Lebron James: GOAT Discussion vs. Michael Jordan “Never Existed” per Analyst

Getty LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles past JaMychal Green #4 of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take declared that the Lebron James vs. Michael Jordan G.O.A.T. discussions “never existed.” Host Molly Qerim asked the analyst if the Los Angeles Lakers, currently 30-34 and 5.5 games out of 8th place, missing the NBA Playoffs would officially end the comparisons of James to Jordan.

“The debate never existed as far as I’m concerned,” Smith said alongside Max Kellerman. “There was never a debate. I’ve never once considered Lebron James better than Michael Jordan. I don’t know, and I never will. Those who want to have those conversations, the (James’ agent) Rich Pauls of the world and some of his friends…they’re entitled to their opinions.

“The thing that I look at is this: You can look at Lebron James and his all-around skills and his physical prowess or whatever, and you can make an argument that Lebron James was a better player per se all-around than Michael Jordan…for the first 46 minutes and during the regular season. I’m not really thinking about that. I’m thinking about when it really counts.

This clearly refers to the point that Jordan went 6-for-6 in his NBA Finals appearances with the Chicago Bulls during a 15-year career. Meanwhile, James has a 3-6 mark over his 15 years with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.

Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in his career. James has scored 27 points, grabbed 8.7 boards and dished 8 dimes a contest during his NBA tenure.

Smith has been highly critical of James and the Lakers, particularly this morning, as they dropped a 113-105 decision to the Los Angeles Clippers. He also said this morning that their playoffs hopes are “over.”

Let’s take a look to see how right Smith is about the Lakers’ playoff chances.

Lakers Playoff Outlook and Chances

Los Angeles has 18 games left this season, and as mentioned earlier, have to make up a 5.5-game deficit on the No. 8 seeded San Antonio Spurs. Playoff Status gives the Lakers a 1 percent chance of doing this. Any scenario above an 8-seed receives a less than 1 percent chance.

James and company need to reverse the negative inertia of losing 3 in a row, as well as 7 out of their last 9. A win tomorrow night over the No. 2 seed Denver Nuggets still keeps playoff chances at 1 percent.

Team Rankings projects the Lakers’ final record to be 38-44. This would be the fifth straight season for Los Angeles under .500, as well as Lebron’s first losing season since his second season in Cleveland dating back to 2004-05.

Fortunately for Los Angeles, Playoff Status has its strength of schedule ranking in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference. The two games that are absolute must-wins are March 24 against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center and April 5 versus the Clippers. Both teams are vying for the last couple seeds in the playoffs.

Team Rankings gives the Lakers a 63.4 percent chance of knocking off the Kings, and just a 32.8 percent probability of defeating the Clippers.

VideoVideo related to lebron james: goat discussion vs. michael jordan “never existed” per analyst2019-03-05T14:48:35-05:00
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