Here’s why MJ is better than Lebron.
He’s a better scorer (in literally every way)
He’s a better defender.
He’s a more ruthless competitor.
He’s the most clutch player ever.
He dominated a tougher, defensive-minded era.
He dominated a competitive Eastern Conference, not the joke we’ve had the last five years. LeBron hasn’t played one elite team in the East since Boston in 2012.
He is undefeated in the Finals (and I love how Lebron sycophants try to take this away from MJ. “But you can’t count 2007 or 2015 for Lebron”. Okay what about 2011? You can count 2011. What about 2014? You can count that year too.
He had the craziest Finals Performance Ever in 1993, something you people seem to ignore or forget. 41ppg 50%shooting.
His least successful Finals Performance, in 96, against a defensive team (the Sonics), was 27 ppg.
His first Finals Performance in 91, against the Lakers, led by Magic Johnson, MJ averaged 31 ppg on 56%shooting, and averaged 11 assists per game (oh hey! He could pass too! Whaddya Know!)
At 35 years old, in his last Finals appearance, he averaged 33ppg and made the game winning defensive and offensive plays in what is hands down the greatest and most clutch sequence of individual winning basketball ever played.
He has the highest PER (Player Efficiency Rating) in NBA history, which includes his declining years in Washington, if you believe in advanced Metrics. Still higher than Lebron, who’s still in his prime.
Most Common Arguments for Lebron That Make No Sense:
“LeBron is a better all-around player”. Again, he’s not a better offensive player, he’s not a better defender. So this is bogus. What you’re saying is: he passes the ball more (yes, he’s a facilitator, plays Point Forward, a different position than MJ) and he rebounds more. Yes, he’s a forward. In nearly every other facet of the game of basketball - MJ is superior.
“LeBron played with less talented teams” - this is a joke. Not only has Lebron played with more stacked teams, he’s played with more Hall of Fame teammates than MJ. We all know Wade, Bosh, Ray Allen, Kyrie, Love are going to be HOF players when it’s all said and done. MJ had Pippen and Rodman. Not only does Lebron stack himself with more talent, he plays against far LESS talented teams in his Conference.
“MJ never played a great team in the Finals” - basically fake news.
91 Lakers - 58 W
92 Blazers - 57 W
93 Suns - 63 W
96 Sonics - 64 Wins
97 Jazz - 64 Wins
98 Jazz - 62 Wins
“MJ never beat a 70+ win team like Lebron did” - That’s because MJ WAS THE 70 WIN TEAM. How many times has Lebron led a 70 win team? That would be none.
“LeBron has more triple doubles in the playoffs” - Cool. MJ has more 50 point games in the playoffs. You can bring up stats that you like, and I can bring up stats that I like.
“LeBron passed MJ in playoff points and steals, and will pass him up in stats in all categories for the regular season too”. Yes, that’s what happens when you play more games. It’s going to take Lebron 30 something more playoff games to reach MJ’s point total. Which means MJ did more with less, and has a HIGHER average per game. Your logic is faulty. Remember MJ retired in the middle of his prime. Then retired again at 35. He came out of college, Lebron came out of HS. Lebron’s longevity is impressive though, we can all agree on this one.
Skill Chart: Here's How I Compare Their Respective Skill Sets
And it’s not just based on stats. Stats don’t take into consideration that the two players are playing in different eras, with different rules, with different levels of competition and for a different number of years. This is about having watched both players in their primes and reviewing how their skills stack up against each other.
Chart - M for Mike. L for Lebron
Mid-Range Jumper: M
Rim Assault (layups/dunks/attacking the paint): M
Three Point Shooting: TIE
Free Throw: M
Post Moves: M
Half-Court Offense: M
Transition Offense: L
Ball Handling: TIE
Off-Ball Movement: M
Clutch Scoring: M
Offensive Rebounding: L
Score: M with 8. L with 3. Tie - 2.
(MJ is a better offensive player in almost every category you can think of. This is the biggest separation in their games.)
Perimeter Defense: M
Interior Defense: L
Defensive Rebounding: L
Half-Court Defense: M
Transition Defense: L
Consistent Defensive Pressure: M
Mental Domination of Opponent: M
Defender of Multiple Positions (from the 1 to the 5): L
M with 5. L with 5. (this is being very very very generous to Lebron, because anyone with a pair of two eyes who watched both guys play should be able to understand that MJ was a better lockdown defender than Lebron)
Overall Score: M with 13pts. L with 8 pts.
Who has greater entertainment value? MJ. His creativity, his gravity defying plays, his relentless competitive spirit, his entire style. Just more entertaining than Lebron’s hybrid forward w/power and speed game.
If your life was on the line and you had to pick one guy to play 1 on 1 for you, who would it be? MJ. Fucking duh.
If your life was on the line and you had to pick one team to play for you, which team would you take? Bulls in 93, Bulls in 96….or Heat in 2013, or Cavs in 2016? A: Bulls. Bulls in 93. Bulls in 96. Why? Because MJ.
How many times did MJ choke in the Finals? None. LeBron? 2011 vs Dallas.
Please stop this debate. It’s not a debate. Is Lebron one of the five or ten greatest players? Yes.
Is he Mike?
This post brought to you by a Sonics fan who had his heart ripped out in 96 by MJ's Bulls and idolized Magic Johnson growing up (poster still on the wall of my childhood bedroom)