The Wide World Of Sports: Team LeBron or Team Jordan?


Parker Abate

Parker Abate, Columnist

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking about what I wanted to write for my last piece of the semester. There are so many great sports debates in the world, and I have touched on several of these throughout the year, but I have yet to discuss the most prominent, the one that’s my personal favorite. Yes, it’s this: Are you Team Jordan or Team LeBron?

I have only seen one of these legends play, so it is hard to make an unbiased decision on whom I think is the greatest of all time. But I choose LeBron every time. LeBron should be considered the greatest of all time. No, I never saw Jordan play, but I will still fight for him. Basketball is a game of statistics and grit just like all other sports, and there is no doubting that these two superstars are at the top of the list on both.

Let’s start with one very important factor: championships. Championships do not define greatness, but the pro-Jordan population use this argument every time. In fact, LeBron has already played in the same amount of championships as Jordan. Yes, LeBron only has two wins and Jordan has six. However, the fact is it is nearly impossible to win an NBA championship with one player, regardless of who it is. did a study on all of the NBA championships and ranked the best supporting players on each team: In LeBron’s finals’ appearances, he had the 10th, 21st, 39th, 55th, 60th, and 61st best supporting casts. On the other hand, Jordan had the 1st, 5th, 6th, 24th, 49th, and 53rd. LeBron has had three supporting casts in the finals that were worse than Jordan’s absolute worst. Jordan won all six, which is why fanatics are quick to jump to his defense.

LeBron has possessed the leadership and skill to take his all around weak team and turn it into a contender. Without, LeBron, those teams are not even in the playoffs. The Bulls championship team in 1996 with Scottie Pippen, Robert Parish, Dennis Rodman and Toni Kukoc, could have done alright without Jordan. Would they have been a finals team? Possibly, but probably not. The point here is that LeBron has always been more valuable.

LeBron James and Michael Jordan are two different players. Jordan was always a clutch shooter and an opposition nightmare. LeBron is a 6 foot 8, 250-pound monster who will run through you if he has to. The game has never quite seen an athlete of LeBron’s caliber and stature. Jordan clearly does have one thing on LeBron, and that is the ability to score. Jordan scored whenever he wanted to and wherever he wanted to. With that said, LeBron has averaged more rebounds and assists than Jordan in the regular season and playoffs. It is naïve to jump to the conclusion that Jordan is superior because he averaged more points a game than LeBron has.

LeBron James has already been the league MVP four times. He trails Jordan by one in that category and still has several years left to play.

LeBron and Jordan both have 11 ALL NBA Team Selections. There is one factor that distinguishes the two. LeBron is said to be a much better teammate. He is known for inspiring his teammates to get the best out of them. Jordan was known for using fear as a motivator.

Versatility is another difference between the two. LeBron can play any position on the floor, at any time. He has the ability to dominate any opposing player. Jordan could always lock down an opposing superstar when he really needed to, but LeBron is capable of playing anywhere in order to help his team win.

This argument will remain among the greatest sports debates for a very long time.

It will never be resolved but making the argument is always interesting. Yes, Jordan had the clutch factor and will forever be the best “on command” shooter, but in the end, LeBron James, barring injury, is the best basketball player of all time.