If you didn’t see this video last month by Jason McIntyre of FoxSports, please have a gander. It’s a doozie.
Now, I’m not presently interested in presenting my own argument for why James cannot pass Jordan as the Greatest Of All Time in the NBA, though I certainly could do that at another time. For the purposes of this piece I am only interested in responding to the arguments and case made by Mr. McIntyre in the above video because he’s contributing to the mass-ignorance of millennial-sports fans and this cannot be allowed to stand, not on my watch. This also isn’t to say that his premise and conclusion that LeBron is “greater” than Jordan are incorrect (though they are), simply that the arguments and case he presents are puerile.
So let’s go point-by-point as presented by McIntyre in the video.
“At this point in his career LeBron James has a better basketball resume than Michael Jordan… at the same point in his career.”
This statement could theoretically be true. It’s not, but it could be in theory. But Jason, you don’t specify what “the same point” is. LeBron is better at age 32? LeBron is better through 14 seasons? Jordan only played 15 seasons and had two seasons (’85-’86, ’94-’95) where he appeared in fewer than 19 games, either because of injury or because he was coming out of one of his three retirements. Are you going to cut off LeBron’s accomplishments after next season to juxtapose them to Jordan’s or are you going to give LeBron far more opportunity to accumulate a resume to compare to Jordan? Nothing that follows in this video supports the claim you make at the end.
“Three titles at age 32.”
LeBron-apologists have to move the goalposts and use age as a barometer when they could have easily used seasons. Jordan played at least three years of college-ball and LeBron entered the league right out of high school, so LBJ’s had several more opportunities to accumulate titles before whatever age you select as your bench-mark.
“LeBron has been to six straight NBA finals and Jordan never did.”
Jordan went to and WON six straight NBA finals in years in which he played the whole season. He won three straight championships, his dad died and he took about two years off to play baseball, then he came back in the middle of a playoff-run and didn’t win the title before going on to win three more consecutively.
“LeBron has more total points, rebounds, assist, and league MVPs at this age.”
He’s also played at least THREE more full seasons than Jordan had at age 32. You’re creating a double-standard to support your premise.
“LeBron’s FACED tougher competition.”
You go on to state that “Jordan never DEFEATED Larry Bird.” You again create a double-standard and move the goalposts to support your premise, holding LBJ to a standard of FACING all-time greats and MJ to a standard of DEFEATING all-time greats.
“…and while (Jordan) did beat Magic (Johnson) it was at the tail-end of his career.” “LeBron defeated the super-team Celtics and the Spurs-dynasty.” Jason, both the super-team Celtics and the Spurs team that LeBron defeated were at the tail-end of their careers, you again create a double-standard. Magic was 32 when Jordan beat him in the Finals and Chicago got swept by Boston in 1986 and 1987 when Bird was 29 and 30. When LeBron beat the “super team” Celtics in 2011 Kevin Garnett was less than two weeks from turning THIRTY-FIVE, Ray Allen was less than six weeks from turing THIRTY-SIX, and Paul Pierce was pushing THIRTY-FOUR. The San Antonio team that Lebron beat featured a THIRTY-ONE year-old Tony Parker, a THIRTY-SIX year-old Manu Ginóbili, and a THIRTY-SEVEN year-old Tim Duncan.
Are you serious?
“LeBron beat the 73-win Warriors.”
Yeah… except they broke Jordan’s Bull’s record of 72 wins and Jordan never had the opportunity to play the 73-win Warriors. LeBron’s never won 70+ games in a garbage-conference that’s never presented him with a legitimate-consistent threat.
“He’ll end the debate and pass Jordan as the greatest player in NBA history.”
You’ve not supported this claim with a shred of logically-sound argument.
Jordan actually has a far-better basketball resume than LeBron and almost certainly still will after LBJ hangs up his sneakers. MJ has twice as many titles, twice as many finals MVPs, more MVPs (an incredibly flawed award to begin with), more All-Star appearances, more All-Star Game MVPs, a Defensive Player of the Year Award, and NINE MORE SCORING TITLES.
Also, Jordan never lost an NBA Finals. LeBron has LOST MORE NBA Finals than he has won.
Jordan never lost an international basketball tournament, LeBron’s lost 2.
Stop contributing to the ignorance of the modern sports fan, Jason. You’re all annoying the heck out of the rest of us.
Follow me on Twitter @RobertJPfeifer.