Sports fans always love a good hypothetical ‘who’s better’ debate. It doesn’t matter the sport, era or players involved, fans will debate it. When it comes to the NBA, one debate is currently sweeping across the internet: Michael Jordan‘s Chicago Bulls vs. LeBron James‘ Miami Heat.
The Heat have reached the point where they’re in the same conversation as some of all-time great teams. If they’re able to win their third straight championship, then there really won’t be any debate about it. At that point they’d be equal to great teams like the Bulls of 1990s and the Lakers of the early 2000s.
So who would win between the Bulls and Heat?
According to former Bull Horace Grant, it wouldn’t even be close:
“The Heat wouldn’t have had a chance. We would have locked them up. We would have locked them up. Especially with the rules today, Michael would have had a field day,” Grant said via ESPN.
Grant’s point is a fair one. The rules in today’s NBA definitely take physicality out of the game. Fouls are called after little-to-no contact, which means that MJ would be able to get to the line at will. At the same time, Bulls defenders would certainly have to adjust their style.
You’d have to think that James and Jordan would basically cancel each other out in terms of production, so it would really come down to the benches and role players.
Top-to-bottom the Bulls were a better team, both during the 91-93 three-peat and the 96-98 three-peat. On top of that, they’ve got the greatest coach of all time on the sidelines. Maybe you’d give the edge to the Heat if they had Dwyane Wade in his prime, but he’s just not the same player he used to be.
The Bulls would have the size and strength to bother the Heat, and their overall style would just be too much for Erik Spoelstra’s bunch to handle. Plus, if it came down to it, you know that MJ could rise up and take over the game, just like he always did.