Lebron vs Jordan

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by max, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. max

    max All-Star

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    Probably should wait a few years for this but I am sure we have all thought about it at some time.

    Can Lebron James be better than Michael Jordan?

    Lebron is off to a faster start and his team is doing better than Jordans Bulls in his 1st few years. So what does Lebron have to do to overthrow Jordan as the best modern baller? Obviosly the 6 titles stand out but Jordan did not get his 1st until his 6th season. Still its going to be tough to match 2 three-peats.

    It is all going to boil down to the post-season and if James can display the same clutch play. James is also going to have to break Jordans playoff 63 point record at some point as well.


    Is it just me or does Lebron not seem as dominate as Jordan was? Their offensive numbers appear about on par. Both score over 30 and have high FG%. Jordan does have James on defense as Jordan was also the best defensive player at his position.


    For now Lebran shows a lot of promise but he has a long way to go and many accomplishments to make. Question is can he do it with the Cavs or will he eventually need a larger market like Jordan had.

    Lebran is a nicer guy if that means anything.
  2. TWOTIMESRALPHI

    TWOTIMESRALPHI Starter 3x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    from all those "next Jordans" (Stackhouse, Hill, Harold Miner, Kobe), Lebron seems to deserves this consideration the most.
    COnsidering defense, it has to be said, that the rules may have something to do with Lebron being not as good as Mike- as Pippen said after Kobe's 81pt explosion, he'd always fouled if the he'd played under todays rules. Maybe James would be a better defender under different rules.
  3. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Cross era comparisons are so tricky. But hey, I’m game.

    All around, I think Lebron is the best player in the league right now. I also think it’s a different league than when MJ had his reign. Listen to Joe D. telling Sheed that today’s Pistons wouldn’t stand a chance against Joe’s, assuming they were playing by the “real man” rules. It’s not possible to know how Lebron would react to being clobbered time and again, but it certainly toughened up MJ. Aches and pains notwithstanding, Jordan was a better player for having learned to play more than the finesse game and frankly, for having to earn the respect of other “star” players (remember when the powers that be tried to freeze Jordan out of those early all star games, just to put him in his place). Lebron as far as I know hasn’t faced any of that, nor gotten the long term advantages Jordan took from those crucibles of fire.

    For me, the biggest of those long term advantages was the competitive will Jordan drove himself with. Some pundit once compared Dan Majerle to Jordan, being so bold as to suggest at least some level of parity. Next time around MJ lit Danny boy up, and muttered as he walked off the floor “Thunder Dan, my a**”. Jordan never took a game off, never let up – probably didn’t even know how to. Lebron may learn that, Jordan certainly didn’t walk into the league with it, but the fire isn’t there yet.

    The stats are deceiving given Lebron’s short career. But, MJ shot the ball better (except from three), and scored more. Lebron has a slight edge in boards and blocks, but MJ is slightly better in steals and had fewer turnovers. And when he was a mature player, MJ’s defense could run circles around Lebron today. Don’t know how / if Lebron’s defense will improve, but if I had to put down money, I’d say he will never be as good.

    Offensively, defensively, and in pure competitive spirit, I’d give the nod to MJ every time. Jordan didn’t enter the league with that chip on his shoulder, but going through what he went through to get to that first championship sure put a big one there. And made him a pretty nasty person to be around. But, you’re not asking who you would like to have a cook-out with.

    Jordan.
  4. max

    max All-Star

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    dba - True there was that was the chip Jordan had by having to earn respect. In 1985 when Jordan entered the league all the talk was about Magic/Bird. In his rookie season his team got the 86 Celtics. They had a losing record but still made the playoffs due to fewer teams in the league. Jordan put up 63 points in one game only to lose.

    Lebran has had a cushy entrance so far and its not known how he will be in the post-season and if he has an equivalent desire to win.

    To me its how clutch a player is in the big games. You have to be able to produce under pressure or all the stats in the world are only good for all-star consideration. Even with that its going to be hard to match Jordans defense and 6 titles.

    I think I would have to classify James as possible Jordan aire instead of likely. Probable 2nd best.
  5. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    When he 3-peats, he'll be halfway there.

    I really think LeBron is a lot more similar to Magic than Jordan. The passing ability and desire to include teammates at an early age is the main reason.

    I also agree that James will never match Jordan's defense.

    Maybe he is the perfect hybrid between the two.
  6. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    James will never be as good as Jordan, IMO. He doesn't have Jordan's drive, and as has been said, he can't dominate both ends of the court like MJ. His lateral quickness isn't good enough to be a great defender, but he's a smart guy and could make himself into a very solid defender.

    A lot of things, he can develop in time--a less predictable midrange game, better shot selection, more interest in D. But I think LeBron will have to "settle" for being a Top 50 player.
  7. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Kobe is closer to Jordan than LeBron. He's ultra competitive, has a mean streak, is a dominating scorer and a very good defender.

    LeBron reminds me of Dominique a little.

    He's got no real post game, he hasn't shown an ability to make his teammates better (even with gaudy assist totals) and his defense is deplorable for a wannabe star.

    Strip away the marketing and LeBron is not better than Dwyane Wade.
  8. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    I think that's right. Kobe has a serious mean streak and is a tremendous all around player. Unfortunately for whatever team he's on, he doesn't define championships as the ultimate achievement, but rather personal glory. He'll never win another ring, or probably even come close.
  9. lemonpen

    lemonpen First Round Draft Pick

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    Is Kobe closer to MJ because his game is more mature and his experiences deeper. Three years from now James will be a more complete player sporting better mid-range/post/defensive game and toughened leadership skills.

    Like James, early on MJ primarily featured an attacking style, spawning the nick His-Airness. I credit the Bad Boys with forcing Jordan to improve his perimeter game and his body. Failure taught him to share the load.

    James has helped carry a marginally better team (over last year) to a much improved playoff position. It will be interesting to see how he responds once his first dip of the beak into the playoffs ends.
  10. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    LP, I dunno how you can say the team is only marginally better.

    Sure they have played marginally better, but a lot of talent was added this season.

    Damon Jones, Larry Hughes, Ronald Murray, Donyell Marshall, Alan Henderson.

    We see BRON smile, drink Sprite and play video games with all his buddies, but I wonder if he works out as hard as a Kobe, if he is a gym rat like Jordan. If he is obsessed with being a winner. Maybe the size of his marketing machine and entourage will keep him from being able to devote himself exclusively to being the best he can on the court.

    Btw, I hate Kobe but I think you misjudge him as not wanting to win. I think he wants to be a winner more than anything. If you had a gift to score, and your wingman was Smush Parker, your center Kwame Brown, your sixth man Devean George, wouldn't you take 35 shots a game? I know I would. The Lakers are one very good (not necessarily great) player away from being relevant again. Just one.
  11. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Ya, the Lakers suck.

    And as his coach said, Kwame is a puss.

    Here is the question, if you traded Kobe for Lebron and all else stayed the same, which team would improve?
  12. lemonpen

    lemonpen First Round Draft Pick

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    Man you have much more respect for Henderson than I.
    Jones has been sooo much less than management expected.
    Marshall has been a minor upgrade over tractor Traylor.
    Hughes has met expectations for half a season.
    Murray is no more than last years Jeff McInnis, maybe less.
    Z and Gooden have helped by being more efficient than last year.

    I think James has for the most part been dragging them along.
  13. Dlev59

    Dlev59 Bench Warmer Moderator

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    If the Cav`s had Kobe they would have won 5 - 7 more games this year. Lebron sure won a few, however, he did blow a few also by his missed FT`s and by not nailing game winning shots.

    Kobe doesn`t miss many FT, and lives for game winning shots, knocking down most of them.

    I agree with Micro that Lebron just doesn`t have that killer instinct right now, after a taste of the playoffs this year he may have it next season!

    For me it`s difficult to compare the two after only this being Lebron`s 3rd year. Lebron`s defensive game is really lacking for someone so skilled offensively. If he committed himself to play defense he maybe could surpass MJ!. A big maybe there. someone as athletic as James he could become a very good defensive player, at 6-8 he could cover SG, SF, and some PF.

    Kobe would also play solid defense and demand his teammates did the same.

    Kobe with the Cav`s would be a better team than it is now, the Lakers would not have made the playoffs with Lebron.
  14. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Besides Odom, the Lakers don't have anybody.

    As much as I don't want to say anything positive about Kobe, I think that the Cavs would have probably won more games if Kobe was out there instead of Lebron.

    But it is not really a fair comparison right now. LeBron's unselfish personality should ultimately attrack better players and result in more wins.

    I bet Lebron could have won a few titles if you gave him Shaq in his prime as a teammate.
  15. max

    max All-Star

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    Have to ask the question where was Kobe in his 3rd season? He started to make an impact averaging almost 20 points a game.

    I know the Kobe/Jordan comparisons are there but Kobe's 23.3 career PPG average and .450% FG are so far falling way short of anything Jordan like. He has also proven that he cannot carry his team quit the same way Jordan could.

    Has a player ever had the impact Lebran has had straight out of HS?
  16. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Good way to think about it. The Cavs gets way better - Kobe needs a bunch of sharpshooters hanging around to pop threes and a decent center who will occasionally keep the defense honest. Cavs are easily second best in the east with Kobe.
  17. rdang

    rdang First Round Draft Pick

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    I'm not getting into this argument again.

    (BTW LBJ is way better)
  18. linwood

    linwood All-Star

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    Throwing my hat in the ring, here.

    I just watched the Lakers vs. Suns playoff game. The Mamba took every single shot for almost 4 minutes straight. In fact, I think he passed the ball maybe 3 times while I watched, and was holding his hands out to get it back immediately. Odom and Mihm scored a couple by passing to each other and not Mamba.

    LBJ isn't very good at defense, but the Cavs vs. Wizards game showed me that Bron can get his and still pass the ball.

    I think Kobe shot the Lakers outta the finals against Detriot, and will shoot the Lakers outta the playoffs this year.

    Doesn't matter how good the cat is, most of the time, 5 guys playing together are going to be better.
  19. rdang

    rdang First Round Draft Pick

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    Ladies and gentlemen I know this may be late but I've needed time to recollect after watching Game 1 of Cavs vs Wiz- I have only two words for you in a fairly consistent list:

    King James
    Triple-Double
    Not hype
    Lebron > Wade

    Absolutely mesmerizing watching him play. I'm sure everyone was speculative after his first shot being an air ball but the kid really lived up to everything that they sai about him; for those who say he doesn't play D, not a great passer and simply isn't a proven winner yet - watch tonight's game for further proof. And remember: he's only going to get better.

    ESPN's Brian Windhorst wrote an okay article here: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2006/columns/story?id=2419196

    As another indignation of how good this kid is getting: last time we were arguing about who was better: Wade or Lebron? Now he's being compared to Kobe and a legitimate MVP candidate. How sweet it'll be seeing this kid blossom to his full potential in a few years.
  20. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    I'm not sure that being compared to Kobe is really that big a step over being compared to DW. I know you don't like Wade, but he's a winner.

    Even a homer can admit that if he was healthy in the ECF last year, Detroit might not have made the Finals. He's that important to a team.

    I just can't get on the King James bandwagon. He's boring, his feature play is dunking on no one, and he's won a single playoff game which now make's him the best the NBA has to offer.

    When he brings triple double performances against the Pistons in the playoffs, I will acquiesce.

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