Basketball

Michael Jordan Vs Lebron James, who’s the GOAT?

Michael Jordan Vs Lebron James
Michael Jordan Vs Lebron James. Photo/Sports Illustrated
  • LeBron James idolized Jordan while growing up
  • The scoring prowess of Jordan is undeniable but James consistently outperforms him in terms of rebounds and assists
  • Jordan tops the NBA in steals three times during his career

Michael Jordan vs LeBron James debate is not an easy one when looking at two of the greatest NBA players.

Although Jordan and LeBron come into comparison often, the latter idolized Jordan while growing up. Starting with his appearance, he donned his shoes and even practised his pitching techniques.

But, it was only a matter of time before LeBron made his way to the NBA, where he’d be known as “The King.”  So join us as we take a look at the Michael Jordan vs LeBron James GOAT debate. Let’s see how the two icons stack up against each other on the court.

WHO IS THE GOAT IN MICHAEL JORDAN AND LEBRON JAMES?

It’s safe to argue that Michael Jordan and LeBron James are two of the greatest basketball players of all time.

There is more to Michael Jordan than just a guy who sells throwback sneakers, as ESPN’s documentary series “The Last Dance” proved. Those who saw Jordan’s brilliance during the Bulls’ two three-peats confirmed their view that he is the best player to ever play the game.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan. Photo/ Bleacher Report

Because of the current crop of superstars, that GOAT debate is trickier. After the Lakers beat the Heat in the 2020 NBA Finals, James’ case for beating Jordan became much stronger.

The scoring prowess of Jordan is undeniable, but James consistently outperforms him in terms of rebounds and assists. Despite the fact that both players are known for their gritty defense on the wing, Jordan tops the NBA in steals three times during his career. James is yet to win a championship in steals.

For all intents and purposes, James is the more durable of the two. There is no reason to believe that he will slow down as he approaches his 38th birthday. Therefore, the disparity in total numbers will continue to expand.

A SUMMARY OF MICHAEL JORDAN VS LEBRON JAMES STATS

Stats Michael Jordan LeBron James
Points 30.1 27.1
Steals 2.3 1.6
Assists 5.3 7.4
Rebounds 6.5 7.2
Turnovers 2.7 3.5
Minutes 38.3 38.2
Blocks 0.8 0.8
Free throw percentage 83.5 73.4
Three-point percentage 32.7 34.6
Field goal percentage 49.7 50.5

 

MICHAEL JORDAN VS LEBRON JAMES ADVANCED STATS

When it comes to complex statistics, it all boils down to categorization. VORP and Win Shares are in favor of James, but PER and Box Plus/Minus are in Jordan’s corner.

Here are the stats

Advanced Stats Michael Jordan LeBron James
Player Efficiency Rating 27.9 27.3
Value Over Replacement 116.1 142.3
Box Plus/Minus 9.2 8.8
Win Shares 214.0 249.5
True Shooting % 56.9 58.8
Usage % 33.3 31.6

 

HOW DO MICHAEL JORDAN AND LEBRON JAMES PLAYOFF STATS COMPARE?

How are playoff stats between Michael Jordan vs LeBron James? During the postseason, Jordan and James produced similar numbers to what they did during the regular season. It’s worth noting that despite James’ career-long improvement in 3-point use and effectiveness, he still shoots approximately the same as Jordan did.

As for the “James shrinks in big games” myth, his playoff lines are more outstanding than his regular-season numbers. To argue against him in this manner is not a good idea.

When it comes to the playoffs, James is able to show off all of his skills. And while many players have unquestionable talent while competing, he consistently demonstrates to his supporters why he is the best player in the history of the sport. On the other hand, Jordan’s perfect score of six out of six ought to speak for itself.

Playoff Stats per game Michael Jordan LeBron James
Points 33.4 28.4
Steals 2.1 1.7
Assists 5.2 7.2
Rebounds 6.4 9.0
Turnovers 3.1 3.7
Minutes 41.8 41.5
Blocks 0.9 0.9
Free throw percentage 82.8 74
Three-point percentage 33.2 33.7
Field goal percentage 48.7 49.5

 

MICHAEL JORDAN VS LEBRON JAMES AWARDS

LeBron James

LeBron James. Photo/Sky Sports

Those who follow the Jordan brand have championships stashed away. In the NBA Finals, MJ went 6-0 and never needed a Game 7 victory.

  • 6 Championships
  • 5 MVPs
  • 6 Final MVPs
  • 11 All-NBA
  • 14 All Star
  • 10 Scoring titles

It’s true that James has only won four of his 10 NBA Finals appearances. But in that time, he dominated the Eastern Conference with both the Cavaliers and the Heat.

  • 4 Championships
  • 4 MVPs
  • 4 Final MVPs
  • 17 All-NBA
  • 18 All Star
  • 1 Scoring titles

Besides, Jordan enjoys a $2.2 billion net worth thanks to his ventures, most of which he funded with NBA earnings. He’s famous as Jordan’s owner. Conversely, James is at the $850 million net worth mark with a huge Nike deal. James earned over $1 billion in 18 years he played basketball.

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