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Micheal Jordan vs LeBron James: The Definitive Argument

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Michael Jordan vs LeBron James: The Definitive Argument

We’ve all heard this argument before Michael Jordan vs LeBron James. So, we wanted to take an in-depth look at the situation. Some might point to this stat or another to make their point. But rather than focusing on one stat and ignoring the rest, we are looking at the collective stats. When first tasked with this I assumed that this wouldn’t be a very close battle. But much to my surprise, LeBron was much closer than I thought.

 

Career Statistics:

MPG FG% 3P% FT% PPG RPG APG SPG BPG GP GS
Micheal Jordan 38.3 49.7 32.7 83.5 30.1 6.2 5.3 2.3 0.8 1,072 1,039
LeBron James 39 49.8 34 74.4 27.2 7.2 6.9 1.7 0.8 987 986

Micheal Jordan vs. LeBron James - Core Stats

 

M.V.P. awards:

This was one of the areas that surprised me the most. They are virtually the same. Where one might slightly lead in one area, the other might lead slightly in another area. The biggest difference is points per game. And Jordan has the lead there. Maybe some LeBron fans that might want to take out his first year when he was just out of high school and younger than Michael Jordan. But the vice versa can be said about Jordan’s last couple of years for the Wizards. All other areas are close and seem to balance each other out. It isn’t likely that LeBron won’t change his PPG.

It is worth mentioning that LeBron’s shooting avg. is below that of Jordan’s. This might account for the lower P.P.G. In LeBron’s defense, he has some pressure to live up to in Jordan’s shadow. In addition, LeBron is more likely to more likely to pass the ball as shown my his higher A.P.G. If he was more selfish, he might would have a higher ppg. But with that said, at this moment, Jordan is better. So, edge goes to Michael Jordan.

 

LeBron 4× NBA Most Valuable Player

Jordan 5× NBA Most Valuable Player

Jordan is winning here but we feel it is likely that LeBron will beat him out on this. And because of this LeBron fans will likely mark this as a reason that LeBron James is better. LeBron is likely to win this category. But again, it is very close here, regardless.

 

Competition:

Jordan played against Magic, Bird, Charles Barkley, and Karl Malone to just names some. Lebron Meanwhile played in the years of Kobe, Shag, Kevin Durant, and Stephan Curry.

So for all intents and purposes this is virtually on the same level. They have both play and beaten difficult teams.

Defensive Player of the year:

One thing not often known is that Jordan has one 3 defensive players of the year. Something LeBron hasn’t done. And I think LeBron is aware of this as evidence seen here.

Jordan was

9× NBA All-Defensive First Team (19881993,19961998) and

3× NBA steals leader (198819901993)

 

Playoff record and stats

GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG

 

179 179 41.8 .487 .332 .828 6.4 5.7 2.1 .8 33.4 Lebron James
199 199 42.1 .478 .321 .746 8.8 6.8 1.8 .9 28.0 Michael Jordan

 

 

Playoff Series Wins/Losses

Jordan: 29-5, 85.3 win% (never missed the playoffs)

Lebron: 25-9, 73.5 win% (2 seasons missed playoffs)

Playoff Wins/Losses

Jordan: 114-54, 67.9 win%

Lebron: 113-59, 65.7 win

 

Championship record:

 

LeBron:

3× NBA champion (201220132016)

3× NBA Finals MVP (201220132016)

Jordan:

6× NBA champion (1991199319961998)

6× NBA Finals MVP (1991199319961998

Finals Wins/Losses

Lebron: 15-17, 46.0 win%

Jordan: 24-11, 72.7 win%

Finals Series Wins/Losses

Lebron: 3-4, 42 win%

Jordan: 6-0, 100 win%

All-star and Olympic games:

 

Michael Jordan

14× NBA All-Star

3× NBA All-Star Game MVP

LeBron James:

12× NBA All-Star

2× NBA All-Star Game MVP

As you might have guessed, they are close in this area too. Lebron has a significant chance to beat him. But these accomplish don’t tell much sense most of these games are done in a leisurely fashion.

 

Style:

Power vs finesse. Lebron bringing the power and Jordan bring the finesse. One thing worth mentioning is LeBron never entered a slam dunk contest. It is not known why he didn’t. Surely if he would have the ratings would have been through the roof.  Look back right now and think about the most memorable Michael Jordan moments. You can probably think of some. Lebron needs that more game winners, that moment that gets people cheering for him. He needs to just enjoy playing the game.

Who’s the better all time player:

Even though it’s clear that LeBron is on his level or at least close to it, why are we left wondering why LeBron isn’t the player Jordan was. Their biggest difference when looking at their stats for regular season, playoffs, or finals is their PPG. Jordan has the advantage there and on the defensive side also.

With this all said, even though Jordan has the edge in some areas, you can see that they are a bit closer than you might think. And LeBron as you can see, has a chance to come close to Jordan’s accomplishments.  But LeBron isn’t quite there, so for that reason we must give it to Jordan, but with a caveat that LeBron could come close to matching Jordan. And if all of this hasn’t convince you that Jordan is better, then we have one more fact to mention that will make you see the light. Well let’s face it, Jordan was in Space Jam. And that my friends, undeniably gives him the edge.

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