The NBA has produced a lot of great basketball players. There’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James…just to name a handful. But, the one player that seems to topple them all is the famous Michael Jordan.
Jordan is known as the GOAT to many. Though many players aspire to be like MJ, none have seemed to fully accomplish that Jordan factor. One current NBA player seems to be taking steps in the right direction though. Lakers superstar LeBron James is making serious strides to become the greatest basketball player of all time.
King James may not be the GOAT just yet but his NBA career is still ongoing. This is not enough to convince sports analyst Stephen A. Smith that James even stands a running chance against MJ though. Smith said on ESPN’s First Take, “since he was devoid of that assassin’s mentality, that killer instinct, that closer ability etc. That is the reason I will never ever, ever, ever allow him [James] to be the guy that eclipses Michael Jordan.”
Michael Jordan’s NBA Career
Michael Jordan has created an outstanding NBA career for himself. Jordan was the No. 3 overall draft pick in 1984 and was picked up by the Chicago Bulls. Almost immediately Jordan became a star. He was a versatile player who put up big numbers, scored dunks from the line and played stellar defense. Jordan won three NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls in 1991, 1992 and 1993, securing a “three-peat”.
After earning a “three-peat” Jordan decided that he wanted to retire from the NBA and pursue a career in Minor League Baseball. He quickly back pedaled on that decision and returned to the NBA in 1995. He then led the team to three additional championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Jordan retired again in 1999 but returned in 2001 for two more seasons and retired with the Washington Wizards in 2003.
Jordan is a six-time NBA Finals MVP, five-time NBA MVP and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He also has a perfect track record in the finals making six appearances and winning six titles. He has a career average of 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. He’s also scored a staggering 1,072 points in his career.
LeBron James’ NBA Career
LeBron James has a long list of accomplishments in the NBA. He’s won three NBA championships, he’s a four-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP, and has two Olympic gold medals. He’s also broke quite a few records. He won the 2008 NBA scoring title and is the all-time NBA playoffs scoring leader.
King James began his career straight from high school and signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 as the first overall draft pick. Sixteen years later, The King is still playing his best game. This season with the Los Angeles Lakers, James is averaging 25 points, 7.9 rebounds and 11.1 assists. Last night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, James recorded 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists making him the first player in league history to log a triple-double against all 30 NBA teams, according to ESPN. James is 34-years old and is still playing at his peak.
There’s no telling who is better, James or Jordan. The one thing that is for certain though is that both players will go down as NBA Legends.