Why are people still debating MJ versus LeBron?
I can see why Duke and Carolina fans argue over whether Mike Krzyzewski or Roy Williams is a better NCAA tournament coach. Coach K has won five national championships compared to Roy’s three and 94 NCAA tournament games compared to Roy’s 77.
UNC fans say that is merely a product of Williams coaching eight fewer years at Kansas and Carolina than Krzyzewski at Duke. But when you look at the numbers since K and Roy have been going head-to-head, Williams has a better NCAA record, won more NCAA titles and never lost a first-round game in the tourney. Duke has lost three under Krzyzewski.
But the Michel Jordan vs. LeBron James argument isn’t even worth having, in my opinion. Both were the transcendent talents of their times and arguably the greatest at their positions, shooting guard and power forward, of all time.
Harvard and Yale debate teams did mock debate for a TV promo, and it wasn’t much of a debate. Jordan won six NBA championships in six NBA Finals with the Bulls — and it might have been more if not for his two-year hiatus to try baseball.
James has been to eight straight NBA Finals but only won three rings, two with Miami and one with Cleveland. Like Krzyzewski’s three one-and-done teams in the NCAA tournament, LeBron was actually swept twice in the Finals with the Cavaliers. So who has the better post-season record?
Why do people have to debate this anyway? Jordan played with better Bulls teams than James and the Cavaliers, if not his four years with the Heat. Yes, James has 51 points in an NBA Finals game, whereas Jordan rung up a post-season record 63 in an Eastern Division first-round series game.
Yes, it’s a shame they played 20 years apart in different eras of the NBA in terms of free agency. Rosters were more stable when MJ played, keeping teams together for longer periods of time. Now players, including LeBron, can jump around when their contracts are up to find teams with better chances to win.
But the numbers are the baseline, and the numbers don’t lie. If you have to debate it, Michael was better.