Who is the greatest basketball player of all time? Is it LeBron James or Michael Jordan? This question has plagued basketball discussions since the late 2000s. It has made any talk of the sport a bit polarized. The media arguably fuels this talk more with critical analysis about LeBron’s failings or Jordan’s flaws.
Both have not made any comment about this comparison but fans have already selected sides. Some are saying that Michael Jordan s better and some are saying that LeBron James is better. Even golf legend Tiger Woods weighed in on the debate.
He was asked this question back in 2018. Woods answered, “When I was growing up, a goat was a bad thing. ” He continued, ” They’re both great in different ways. You know, I think that if you look at MJ. He was a prolific scorer and played defense like no other. He’s always first-team, you know, all-defense. But LeBron’s different. He’s like a hybrid of MJ and Magic Johnson which is so different because he’s bringing up the ball a lot. MJ never really did that.”
Tiger Woods mentioned that Scottie Pippen was usually his point forward and according to him, that is very similar to LeBron. He still repeated that both were very different players and helped their teams differently.
The golfer did acknowledge Michael Jordan’s dominance in NBA Finals but also said that James does it differently. Hence, they both have changed the game for good.
Michael Jordan vs LeBron James in the Finals
Michael Jordan’s record is six for six in the NBA Finals with the Chicago Bulls. Meanwhile, LeBron James has won four Finals but has also lost six. Jordan was more experienced when he reached that stage for the first time. He was 28 years old at the time and had already faced heartbreaks in the playoffs due to the Detroit Pistons and the Boston Celtics. He defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1991 Finals to secure his first title and didn’t look back ever since. Jordan won five more from 1992 to 1998.
LeBron James was in his first Finals at the age of 22. A young James arguably carried his Cleveland Cavaliers team to the Finals and lost the series to the experienced San Antonio Spurs. He lost another one after that in 2011 with the Miami Heat against the Dallas Mavericks where his performance was not up to his standards. He won his first in 2012 and second in 2013 but his struggles did not end there.
When he came back to Cleveland, the Golden State Warriors practically built a super team out of the ground. While his performances were exemplary, the King could only win one title (2016) during that time. His latest title was in 2020 with his current team, the Los Angeles Lakers.