Sports fans love to argue with each other. They can argue over even the smallest of things that happen in a game. But the favourite topic for a sports fan is about the greatest player ever. Each sport has many great players, but there are a few players who stand out from the rest. They have a career that is simply better than everyone else. There is perhaps no greater honour for a sportsperson than to be the greatest ever player in their sport.
In some sports, the debate is a little easier. Golf fans agree that Tiger Woods is the greatest. But the debate in basketball continues to rage on. There are many players who can stake a claim to the title. Some prominent players who have a debate for the position are Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Bill Russell. But the debate inevitably comes down to Michael Jordan and Lebron James.
Michael Jordan’s Case
Michael Jordan was basketball’s first global star. The NBA has never been popular than it was in the 1990s. That popularity was mostly because of Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls. Jordan dominated the league at his peak. He is the only player to complete two different 3-peats. Jordan won 6 NBA titles in 8 years, and he never let the finals go to 7 games.
He is the most gifted scorer in NBA history. Moreover, he is also one of the best defenders in league history. He has the highest scoring average in NBA history, and a perfect record of 6-0 in the NBA finals to go with his 6 finals MVPs. It is true that Jordan had to go through a lot to get to the finals, but once he did, the rest of the league did not have a chance. Jordan took the chance for many other Hall of Famers to get a title, chief among them Karl Malone. There is no greater leader in NBA history.
Lebron James’ Case
Lebron came into the league in 2003. He had the spotlight on him the moment he entered. There were many expectations from him and he has surpassed all of them. He led the greatest finals comeback in history against the Warriors in 2015-16. For many, he is also the greatest passer in league history.
Lebron is a physical marvel, much like Jordan. He has 3 Championship, 4 MVPs, 3 Finals MVPs, and made the finals 8 straight times from 2011-2018. He is also likely to end his career with the all-time record for most NBA points, suppressing Kareem.
Who Is Greater?
The simple answer is to say that fans should appreciate both players equally. But if one has to choose the greatest, Jordan has a significant advantage over Lebron. He has more MVPs, more finals MVPs, and more championships. Jordan was a better defensive player than Lebron. While Lebron has lost 6 finals, Jordan never lost one. In sheer impact on the game, Jordan trumps Lebron and thus, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever.