Lebron vs. MJ debate oblivious to common sense


With the NBA season underway, the age-old debate of “who’s the GOAT” is back once again.

While Michael Jordan may be the greatest player of all time, the argument defending these points is faulty at best.

Generally, this ignorant argument is supported solely by the mix of three points, all of which I’m going to attempt to deconstruct.

My personal favorite is the classic “MJ played against better players. Lebron wouldn’t last a second in the nineties.”

Yeah, of course, MJ did play against more hall of famers; however, that is simply due to the fact that most of LeBron’s competition hasn’t retired yet. Curry, Kobe, Allen Iverson, KD, CP3, Kevin Garnett, Carmelo, Tim Duncan and many other great players (Derrick Rose?) will be enshrined in Springfield before it is all said and done.

With the addition of the hand check rules, the game has become less physical. That being said, it is absurd to even think that LeBron, one of the greatest physical specimens the game has ever seen, would struggle in a more physical era. In fact, I believe he’d thrive.

This argument is especially ironic coming from the mouth of a student at ETHS who was born in 1997 or later. A student in this category never saw MJ play live.

There is always that guy who brings up the argument of NBA championship rings. Yes, MJ has six rings; Lebron has two rings. We get it. MJ also has zero losses in the finals to Lebron’s three losses. Who cares? This is a reflection of the team, not the player.

Rings alone do not measure greatness. If they did, Bill Russell of the golden age Celtics (11 rings) would be unquestionably the greatest player in basketball history–and nobody believes that. Additionally, Derek Fisher, who won six rings, would be a far better player than Lebron, although Fisher was only a role player on the Lakers teams that Kobe Bryant carried to championships.

Finally, there is the purely statistical argument. Jordan averaged 2.8 more points per game and had a player efficiency rating .2 higher than LeBron. LeBron averages 1.6 more assists and 1.8 more rebound per game. Both of their cumulative statistics are the elite of the elite.

The differences in cumulative career statistics are so negligible that they are irrelevant for the arguments sake, and the argument then becomes objective. Also, LeBron’s career isn’t over yet. His statistics are bound to change as he ages.

It is next to impossible to compare two players who play different positions, more so when they also played in different eras, especially when one of their careers isn’t over yet.

Additionally, the greatest player of all time should not be limited to LeBron vs. Jordan. What about Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird and countless others?
Please stop arguing. Wait until Lebron has retired, or, better yet appreciate each of their greatness and stop arguing about it.