Will they erect a statue of LeBron James outside the American Airlines Arena when he retires? Not if he doesn’t get that monkey off his back named Michael Jordan. The comparison between James and Jordan has been something of a hot topic ever since LeBron decided to skip college and join the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although they both have dominated their opponents in their own way, many consider Jordan to the best of all-time, and some say no one can even come close to challenging his place at the throne.
It took Jordan seven seasons to make his first NBA Finals appearance, and yet it only took James four. Although MJ did go on to three-peat with his Chicago Bulls and James’ Cavs were swept by the San Antonio Spurs, making it to the Finals is an accomplishment in itself.
The trophies that each one of these superstars have accumulated over the years is something to be marveled at in and of themselves. First, we start with the magnificent Air Jordan: six NBA titles, six Finals MVP’s, five regular season MVP’s, 14-time All-Star, three-time All-Star Game MVP, 10-time All-NBA First Team, nine-time All-Defensive First Team and 1984 Rookie of the Year. Now onto the colossal LeBron: two NBA titles, two Finals MVP’s, four regular season MVP’s, nine-time All-Star, two-time All-Star Game MVP, seven-time All-NBA First Team, five-time All-Defensive First Team and 2004 Rookie of the Year.
Looking at these stats, it’s easy to say whose the outright winner, right? Wrong. James has played in five less seasons than his counterpart and only continues to better his game. Not to mention that Jordan was best at the end of his career, even after taking a year off to pursue baseball, he came back to win three consecutive championships with the Bulls before his retirement. Now there are two things LeBron must do before he can be considered an equal to his “Airness.” One being the obvious, win four more championships. Two being, and probably less important, but a fan favorite nonetheless, win a few dunk contests. This is the true people pleaser. And not to mention that Jordan won two in his illustrious career.
I expect LeBron to play well into his 30s, and when all is said and done, there will be a continuous debate as to who is the G.O.A.T.