In his smash hit single “Show Me What You Got” from his “Kingdom Come” album, Jay-Z stated: “Jordan or James, makes no difference, boo I’m ballin’ the same.”
Million Dollar Question: Are Michael Jordan and LeBron James really comparable?
“Jordan shouldn’t even be ranked. It should be Kobe, then LeBron and then you can pick guys after that. There’s just no comparison man. It’s not the same. It’s just different worlds. Different mentalities. I don’t know why Jordan’s name is mentioned in the same conversation sometimes. I’ll clear that up real quick…there’s really no need to talk about that.
“You can’t say that LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan? C’mon man. LeBron’s a great player. Don’t get me wrong. A great, great player. Unbelievable. Amazing. But better than Michael Jordan? – it’s not even the same. It’s just different. In fact, it needs no explanation or explaining because we can’t talk about Jordan’s game. It’s like we need to talk about what people are “not”
Marbury’s former New York Knicks teammate, Nate Robinson broke the conversation down further during our chat over the weekend. “They’re just trying to compare the victories and the rings and being the best one, the best player ever,” the three-time NBA Slam Dunk Champion told me on Instagram Live’s #WORDSWITHSCOOP Presented by Orox Leather.
“They’re comparing the best players ever. If you’re going to compare anyone to Michael Jordan it’s got to be Kobe Bryant. They played, they looked, they hooped just alike. Like, that’s the closest we have to Mike is Kobe. Not LeBron. I would say Magic Johnson or Oscar Robinson, but that’s why LeBron is one the greatest. He’s a GOAT. He’s one of the best ever. He’s all those players.”
So why not bring up Bill Russell in that coversation? “‘Cause it’s like…Bill Russell is like – I don’t know if you read the Bible but the Book of Enoch but he’s like one of the guys that God took away and never have to worry about the Earth ever again,” said Robinson.
“Didn’t have to see it. He’s like the Book of Enoch. He is Enoch. He’s won like 18 championships. That’s crazy! How do you NOT talk about a man that’s won more championships than some guys played seasons? You feel me? Like that’s crazy. That’s why. Because he’s – I mean, Bill Russell has been through so much through all the time he was playing; he was playing when racism was at it’s all time high, you feel me? So with him, they don’t mention him because he’s up with the Gods. That’s why. His accolades are all up there with the Gods.”
Kobe Bryant won five NBA championship. Michael won six. Kobe also lost two championships: one in 2004 when his Lakers lost to the Detroit Pistons and one in 2008 against the Boston Celtics.
Had Kobe won, would that have changed the dialogue a bit? “Possibly,” said Nate Robinson.
“Possibly because of the winning. Kobe played what, 20 years in the league? That would make him the closest. And he played on one team! That’s what I love about Michael Jordan; he was only on one team doing it. Kobe was on one team doing it. If LeBron wins all his championships in Cleveland, then you can probably say that’s an argument is that.”
Kobe Bryant left a remarkable imprint on hoops. Both his No. 24 and No. 8 are retired by the Los Angeles Lakers. Michael Jordan’s legacy is also great with his No. 23 hung in the rafters at the United Center in Chicago.