Michael Jordan Is The GOAT
May 24, 2018
Many conversations about who the real G.O.A.T in basketball is have been floating around for a few years now. The idea that LeBron James is the best player of all time, is a straight up myth. Jordan is still the greatest of all time and will remain in that position for the foreseeable future. I will be using a few arguments to prove why, including achievements, statistics and competition.
First, although it is not much of an argument we will look through the career achievements. Both currently have 14 all-star appearances so LeBron gets the win right here. Jordan has 10 scoring titles, while LeBron has only one. Jordan is 6-0 in the Finals but should easily be 8-0. LeBron is 3-5, so no discussion here. LeBron has four MVP’s and likely won’t win another and Jordan has five so he gets another win. When it comes to defense, Jordan has one defensive player of the year and nine all-defensive team selections. LeBron doesn’t own a DPOY award and only has six all-defensive team selections. Jordan wins again. LeBron does beat Jordan in the All-NBA selections 13-11. Overall it is clear to see Jordan has the edge in career achievements.
Next is statistics, and LeBron would seem to the naked eye to be far superior compared to Jordan but that is far from the truth. LeBron James is currently seventh all-time in points scored, and Michael Jordan is third. Although LeBron will likely surpass Jordan and others on the list in the near future you have to take games played into account. Lebron has played nearly 100 more games than Jordan has and is still behind in all-time points by about 1,000 points. Jordan has also averaged over 30 points eight times compared to LeBron’s two. Although Jordan averaged nearly seven assists for most of his career, LeBron averaged around eight. LeBron is expected to be the better rebounder because of his obvious height and size advantage, but Jordan does exceptionally well for his size and position. Lebron beats Jordan in assists per game seven to five. Defensively Jordan averaged one more steal per game, and turned the ball over one less time per game. Overall the two were very close in most categories but Jordan stood out in the ones that mattered.
Lastly factoring in the competition will serve a valid point, especially for Jordan, since haters want to say he played against electricians and plumbers. Was Jordan’s or LeBron’s competition harder, specifically in the postseason? The first thing to look at would be the help from teammates to show how good their respective teams were.
LeBron has had four total all-star teammates in Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. In his first stint with the Cavaliers he had no all-star help, but only made the finals once against an overpowered San Antonio Spurs squad. Since then LeBron has lost to the Mavericks with one all-star in Dirk Nowitzki, in a series that shouldn’t have even been a competition. The next season they got their redemption and LeBron’s first ring against a young Oklahoma City Thunder squad destined to run the league for years to come. They had two all-stars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook but neither were anywhere near their primes as the Heat overall were. The next season the Heat defeated the Spurs who had one all-star which was Tim Duncan in the waning moments of his illustrious career. LeBron can thank Ray Allen for saving his skin and not making his career worse off. The next season James would fall to the same team in a near sweep while this team had no current all-stars. This prompted LeBron to move back home to Cleveland, where in his first season back should’ve beaten the inexperienced Warriors in the Finals, but had too many injuries to prevail. The next season would be his most prized championship and the most valuable. After going down 3-1 in the series against the 73-9 Warriors, he lead the Cavaliers on an epic comeback to win their first Larry O’Brien Trophy. This team on top of having the best record of all time had three all-stars. This would make LeBron look like the best player of all time because he beat a 70 plus win team in the Finals, but Jordans 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls were the only other team ever to reach that amount of wins. Jordan also did this with only one other all-star, where James couldn’t even do that well with two. After this season the Cavs with three all-stars would fall flat against the Warriors with four thanks to their new addition Kevin Durant. So in total in the Finals LeBron faced 9 all-stars, two players twice, and four players three times and went 3-5. To sum it up Jordan went 6-0, and were it not for his retirement could have gone 8-0 in the Finals. In the Finals, he played a total of nine in which he played two players twice. He did all of this with only one team and one all-star in Scottie Pippen.
Michael Jordan is clearly the G.O.A.T of basketball and anyone who denies it given the present circumstances need to do a double take. Although I could not fit every statistics or fact into the argument, it is still obvious who the better is and was. At the end of the day, both did unthinkable things for the sport of basketball, but only one can be the best.