Michael Jordan Versus LeBron James: Who Is the GOAT?

Updated on July 26, 2019
JesseUnk profile image

I'm a lifelong sports fan. I grew up watching the Browns, Cavs, and Indians. I know winning and losing, and that stats tell all. Argue on!

Who Is the GOAT, Michael Jordan or LeBron James?

Michael Jordan guarding LeBron
Michael Jordan guarding LeBron

History of MJ and LBJ

Ever since LeBron James was deemed as The Chosen One, there has been a conversation about whether he could surpass Michael Jordan as the greatest of all time. He grew up idolizing MJ, dressing like him, wearing his shoes, and studying his play style. Once he joined the league, he even donned his number 23.

LeBron has recently appeared in his eighth straight NBA Finals series. He has nine in total and now holds a record of 3-6. Jordan, as we all know, has six rings in six appearances. Oftentimes, the rings argument is what puts MJ ahead of LeBron in debates on who is the GOAT. However, rings shouldn't carry that much weight. If they did, the greatest player ever would be Bill Russell, who won 11 championships in his 13-year career.

Who is considered the GOAT of basketball is important because of the impact one player can have on the game. Unlike football, where 53 men play, basketball teams can be completely changed by one man. In order to end this debate of who's the greatest, I am going to review some of the things I believe are key factors in determining the Greatest of All Time. I'll begin with accolades.

LeBron vs Jordan

Why LeBron is Greater than Michael Jordan

LeBron Sports Illustrated Cover
LeBron Sports Illustrated Cover

Jordan and James Career Accolades

LeBron James
Michael Jordan
Future Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
3x NBA Champion (3-6 Finals Record)
6x NBA Champion (6-0 Finals Record
3x NBA Final MVP
6x NBA Finals MVP
4x MVP
5x MVP
15x All Star
14x All Star
15x All NBA Team
11x All NBA Team
6x All Defensive Player
9x All Defensive Player (87-88 Defensive Player of the Year)
03-04 Rookie of the Year
84-85 Rookie of the Year
Michael Jordan Trophies
Michael Jordan Trophies

Why MJ Is the GOAT

Currently, Jordan holds a lead in all accolades minus Rookie of the Year, All-Star appearances, All-NBA Team, and Hall of Fame. He has a better Finals record as well as three more rings than LeBron. He also has three more All-Defense wins and one more MVP award. He also has a Defensive Player of the Year award, an accomplishment that has eluded James. While LeBron will probably surpass MJ in All-Star appearances, and possibly All-Defense selections, it is hard to believe that he will be able to win four rings to best Jordan's six. The next comparison is something that is necessary for all of these accolades to happen; statistics.

LeBron vs. Michael Jordan Stats

Points Per Game
Rebounds Per Game
Assists Per Game
Field Goal Percentage
Three-Point Field Goal Percentage
Free Throw Percentage
Player Efficiency Rating
LeBron James
Michael Jordan

LeBron James' Finals Stats

Why King James Is the GOAT

LeBron James' statistics indicate that he is a much better overall basketball player. While Jordan scored more overall, LeBron is a more efficient scorer. He has a better shooting percentage overall; he also shoots better at the three-point line. LeBron is also a much better passer and rebounder than Jordan ever was. MJ has a much better free throw percentage, which helps to bolster that points per game statistic. The two are almost even in efficiency ratings, with a slight edge to Michael. Michael averaged more steals per game, but both players are dead even in blocks per game. LeBron turned the ball over more per game as well. What these career stats show is that King James is capable of excelling in all aspects of the game, not just in scoring.

Jordan vs. LeBron Clutch Stats

Jordan LeBron Game Winners
Jordan LeBron Game Winners

Who Was More Clutch, LeBron or Jordan?

One of the most important parts of basketball is being able to hit the big shots when your team needs you to. If you're going to be an alpha male, lead your team, and be considered the greatest ever, then you have to be able to step up with cold blood and win a game. Jordan is revered for being one of the most clutch players ever. LeBron, on the other hand, has been criticized his entire career for his lack of "clutchness" compared to MJ or even Kobe. I compiled all of LeBron and Michael's playoff statistics and compared their career numbers to games in which they faced elimination, as well as games in which they could eliminate their opponents. The results are as follows:

LeBron vs. Jordan Clutch Statistics

Field Goal %
Free Throw %
Total Rebounds
Total Assists
Total Steals
Total Blocks
Michael Jordan Career
Jordan Eliminating Opponents
40.7% (-9%)
84.6% (+1.1%)
4.8 (-1.4)
3.2 (-2.1)
1.5 (-.8)
.2 (-.6)
1.9 (-.8)
29.8 (-.3)
Jordan Facing Elimination
48.1% (-1.6%)
77.8% (-5.7%)
7.9 (+1.7)
7 (+1.7)
1.6 (-.7)
1.3 (+.5)
4.2 (+1.5)
32.8 (+2.7)
LeBron James Career
LeBron Eliminating Opponents
52.9% (+2.5%)
70.6% (-3.3%)
8.7 (+1.3)
7.6 (+.4)
1.8 (+.2)
1.4 (+.6)
3.9 (+.4)
28.8 (+1.6)
LeBron Facing Elimination
53.9% (+3.5%)
66% (-7.9%)
13 (+5.6)
9 (+1.8)
2.4 (+.8)
1.8 (+1)
2.2 (-1.7)
36.4 (+9.2)

LeBron Is More Clutch than Jordan

The statistics show one thing clearly, LeBron steps up in the clutch far more strongly than Jordan did. When facing a chance to eliminate an opponent, Jordan was 30-10, or won 75% of the time. Of the eight main statistical categories, his numbers dropped in each except for free throw percentage and turnovers. He shot 9% worse, had 1.4 fewer rebounds, 2.1 fewer assists, .8 fewer steals, and .6 fewer blocks. His only impressive improvement was having .8 fewer turnovers in such games. His scoring efficiency, assists and rebounds, and overall defense all lacked in games where he could put opponents away.

However, when facing elimination Jordan stepped up in some ways. He's 5-7 in his career in elimination games, boasting a winning percentage of only 41.6%. Facing elimination, Jordan's field goal percentage, free throw percentage, steals, and turnovers all got worse. He improved in rebounds, assists, blocks, and points. While he shot worse slightly, he did score 2.7 more points per game. His rebounds and assists improved well by 1.7 each per game. However, he missed 5.7% more free throws facing elimination and turned the ball over 1.5 more times per game.

LeBron, when facing a chance to eliminate his opponent, boasts a record of 35-10, or a 77.8% winning percentage. Of the eight main statistical categories, he improved in six. His field goal percentage, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and points per game all improved. He shot 2.5% better overall, added 1.3 more rebounds, .6 more blocks, and 1.6 more points. His free throw percentage falls 3.3%, and he turns the ball over .4 more times per game. James simply gets a little more involved in games where he can finish his opponents, but many of his numbers only slightly increase in these situations.

When James is facing elimination he completely changes. Of the eight main statistical categories, he improves in seven. He shoots 3.5% better, adds 5.6 more rebounds per game, 1.8 more assists, .8 more steals, 1 more block per game, 1.3 fewer turnovers, and 9.2 more points. His only downside is his free throw percentage drops 7.9% when facing elimination. LeBron plays at a completely different level when facing elimination. He improves in his on-court efficiency in every way imaginable; scoring, rebounding, getting others involved, he vastly improves defensively, and he turns the ball over less.

In conclusion, LeBron is much more clutch than Jordan. When the two smelled blood and had a chance to eliminate their opponents, LeBron wins 2.7% more often. When their backs are against the wall, LeBron wins 16.7% more often. Jordan only improved slightly in a few categories when facing elimination. LeBron improved in almost every single category and improved incredibly when facing elimination. To say LeBron doesn't play better and more clutch in crunch time situations is absurd. LeBron James has also hit more buzzer beaters than Jordan, and more go-ahead shots with five seconds to go in the game. His field goal percentage on these shots is also higher than Jordan's. You can see the statistics and video evidence of each of their made shots below.

Jordan vs. LeBron Clutch Shots Postseason

Field Goals
Field Goal %
Buzzer Beaters

Who Is More Clutch, LeBron or Jordan?

Who do you feel is more clutch between LeBron and Jordan?

See results
Crying Jordan Meme
Crying Jordan Meme

Did Jordan Play in a Weak League?

Michael Jordan won his six rings in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, and 1998. He has two three-peat performances that were separated by a short stint in baseball. While many believe this solidifies him as the greatest, they often fail to look at the league surrounding him at the time.

Between the years of 1988 and 1995, the NBA expanded. Six teams were added; Hornets (88), Heat (88), Magic (89), Timberwolves (89), Raptors (95), and Grizzlies (95). The following stats cover the time between their creation and their first playoff appearance as a team. They will include their overall game record, the number of games played against Michael, the overall record of Jordan vs that team in those years, and their playoff record against each other if applicable.

Charlotte Hornets: First playoff appearance in 1993

  • 1988-1993 (Combined record of 140-270)
  • 88-89: 5 Games, 4-1
  • 89-90: 2 Games, 2-0
  • 90-91:5 Games, 5-0
  • 91-92: 4 Games, 4-0
  • 92-93: 5 Games, 3-2
  • Playoffs: N/A

Miami Heat: First playoff appearance in 1992

  • 1988-1992 (Combined record of 95-233)
  • 88-89: 2 Games, 2-0
  • 89-90: 4 Games, 4-0
  • 90-91: 4 Games, 4-0
  • 91-92: 4 Games, 4-0
  • Playoffs: 3 games, 3-0

Magic: First playoff appearance in 1994

  • 1989-1994 (Combined record of 106-249)
  • 89-90: 5 Games, 3-2
  • 90-91: 2 Games, 2-0
  • 91-92: 4 Games, 3-1
  • 92-93: 4 Games, 3-1
  • 93-94: 1 Game, 1-0
  • Playoffs: N/A

Timberwolves: First playoff appearance in 1997

  • 1989-1997 (Combined record of 192-464)
  • 89-90: 2 Games, 2-0
  • 90-91: 2 Games, 2-0
  • 91-92: 2 Games, 2-0
  • 92-93: 2 Games, 2-0
  • 93-94: 0 Games
  • 94-95: 2 Games, 2-0
  • 95-96: 2 Games, 2-0
  • 96-97: 2 Games, 1-1
  • Playoffs: N/A

Raptors: First playoff appearance in 2000

  • 1995-2000 (Combined record of 135-243)
  • 95-96: 4 Games, 3-1
  • 96-97: 4 Games, 3-1
  • 97-98: 4 Games, 4-0
  • 98-99: Retired
  • 99-00: Retired

Grizzlies: First playoff appearance in 2004

  • 1995-2002 (Jordan retired for good in 2002) (Combined record of 101-418)
  • 95-96: 2 Games, 2-0
  • 96-97: 2 Games, 2-0
  • 97-98: 2 Games, 2-0
  • 00-01: 1 Game, 1-0
  • 01-02: 1 Game, 0-1

Michael played in a league that was watered down throughout his career. As the new expansion teams finally got to the playoffs (and many didn't stay long), new teams continued to flood the league. At any given time in his career after 1988, there were at least three teams that had five or less years of experience. However, LeBron also has his fair share of criticism for playing against weak talent.

Did Jordan Play in a Weak League?

Do you think Jordan played in a weak league?

See results
Crying LeBron Meme
Crying LeBron Meme

Does LeBron Play in a Weak Conference?

While Jordan could be said to have played in an overall weak league, many believe LeBron has played in a weak conference for his whole career. The East has been behind the West in nearly every single one of LeBron's seasons in the league. Here is the total number of wins in head-to-head matchups between the two conferences. The East has only won more games in one of James' 14 seasons.

  • 03-04: West with +112 wins.
  • 04-05: West with +62 wins.
  • 05-06: West with +54 wins.
  • 06-07: West with +64 wins.
  • 07-08: West with +66 wins.
  • 08-09: East with +12 wins.
  • 09-10: West with +42 wins.
  • 10-11: West with +72 wins.
  • 11-12: West with +42 wins.
  • 12-13: West with +74 wins.
  • 13-14: West with +118 wins.
  • 14-15: West with +76 wins.
  • 15-16: West with +14 wins.
  • 16-17: West with +42 wins.
  • 17-18 West with +24 wins.

Although the West has won more games consistently, the East has won seven championships since LeBron has entered the league.

Aside from this, LeBron James has also only had one losing season against the Western Conference, in his rookie year when he was 6-22. He tied the conference 15-15 once, in the 2017-2018 season. Every other season LeBron has a winning record against the West and overall James bolsters a record of 270-166 against the Western Conference for his career. So while LeBron does play in the weaker overall conference, he has never had a hard time beating the West.

LeBron joined the Western Conference when he joined the Lakers in 2018.

Is the East Weaker than the West?

Do you think LeBron plays in the weaker conference on purpose?

See results

Jordan and LeBron Playoffs and Finals

Chris Broussard made a claim before the 2017 Finals that Michael Jordan only faced 9 Hall of Famers during his championship games. LeBron has faced 30 so far. Below is the Hall of Fame opponents listed, including potential future ones that LeBron has played.


  • Magic Johnson
  • James Worthy
  • Clyde Drexler
  • Charles Barkley
  • Gary Payton
  • John Stockton x2
  • Karl Malone x2

Total: 9


  • Tim Duncan x3
  • Tony Parker x3
  • Manu Ginobili x3
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Jason Kidd
  • Kevin Durant x3
  • Russell Westbrook
  • James Harden
  • Kawhi Leonard x2
  • Steph Curry x4
  • Klay Thompson x4
  • Draymond Green x4

Total: 30

Of course, not all of these players were in their prime, and overall both played against good competition. And while this doesn't cover their playoff roads to get to the Finals, it shows the top talents each player faced on the biggest stage. LeBron has faced two dynasties on seven separate occasions in the Spurs and the Warriors. As for the playoffs, there is a long list of players who MJ and LeBron have faced, many of which were Hall of Famers as well. Below is the list of Hall of Famers each player has played in the playoffs alone, leading to the Finals.


  • Larry Bird 0-2
  • Kevin McHale 0-2
  • Dennis Johnson 0-2
  • Robert Parish 0-2
  • Bill Walton 0-2
  • Isaiah Thomas 1-3
  • Joe Dumars 1-3
  • Adrian Dantley 0-2
  • Dennis Rodman 1-3
  • Patrick Ewing 5-0
  • Charles Barkley 2-0
  • Dominique Wilkins 1-0
  • Alonzo Mourning 3-0
  • Shaquille O'Neil 1-1
  • Dikembe Mutombo 1-0
  • Reggie Miller 1-0

Michael Jordan faced 16 Hall of Famers throughout the playoffs on 39 occasions. He posted a winning record against 6 of the 16, a tied record with 1, and a losing record with 9 of the 16. His total record in the playoffs against Hall of Fame opponents was 17-22, with 10 of his 17 wins coming against Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley and Alonzo Mourning alone. If you include his Finals appearances, MJ faced 24 Hall of Famers on 48 separate occasions, with a final postseason record of 26-22, or 54%. The problem with this is 20% of his entire postseason wins came against 3 players who never won rings.


  • Ben Wallace: 1-1
  • Chauncey Billups: 2-1
  • Vince Carter 1-0
  • Allen Iverson 1-0
  • Jason Kidd 1-0
  • Ray Allen 2-2
  • Kevin Garnett 3-2
  • Paul Pierce 3-2
  • Dwight Howard 0-1
  • Derrick Rose* 3-0 (These matchups were pre-injury against MVP caliber Rose)
  • Carmelo Anthony 1-0
  • Paul George 3-0
  • Jimmy Butler 2-0
  • Pau Gasol 1-0

LeBron faced 14 current or future Hall of Famers throughout the playoffs, with uncertain players such as Kyle Lowry, Demar Derozan, Joe Johnson, and Jason Tatum being unable to be solid options yet. He faced these 14 on 33 occasions. He posted a winning record against 11 of the 14, tied with 2, and only posted a losing record to Dwight Howard with a single matchup that he lost. His total record against Hall of Fame opponents in the playoffs was 24-9, having no more than 3 wins against a single opponent. If you include Finals appearances, LeBron faced 25 Hall of Famers on 65 occasions, with a final postseason record of 34-31, or 52%. Of those 25 Hall of Famers, 7 of them accounted for 17 of his matchup losses, being the dynasty Spurs and Warriors.

In conclusion, we can see that both players won more than they lost. Jordan never beat the dynasty Celtics in the playoffs and had a 25% winning percentage against the Bad Boys of Detroit. The majority of his postseason wins came against Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, and Alonzo Mourning; guys who never won a ring. LeBron however, won against multiple Hall of Famers at a good ratio. He only posted a losing record in the playoffs against one Hall of Famer who he played a single time. Michael Jordan had a losing record in the playoffs against 9 Hall of Famers, 6 of which he never beat in the postseason.

Only 9 out of 48 Hall of Fame opponents Jordan faced were in the Finals, 18%.

32 out of 65 Hall of Fame opponents LeBron James faced were in the Finals, 49%.

LeBron vs. Jordan Postseason

Who had the tougher post season road?

See results

Jordan's Teammates vs. LeBron's Teammates

The next topic I'll touch on is the help these two received. Many people credit LeBron with the development of the modern age super teams. They say he had to find help in order to win, starting when he left for Miami with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. He continued when he returned to Cleveland to join Kyrie Irving and recruited Kevin Love. So who really played with better supporting players throughout their careers? Below I will list the All Star teammates (while Jordan and LeBron played with them) and Hall of Fame (or future inductees) teammates for each player.

Jordan's All Star Squad:

  • Scottie Pippen (6x)

LeBron's All Star Squad:

  • Zydrunas Ilgauskas
  • Mo Williams
  • Kyrie Irving (2x)
  • Kevin Love
  • Chris Bosh (4x)
  • Dwayne Wade (4x)

Jordan's Hall of Fame Teammates:

  • Scottie Pippen
  • Dennis Rodman
  • Horace Grant

LeBron's Hall of Fame Teammates:

  • Shaquille O'Neil
  • Dwayne Wade
  • Chris Bosh
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Kevin Love

Advantage will go to MJ who played with a less impressive lineup.

Cavaliers Championship Ring
Cavaliers Championship Ring

Jordan's 6 Rings vs. LeBron's 3

Michael Jordan has six rings in six attempts. That's clearly better than LeBron's three rings in nine attempts, right? Not necessarily. While Jordan does have a better Finals record and more rings, it doesn't make him automatically better in the postseason. Based on the number of teams admitted to the playoffs, if you are knocked out in the first round, you could be ranked at 16th at worst and ninth at best. That ranking goes up to eighth and fifth during the second round. If eliminated during the Conference Finals, you could be ranked fourth at worst or third at best. Losing in the Finals obviously means you are the second best team in the league. Below is a listing of the rounds LeBron and Jordan were eliminated in during the playoffs.

  • 1st Round: Jordan 3, LeBron 0
  • 2nd Round: Jordan 2, LeBron 3
  • Conference Finals: Jordan 2, LeBron 1
  • Finals: Jordan 0, LeBron 6
  • Wins: Jordan 6, LeBron 3

James has either been the best or second best in nine of his 16 seasons. This means that 56.25% of the time, he would make the Finals and finish the season at first or second. 6.25% of the time, he would rank between third or fourth. He would rank between fifth and eighth 18.75% of the time. He has never ranked at ninth or lower when making the playoffs. James has missed the playoffs 3 times in his career, meaning he finished on a team that was ranked 17th or worse 18.75% of the time.

Jordan was first or second in six of his 15 seasons. He was the best in the league 40% of the time. He was third or fourth 13% of the time; that same number applies to how often he ranked between fifth and eighth. He ranked ninth and lower 20% of the time. Jordan has missed the playoffs 2 times in his career, meaning he finished on a team that was ranked 17th or worse 13.3% of the time.

So while Jordan has a higher percentage of being the absolute best, he also had a higher percentage of being one of the worst teams in the playoffs. LeBron has a much more consistent stream of winning throughout his career, even if it wasn't winning the championship.

Who's the Best Basketball Player Ever?

So in conclusion, LeBron James is statistically a better player when it comes to all around basketball. However, Michael Jordan was a much better scorer. He won more on the biggest stage, but failed often in the playoffs and rarely beat some of his greatest opponents. James played with better teammates than Jordan ever did. MJ also played in a much weaker league. So what do you think? Who truly is the GOAT?

Who's the GOAT of the NBA?

Who is the Greatest of All Time?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Jesse Unk


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image


        3 months ago

        Sorry, but I’m lost on the first breakdown of “Le Bron vs Michael Jordan Stats”. Even if I take those stats at face value (which I won’t), I still see Jordan at minimum ahead in 5 categories as opposed to 4, and then I’m giving the blocks to Jordan (a guy who’s 6 foot 6 and averaging the same number of blocks per game as a guy who’s 6 foot 8 is superior in that category, so if we have to split them they’re going to Jordan.

        I’ve got a particular gripe with the stat of “Rebounds” though. Of all those stats, the one that can be most easily padded are “Defensive Rebounds”. C’mon let’s face it, a massive proportion of “Defensive” rebounds are just collecting the ball in free space while the opposing team are already down the other end setting up their defence. If we look at “Offensive” Rebounds, which are always contested, Jordan is substantially ahead with 1.6 vs 1.2 per game. So here we have a 6-6 guy who is taking down more “Offensive” Rebounds than a guy who’s 6-8. I’m giving Rebounds as a stat to Jordan!!

        And why is it anyway that the only stats that anyone seems to focus on in these assessments are the first three, after which they always drift off into the same vague statement of “Le Bron is clearly a better all round player”. All around what?? There’s only two ends of the court and Jordan blocks more, he steals more, he scores more, he rebounds offensively more. Are we really saying that because of those flimsy Assists and Defensive Rebound stats that James is a better all round player??!!

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        3 months ago from Ohio


        Jordan had Scottie and Horace every time he faced the Pistons and had Charles Oakley the first time they met. You can say he had no help with Boston, but he should have at least been winning a game here or there. LeBron was missing the playoffs when he had no teammates and was 18 years old. He was leading his cast of bad teammates to the Finals at age 22 where he beat the recent Champion Pistons singlehandedly.

      • profile image


        3 months ago

        Who did Jordan have on his team against the Celtics and Pistons dynastys the first couple of years?? I'll answer....a bunch of coke heads. For as good as you say Lebron makes his teams better, Lebron didn't even make the playoffs till his 3rd year!

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        4 months ago from Ohio


        You mean big games where he leads in go ahead shots made and averaged a triple double in the finals? Or games where he led both teams in all statistical categories?

      • profile image


        4 months ago

        Super biased analysis ill ever read..way off to compare with mj, in mj era lebron will be an average player only like d'wilkins..period..lebron aint no clutch especially in the big games..

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        5 months ago from Ohio


        I do love the Mamba! I have Shaq above him though. Im not sure he has 5 rings without him.

      • profile image

        John Skulavik 

        5 months ago

        I like Kobe Bryant... watched them all from Baylor to Lebron... I think physically and mentally Bryant is the GOAT.

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        12 months ago from Ohio

        The Watcher, not only did i list all the stats you just said, but i even said jordan was better in all those areas. You cant argue jordan would end things when his stats drop in multiple areas in game 7s and his record in elimination games is a losing one. Analytics tell the story better than your memory. Stats dont lie. Also, learn to read. I never said Jordan had a better team. My article literally says he had a less impressive lineup on his side.

      • profile image

        The Watcher 

        12 months ago

        I still had this window open when I went back to my iPad tonight and I glanced down to what you wrote. Did you just infer that Durant is better than Jordan? The dude who choked away a 3-1 lead and then went to play for the team who he choked it away against? Are you out of your f***ing mind? Lol I’m not mad, really... it’s just pretty absurd and tells me you didn’t watch the NBA in those days. Let me tell you something, son... replace Durant with Jordan and the Warriors aren’t going to the Finals that year. Jordan puts his foot on their neck and ends that sucka! :) C’mon, man! Get real!

      • profile image

        The Watcher 

        12 months ago

        I’ve seen both dudes play. Jordan was more dominant. Period. You can try and skew the argument in LBJ’s favor all you want. During the last five minutes of ball games, I’ve seen LBJ disappear in ways that MJ never did. Period. Case in point... 2010 Playoffs against the Celtics, 2011 Finals against the Mavs, 2013 Finals against the Spurs in Game 6 where he turned the ball over 3 times in the final 5 minutes of the game to hand the Spurs the trophy before they chocked it away by missing free throws and not getting a key rebound (why wasn’t Duncan on the floor? I’ll never know) - anyway, check the tape. And here are some facts... Grant/Pippen/Rodman combined for 10 All-Star appearances. Love/Irving/Wade/Bosh have 33.... so no, LBJ did not have less help than MJ. Want some more facts? I knew that you would! MJ - 6 Championships to LBJ’s 3, Finals MVPs 6 to 3, League MVPs 5 to 4, scoring titles 10 to 1, Defensive Player of the Year 1 to 0, steals titles 3 to 0. I mean, you can’t argue it away... Jordan was better. On top of all that, his prime efficiency stats were also better. Period. Done and done. Give it up, millennials! Lol

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        16 months ago from Ohio

        Alphadogg I'd read my other article on MJ. You'd be surprised how few quality opponents Jordan faced and beat. His record against hall of fame players is abysmal. Most of his wins against HOFers were compiled against Barkley and Ewing, the ringless wonders. He rarely beat a HOF opponent in their prime. Lebron hasn't played in as physical of a league, but the athleticism of this league is far beyond what Jordan faced. If KD had played in Jordan's era we wouldn't even be talking about MJ as the GOAT. They'd be answerless for players like him.

      • profile image


        16 months ago

        After watching LBJ lose yet another NBA Finals, and this hub popped up again, I thought Id strengthen my argument on MJ. The evolution of today's game is set up for LBJ to dominate. If MJ played in today's game, he would still dominate. MJ never had the spacing LBJ has, 3 point shooters weren't as good or abundant as they are now, defense is basically outlawed, no hand checking, physicality is rarely allowed, with LBJ's size, speed and athleticism he's virtually unstoppable. MJ never had stretch 4 & 5's to pull the rim protector away from the basket leaving the lane open to do as he pleased, and MJ never had the offensive fire power LBJ has had along side him in Kyrie, Wade, Love, Bosh. The best MJ had was Pippen, who initially was a defensive stopper, his offensive was slowly developed. The 8 straight finals appearances are grossly over rated, the eastern conference has been like the CBA since the fall of the Celtics and D Rose led Bulls, LBJ doesn't even face a real team until he gets to the finals....and hence why the 3-6 record. LBJ is the most physically gifted player ever....but not even close to being the GOAT.

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        16 months ago from Ohio

        Thanks Jim! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'd appreciate it if you shared it to some of your Jordan and Lebron loving friends!

      • profile image

        Jim Sippel 

        16 months ago

        Great article and awesome stastical analysis of both players and the league. I've been wanting to this myself for sometime glad you beat me to it.

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        16 months ago from Ohio

        Jeffrey, the facts are certainly revealing when you look at numbers and not nostalgia.

      • profile image


        16 months ago

        I didnt realize Jordan was 1-5 against the Celtics and Pistons. People always talk about how he had to play those great guys, and he never even won! He was beating up Patrick Ewing and Barkley who arent even top 20 guys! Good article!

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        16 months ago from Ohio

        Anytime Kid. I'll be updating the article this week to include lebrons stats from this past season and a few more things I've found since the past few weeks.

      • profile image


        16 months ago

        Thank you now I have knowlegde

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        2 years ago from Ohio

        I wouldn't say this is LeBron biased at all. In fact most of the stats favor him. The only pro LeBron arguments are the 2nd level wins, overall stats, and competition. Everything else points to Jordan or a stalemate.

      • profile image

        Nice article, but Lebron biased 

        2 years ago

        Are you kidding me. MJ played with 1 all star and won 6 titles. Lebron keeps complaining he needs more help and that his team is top heavy as bleep. MJ never did any recruiting or complaining, imagine if he did what Lebron does, they would have won every year getting all the best players and forcing management to cater to his every thought or desire.

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        2 years ago from Ohio

        You're correct in that Horace Grant isn't in the Hall of Fame yet, but he most likely will be at some point similar to many of the players LeBron played with. Absolutely not a first ballot, but will probably join at some point in his career. I'd also disagree with your statement that LeBron lacks a killer instinct. His first Finals appearance he was triple teamed by a Spurs team that knew he had no help. He absolutely choked twice in Miami, but since he carried a depleted Cavs team to 6 his first year back in Cleveland, brought them back from a 3-1 deficit for a ring, and averaged a triple double last season. Kobe was known for Killer instinct, and even he lost twice. I think winning matters at all levels of the game. Like I stated above, if only rings mattered the greatest ever would be Bill Russell.

      • Alphadogg16 profile image

        Kevin W 

        2 years ago from Texas

        While this is a pretty good analysis and growing up in Chicago and being a Bulls fan since before MJ, When Artis Gilmore and Orlando Woolridge were the Alphas, my opinion might be a little biased. I agree that Lebron is an all around better player, makes the players around him better, however since when do moral victories count? winning more in the playoffs versus winning in the Finals, when it counts the most. I think MJ is the Goat simply because of his heart, his will to win, that "Killer intinct", something Lebron does not have/never had. Their were rules made up to stop MJ, hand checking, manhandling was perfectly legal and he was mugged on the court pretty much every night. Lebron has had much more talent around him in Miami and this second stint with Cleveland and I'm pretty sure Horace Grant is not in the Hall of Fame.

      • profile image

        Ron Unk 

        2 years ago

        Good analysis


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://howtheyplay.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)