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  #1  
Old 05-02-2017, 03:08 PM
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Default Can LeBron Possibly Catch Jordan?

This is a subject that has come up and probably will continue to come up forever. It is widely considered by many, if not all, people that Michael Jordan is the greatest NBA player in the history of the league. Somebody once described greatness as the following: It's when everyone who came before are almost irrelevant and everyone who came after are compared to. That's Michael Jordan in the NBA. LeBron James, though, continues to get his name into the conversation. I know many of you out there are the simple sort and you'll think to yourselves, "Well just look at each player's stats". We can do that.

Michael Jordan was a 6'6" Shooting Guard who accomplished the following:

Two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
class of 2009 – individual
class of 2010 – as a member of the "Dream Team"
U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame – class of 2009 (as a member of the "Dream Team")
FIBA Hall of Fame – class of 2015
Two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner – 1984, 1992
Six-time NBA champion
Six-time NBA Finals MVP
Five-time NBA MVP
10-time NBA scoring leader (1987–1993, 1996–1998)
14-time NBA All-Star
Three-time NBA All-Star Game MVP
11-time All-NBA
Nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team
Two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion – 1987, 1988
NBA Rookie of the Year – 1984–85
NBA Defensive Player of the Year – 1987–88
1985 IBM Award winner
NCAA national championship – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: 1981–82
ACC Freshman of the Year – 1981–82
Two-time Consensus NCAA All-American First Team – 1982–83, 1983–84

LeBron James is a 6'8" Small Forward who has accomplished the following:

Three-time NBA Champion: 2012, 2013, 2016
Three-time NBA Finals MVP: 2012, 2013, 2016
Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player: 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
13-time NBA All-Star: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Two-time NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2006, 2008
Ten-time All-NBA First Team: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Two-time All-NBA Second Team: 2005, 2007
Five-time NBA All-Defensive First Team: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
NBA All-Defensive Second Team: 2014
2004 NBA Rookie of the Year
2004 NBA All-Rookie First Team
2008 NBA Scoring Champion
Two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner: 2008, 2012
2004 Olympic Bronze Medal winner
2006 FIBA World Championship Bronze Medal winner
2007 FIBA Americas Championship Gold Medal winner
2012 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year
Commemorative banner in Miami's American Airlines Arena (for his 2012 gold medal won as a member of the Miami Heat)

Looking at each player's accomplishments, LeBron actually isn't far behind Jordan in a lot of areas. What's more, LeBron accomplished a lot of his feats at a much younger age than Jordan accomplished his meaning that LeBron still has plenty of time to surpass Jordan's accomplishments. I'm here to tell you that it's about more than stats and accomplishments. Michael Jordan didn't reach the NBA Finals until his 7th season in the league. LeBron did it in 4. So LeBron is more impressive in that regard, right? Wrong. Jordan won his first NBA Finals and LeBron didn't. Actually LeBron lost his first 2 NBA Finals. Jordan won his first 6 NBA Finals. In actuality, Lebron has already been to one more NBA Finals than Jordan went to, but LeBron only has half the championships that Jordan has. Every time Jordan made it to the Finals, not only did he win, he never ever went the full 7 games. LeBron has lost Finals and went 7 games in the Finals. It's things like this that the stats and accomplishments leave out. They also leave out that LeBron is the only non Celtic in NBA history to go to 6 straight NBA Finals. They leave out that a LeBron led Cavs team in 2016 was the very first team ever to come back from being down 3 games to 1 in the Finals and win. Jordan never went to 6 straight NBA Finals and he never made that comeback. It's things like that that keep LeBron in the conversation with Jordan as the GOAT. LeBron, IMO, has already passed Larry Bird as the greatest SF of all time. IMO, he should already be considered as one of the top 5 players of all time and the man is only 32. He has several years left to continue making his mark.

When LeBron's career is over, do you think it possible that he will have surpassed Jordan as the greatest of all time? Is he already close? Does anyone think that he's already surpassed Jordan? Let me know your opinions.
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2017, 03:52 PM
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I didn't really get to see Jordan play, he retired when I was 7 which was a few years before I started watching basketball. So I guess with that said my answer has a little bit of bias to it, but in my opinion LeBron has already surpassed him. I think LeBron's more talented of an athlete, he's the smartest man I've ever seen on a basketball court and he has the innate ability to make everyone around him better and completely change a team either for better or worse. Jordan didn't have that, at least certainly not to that extent. After Jordan's first retirement in 93, the Bulls finished that season with 55 wins which was only two less than the previous year. If LeBron were to retire after this season, the Cavs would be in absolute shambles. When LeBron left the Cavs after the 2010 season, they went from 61 wins to 19... the sheer impact he has on a team is unmatched by anyone else who's ever played the game.

The only thing Jordan holds over LeBron are the 6 rings and the perfect finals record. But, and I know this is a tired argument though I do think there's validity to it, LeBron is facing better teams in the finals than Jordan had to. Obviously LeBron has a far easier path through the East to get to the finals than Jordan did, but if Jordan had to go up against the same Spurs/Warriors teams that LeBron had to, I really really don't think he'd be 6-0.
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:58 PM
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I'm going to do the short version, because I've gone over this on here before.

No. And it's not even close for me. I don't even have to look at stats. I could go on about how Jordan would literally get triple teamed for most of a game and still score 30. I could go on about how the game is so much different now and James doesn't have to worry about getting hurt nearly as often for even coming into the paint. I could reiterate some of your more obvious points about Finals (which I would say it's unfair to argue Jordan not going to 6 straight considering his absence from the game).

What I know is a guy who crowned himself King James couldn't hack it with his people so he left them to go play with 2 of the best in the league. Even when he was there he couldn't pull off 100% in the Finals. He's a great player who I also respect as an athlete. And what he helped do for Cleveland last year was awesome, but what he did first was just plain wrong. And the manner he did it in just made it that much worse. I've seen people argue he had the right to leave if he wanted (free agency) and that "The Decision" raised money for charity, etc. It doesn't change the fact that it instantly made him one of the most hated athletes on the planet. It doesn't change the fact that "The Chosen One" basically left his hometown, when he was initially supposed to be their hero who delivered a championship, with 2 middle fingers raised in the air. It showed, to me, that he does not have the heart of a champion.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:24 PM
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Thank you Bill for bringing that up about Lebron. My opinion has changed about Lebron quite a lot. I use to hate him, then he was okay, then I thought he was better than bird and now I think he is behind Bird and would be lucky to catch Bird as the greatest SF of all time. Lebron is special, really he is the dream player anyone can make in terms of size and speed. He is a great team mate as well.

But because Durant has now become the new villain; everyone seems to be okay with what Lebron did, and that was change the NBA for life. The dude has proven he can't win it all by himself. If it isn't him joining superstars to create a super team, it's him getting players that are looking to do a Durant and just go to the team that beats ya (Ray Allen). Lebron has literally gone from having to do it all himself to hoping his team mates show up so they can win. The Cavs aren't even the first seed in the east this year. I know that means fuck all but could you imagine Jordan not finishing at the top with Rodman and Pippen? Jordan's team was out making history while Lebron is out resting because he doesn't give a shit about the first 82 games. That can be fair enough, but when comparing the two you have to acknowledge that Jordan never rested no matter when it was.

It's a bit rough because Lebron has done so much, and is a top 10 player ever. I just can't accept the fact that someone of Lebrons calibre has to create super teams, doesn't average a triple double (not that it means anything but if anyone was to average a triple double everyone woulda said Lebron to do it instead of Westbrook) and literally break the rules with every dribble he does or step he takes. The different rules have probably padded lebrons stats a bit more than compared to if he was playing back in Jordan's today.

I'd still take Kobe over Lebron.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:37 PM
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I appreciate your opinion but don't act like Jordan ever did it all by himself either. As a matter of fact, I'd say when comparing the two when they didn't have other good teammates to play with LeBron would be better than Jordan. Do you know why? In the 06-07 season, LeBron took a Cavs team where the next best player was Zydrunas Ilgauskas to the Finals. Jordan never ever even made it past the Pistons until after Pippen had already become a 2 time all star. Also, let's not forget that Jordan also had other players on his team like the best 3 pt shooter in the league at that time in Horace Grant and the greatest percentage 3 pt shooter of all time in Steve Kerr. Don't sit there and act like Jordan didn't have help or do you not consider a team with a core of Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman a super team?
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Old 05-03-2017, 03:59 AM
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I appreciate your opinion but don't act like Jordan ever did it all by himself either. As a matter of fact, I'd say when comparing the two when they didn't have other good teammates to play with LeBron would be better than Jordan. Do you know why? In the 06-07 season, LeBron took a Cavs team where the next best player was Zydrunas Ilgauskas to the Finals. Jordan never ever even made it past the Pistons until after Pippen had already become a 2 time all star. Also, let's not forget that Jordan also had other players on his team like the best 3 pt shooter in the league at that time in Horace Grant and the greatest percentage 3 pt shooter of all time in Steve Kerr. Don't sit there and act like Jordan didn't have help or do you not consider a team with a core of Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman a super team?
You are completely right Phenom. Jordan had some awesome team mates. Pippen is my second favourite player of all time behind Kobe. Rodman on the court for the most part, is the perfect teammate to a superstar. Doesn't need touches and plays d. Horace Grant obviously a big cog for their first three peat. Kukoc was a typical European player and Ron Harper is a legend as well (not that great of a player though, just great teammate).

There is a clear difference between lebrons team and Jordan's team. Lebron made his team while the Bulls made Jordan's team. Jordan didn't leave and speak to 2 other superstars in the league (Chris Paul was rumoured to be in on it as well so that'd make 3 superstars) and say look let's go here and win a ring. Lebron did do that. Rodman came to the bulls and I know Jordan and Pippen had a bit of a rally for him to come but it wasn't fucking decided 2 years before it happened like Lebron, Bosh and Wade (I said fucking because it still annoys me, not to try and prove a point to you Phenom). Jordan would never do that. Pippen was basically drafted to the bulls (traded on draft night) so it was mostly pure luck for Jordan. Well kind of anyways. It took a hell of a lot of skill for MJ and the boys but it was lucky that the pieces reached their potential and all meshed together. Lebron never got lucky, he chose. Lebron gave up on his team (fair enough they were trash but still) and when they got some decent players again (Irving, Thompson, waiters were all top 4 picks, they also had wiggins coming in as well) he thought maybe these guys can help me bring a championship home.

As far as I'm concerened Jordan never chose his team mates and that's why his rings are more credible than James.
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:49 AM
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I appreciate your opinion but don't act like Jordan ever did it all by himself either. As a matter of fact, I'd say when comparing the two when they didn't have other good teammates to play with LeBron would be better than Jordan. Do you know why? In the 06-07 season, LeBron took a Cavs team where the next best player was Zydrunas Ilgauskas to the Finals. Jordan never ever even made it past the Pistons until after Pippen had already become a 2 time all star. Also, let's not forget that Jordan also had other players on his team like the best 3 pt shooter in the league at that time in Horace Grant and the greatest percentage 3 pt shooter of all time in Steve Kerr. Don't sit there and act like Jordan didn't have help or do you not consider a team with a core of Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman a super team?
Horace Grant the greatest 3pt shooter of the time? You mean a guy who, at his best, attempted .1 3pts a game? Hmm...you're easy to please.

Steve Kerr, greatest 3 pt shooter of all time? Yeah, ok. Again, easy to please. Does that mean guys like Reggie Miller and Ray Allen are cheaters because they were too good? I bet you think Steph Curry made a deal with the devil.

And your point about Pippen and Rodman (who no one would consider a top 20 player at the time. He was a role player with very unique skills and no offensive game whatsoever) is worthless against my argument. Jordan didn't run off like a baby to play with them, did he?

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Old 05-03-2017, 12:14 PM
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Horace Grant the greatest 3pt shooter of the time? You mean a guy who, at his best, attempted .1 3pts a game? Hmm...you're easy to please.
I'm sorry. I always do that, I get Grant and Hodges mixed up. I meant Craig Hodges was the best 3 pt shooter at that time.

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Steve Kerr, greatest 3 pt shooter of all time? Yeah, ok. Again, easy to please. Does that mean guys like Reggie Miller and Ray Allen are cheaters because they were too good? I bet you think Steph Curry made a deal with the devil.
Re-read what I said. I said that Kerr is the greatest percentage 3 pt shooter of all time. Not the best, just it is fact that he has the best 3 pt percentage of any player throughout his career. I don't think he's better than Allen or Miller or Curry. He just shot a higher percentage.

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And your point about Pippen and Rodman (who no one would consider a top 20 player at the time. He was a role player with very unique skills and no offensive game whatsoever) is worthless against my argument. Jordan didn't run off like a baby to play with them, did he?
Rodman a role player? Seriously? A guy who had already won 2 championships with the Pistons? A guy who had been twice the defensive player of the year? a Guy who had been twice an all star? A guy who had made 6 All NBA teams up to that point? That guy was a role player? Sheesh, you must be impossible to please.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:34 PM
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I'm sorry. I always do that, I get Grant and Hodges mixed up. I meant Craig Hodges was the best 3 pt shooter at that time.



Re-read what I said. I said that Kerr is the greatest percentage 3 pt shooter of all time. Not the best, just it is fact that he has the best 3 pt percentage of any player throughout his career. I don't think he's better than Allen or Miller or Curry. He just shot a higher percentage.



Rodman a role player? Seriously? A guy who had already won 2 championships with the Pistons? A guy who had been twice the defensive player of the year? a Guy who had been twice an all star? A guy who had made 6 All NBA teams up to that point? That guy was a role player? Sheesh, you must be impossible to please.
Opinions vary. There were many power forwards I'd have taken over him at the time. And everywhere he went he was never the star player. If he were, teams would've put up with him longer. Do you remember how much he was traded around? Though his unique personality was key to getting under Karl Malone's skin. Either way, my initial point about Jordan not running off to them still stands.

Anyway, as I stated in my first post, I've debated this enough. If Sly can't change my mind, you can't.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:56 PM
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Opinions vary. There were many power forwards I'd have taken over him at the time. And everywhere he went he was never the star player. If he were, teams would've put up with him longer. Do you remember how much he was traded around? Though his unique personality was key to getting under Karl Malone's skin. Either way, my initial point about Jordan not running off to them still stands.

Anyway, as I stated in my first post, I've debated this enough. If Sly can't change my mind, you can't.
Don't get it twisted. At this point in time, I don't think that LeBron is better than Jordan or even Jordan's equal. Jordan is still the GOAT and LeBron still has his work cut out for him if he wants to change that. One can't deny, though, that LeBron continues to throw his name into the ring with Jordan.

When the Heat lost the Finals to the Mavericks in 2011; I thought, like a lot of people thought, that it was going to be impossible for LeBron to catch Jordan. He had already lost his first Finals appearance. Honestly it was a Finals that he should probably have never been in but he was and in 2011, not only did he lose that Finals appearance, but he completely choked. Didn't even want the ball at a lot of points in those games. I thought LeBron's legacy was going to forever be tainted after that. Then, in 2012, he had that excellent series against the Celtics and Thunder and went on the win his first championship. Then, in 2013's Finals, he had that miraculous game 7 against the Spurs that was nothing short of amazing. Then, in 2015, with Irving and Love down, he took the Warriors to 6 games when the next best player on his team in that series was Dellavedova. Of course, last year, he leads his team to be the first ever team to come back from being down 3-1 in the Finals to win against the greatest regular season team in NBA history. One would be foolish not to acknowledge the things that LeBron has and continues to accomplish.

Sure, he left the Cavs to join 2 other All-Stars and create a super team to win his first Championship. That rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Including me. That didn't change how he played, though. He continued to be the best player in the NBA. Then he left that team to go to the Cavs after they had had a number of high draft picks. He was still the best player in the league though and the one that put the new Cavs teams over the edge to become championship contenders. Say what you will about LeBron James, but he continues to amaze and continues to show why the book isn't exactly closed yet on him reaching or maybe even surpassing Jordan status.
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