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MICHAEL VS. LEBRON - WHO'S BETTER

MICHAEL VS. LEBRON - WHO'S BETTER

By John Williams

It's an ongoing debate that will last a lifetime (no disrespect to Russell or Chamberlain.) Who was better Michael Jordan or LeBron James?

It's a no brainer - Michael Jordan!

One needs to look no further than the blatantly obvious - Jordan won six NBA titles with one team while James has triumphed four times with three different franchises.

Jordan however, won three consecutive titles on two occasions with the Bulls, retiring temporarily between streaks. Many pundits believe a Jordan-led Bulls team could have made it eight straight.

Jordan won his last title at age 35. James is 35 and could reach six title wins to equal Jordan and possibly more. But it will never negate the six that he lost.

Jordan also captured playoff MVP in all six of his team's championships while James earned four. He also owns five league MVP awards to James' three.

Michael Jordan was a superior scorer to LeBron James capturing 10 scoring titles to James' one. In the playoffs, MJ averaged more than 40 points a game in a record five NBA playoff series. LJ has yet to average one. He also shot less than 40 percent for the series on four occasions to MJ's one.

Jordan played in a far superior era. The 1990s witnessed the most teams with 50 to 60 wins in a decade. The Bulls beat seven, 60-plus win teams and 20 teams with 50 to 59 wins.

In the playoffs, 27 of the 37 Bulls' opponents owned over 50 wins while James' faced 18 of 37 teams with less than 50 wins.

Michael Jordan is a vastly superior defender compared to LeBron James. MJ earned nine, All-Defence First Team honors to James' five. Jordan also captured the 1988 Defensive Player Of The Year award.

Jordan takes games over and lifts his team while James often disappears in the 4th quarter of close games, especially in the championship.

Jordan protects the ball while James is notorious for turning the ball over. In two playoff games he committed 10 turnovers and 177 turnovers in the finals. Jordan has 99.

Michael Jordan came up big to close out games even in the playoffs and finals. He was nine for 18 in post-season games with 24 seconds or less remaining while James is eight for 23 Jordan was four of eight in the finals while James failed to make a game-winning shot in six attempts.

Michael Jordan was also the better shooter in the finals shooting over 50 percent in three NBA Finals while LeBron James managed it twice. MJ however, never shot below 40 percent while LJ did it on two occasions.

LeBron James has never had to defeat three teams with 50 wins or two teams with 60 wins in the playoffs. Jordan and the Bulls accomplished the feat five of 6 times in the playoffs. Jordan also shows up in the fourth quarter while James becomes invisible.

Finally, Michael Jordan's records and accomplishments were cemented in 13 seasons and less games than LeBron James.

Don't get me wrong: LeBron James is a Hall of Fame player. He’s just doesn't compare to Michael Jordan in the clutch and in the Finals.

I would like to thank nobodytouchesjordan and basketball-reference.com for statistics and analysis. The above doe not include the 2020 playoffs.

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