by Rahim Kouferidji | May 15, 2020 4:02 pm
Michael Jordan was, and still is, considered the greatest basketball player of all-time. However, the recent documentary “The Last Dance” has sparked up debate, and LeBron James has been sneaking in the “GOAT” conversation once again, but are these arguments valid?
Over Jordan’s 15 year career, he averaged 30.1 points per game. James on the other hand in 17 years so far has averaged 27.1 points per game. Jordan also had seven seasons averaging over 30 points per game, the highest being 37.1 points per game, and he shot over 50% from the field five of those seven seasons. James only has two seasons where he averaged over 30 points a game, with the highest being 31.4 points per game. James did not shoot over 50% from the field in either of those seasons. Jordan has also won 10 scoring titles, while James has only won one scoring title. Scoring stats show Jordan was the better player.
Championships And Seasons
Jordan has won six NBA Championships, while James has only won three. Jordan was undefeated in the Finals, going 6-0, with two three-peats. James is 3-6 and has never had a three-peat. James has averaged 28.2 points per game in nine Finals appearances, while Jordan averaged 33.6 points per game in six Finals appearances. Jordan also won Finals MVP all six times, while James only has won one Finals MVP. James has been to more Finals, but Jordan has the better Finals record, as well as more rings.
Honors and Awards
Both Jordan and James have multiple MVP awards under their belt, but Jordan has the edge, with five MVPs. James has one less with four MVP awards. As mentioned above, Jordan also has more Finals MVP awards with six, compared to James’ three. However, James has been selected into the All-NBA teams more than Jordan. James has 15 selections, with 12 being to the All-NBA First Team. Jordan has been selected 11 times, with ten of those times being to the All-NBA First Team. Jordan has the edge in selections to the All-Defensive teams though, with nine selections, all being to the All-Defensive First Team. James has six selections, with five being to the All-Defensive First Team. Along with Jordan’s nine selections, he also won a Defensive Player of the Year award, something James has not done yet. Also mentioned above, Jordan has won 10 scoring titles, while James has only won one. Jordan is also a three time steals leader, which is another thing James has not done yet. Both also won Rookie of the Year awards.
Both Jordan and James have been in the playoffs 13 times. Jordan’s best scoring average in the playoffs was 43.7 points per game in 1986, with James’ best being 35.7 points per game in 2009. James has played in six game sevens in his career, with two being in the Finals, going 4-2. Jordan, on the other hand, has only played in three game sevens with none of them being in the Finals, going 2-1.
With Jordan playing in a harder era of basketball when the league was more physical than it is today, It is easy to see that Jordan is better than James. James has already played more games than Jordan, and still hasn’t done some of what Jordan has done in less time. Both are great players, but Jordan is better. James’ old teammate, Dwyane Wade, even thinks it is impossible to pass Jordan.
“It’s [passing Jordan] not possible,” Wade said. “You can’t go past that [Jordan] . . . There’s no way higher.”
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