The NBA G.O.A.T Debate: LeBron James or Michael Jordan


Jared Goodman

Lebron James, the most successful basketball player of the current generation, or Michael Jordan, the most successful basketball player of the 1990s? This question has been a big topic among NBA fans for several years, and with LeBron James now securing his fourth championship, his case has become stronger than ever.


Why is LeBron James the Greatest of All Time?


To start, LeBron has been dominating the entire NBA for 17 years now, whether he was on the Cavs, Heat, or Lakers. Throughout his career, James has made the Finals a total of ten times including eight in a row; 4 with the Cavs, 5 with the Heat, and 1 with the Lakers. Out of these 10 appearances, LeBron has won the title 4 times, earning Finals MVP in all of them. The most impressive championship that LeBron has is in 2016 when he defeated arguably the greatest team of all time in the 73-9 Golden State Warriors. However, arguably more outstanding than his accomplishments are his statistics. LeBron is averaging 27.1 points per game, 7.4 assists per game, and 7.4 rebounds per game throughout his career. These impressive numbers have earned him four most valuable player awards and a spot on the All-NBA First Team a record thirteen times. Many people argue that with his skill set alongside his accomplishments, LeBron James is the greatest player to ever play in the NBA.


Why is Michael Jordan the Greatest of All Time?


Michael Jordan dominated basketball in the 1990s winning 6 NBA championships in 6 appearances, including two three-peats from 1991-1993 and then again from 1996-1998. During these championships, Jordan boasts the all time record six finals MVPs. In comparison to LeBron, Jordan has more NBA Finals wins, but less appearances. Moving on to stats, Jordan led the league in scoring 10 times, averaging 30.1 points per game throughout his career. Additionally, Jordan averaged 5.3 assists per game and 6.2 rebounds per game. This has earned Michael Jordan 5 MVP awards throughout his career. 


The Debate


People argue that although Jordan has more NBA championship wins, his competition was easier than LeBron’s. While this may in fact be true, Jordan had tougher competition prior to the finals which led to him making less appearances than LeBron. Jordan averaged more points throughout his career, but LeBron was right on his tail and is argued to be a more well rounded player as he is a better rebounder and passer. Jordan’s clutch gene is another main factor in debating his side as he hit many clutch shots and played great down the stretch in close games. As for MVP’s, Jordan has more than LeBron, but it is argued that LeBron’s competition for the award was stronger than Jordan’s. Overall, the debate could go either way and it is just a judgement call as both athletes are unbelievable players who dominated the game.