LeBron had the following statistics of the same period in an average of rebounds per game; 7.2 for the regular season, 8.5 in the postseason and 8.8 in the NBA Finals rebound per game. This implies that it will take LeBron an estimated 81 extra regular-season matches, using his “average of 7.2 rebounds per game” (Piette, et al. 74) to outdo Michael Jordan. LeBron would have attained this approximated 149 fewer total matches than Michael Jordan (Batchelor 55).
Although LeBron has appeared to be marvelous and efficient scorer during the regular season as well as the postseasons, his scoring in NBA finals can only be said to be far below average compared to Michael Jordan’s performance during the regular, post as well as the NBA Finals and his capability to score consistently against top defenses. This makes Michael Jordan the best scorer of all time. Apart from the scoring perspective, the paper has shown statistically that Michael Jordan was the greatest ever at playing the passing lanes, defense and a generally better-placed resume than James LeBron. The only areas that LeBron would have outshined Jordan are versatility, attributed by his size as 6”8, 250lb giant to Jordan’s 6’6, 215lb size. We can, therefore, conclude that Michael Jordan is the best player in the NBA’s history.