While it’s difficult to compare a player who has only been in the league for six years with another player who is often labeled “the greatest player of all-time” and has won six NBA championships, the rumors are no doubt there about whether Lebron James will end up better than Michael Jordan.
There is no speculation that what Lebron James has done in six seasons in the NBA and at such a young age, is no doubt extremely impressive. Keep in mind that in 451 games James has averaged 27.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 6.6 APG, and 1.8 SPG and the most amazing fact of it all is he hasn’t even reaches his mid-20’s yet.
James early domination in the league and outstanding health has him on pace to shatter some NBA records and become one of the most dominant players of all-time.
However, you cannot even begin to compare him yet to Michael Jordan for two reasons.
For starters, it’s a difficult argument to even persuade NBA fan’s that Lebron is the greatest player in the game today, much less of all-time. That honor could very well go to Kobe Bryant who has won three NBA titles and once scored 81 points in a game.
In all fairness, Bryant has played eight more seasons in the NBA than Lebron and won all three NBA titles with one of the most dominant big-men of all-time in Shaquille O’Neal.
Lebron has taken the league by storm because he essentially came into the NBA with extremely high expectations and nearly dominated instantly at the age of 18. Part of what make’s Lebron so special is his extraordinarily rare combination of speed and power.
At 6’8 250, Lebron is a physical freak on thebasketball court. He’s only ten pounds lighter than Karl Malone, who was one of the strongest and most powerful basketball players of all-time; he has speed and acceleration like a standard point guard as well as the vision and height thatMagic Johnson was blessed with.
As Lebron’s game has matured, he’s nearly mastered all aspects of the game besides free throw shooting where he still shoots a measly 73%.
His three-point shooting has vastly improved, making him a player you now must respect from behind the line as well as his supporting cast has greatly improved. The acquisition of Mo Williams was a blessing in disguise for James, as he now has another go-to scorer on his team.
The improved supporting cast directly relates to the Cavaliers best record since James arrived in 2003 and a serious contender for the NBA championship in 2009.
Lebron James poses a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses that nobody has seen on the perimeter since perhapsMagic Johnson played. Because Lebron is so big for a point guard, opposing point guards are often overwhelmed with his sheer power and ability to overlook any defensive guard standing in his way.
If you match up a bigger, stronger guard or forward on James, he usually can blow past them with ease thanks to his unusual explosiveness. Only a couple of players in the NBA, like Ron Artest, are capable of keeping Lebron James in check.
However, great players are matched not only by ability and statistics, but also by wins – and frankly, Lebron isn’t there yet.
Maybe he hasn’t had enough time in the league yet, but Lebron’s lone appearance in the NBA Finals was a disaster and does little to match Kobe’s three rings or Jordan’s six.
Michael Jordan is considered the greatest player of all-time not only because he was so gifted physically and dominated nightly, but also because he won. In fact, Jordan played on one of the most dominating franchises ever (second behind the Celtics), winning six titles in seven years. And even more amazing, that number may have been higher had Jordan not opted to retire prematurely to pursue a professional career in baseball.
Jordan’s Bull was so dominant that it makes his numbers even more impressive. Jordan played a ton of games throughout the 90’s and had a bulls eye on his back every night, yet was never slowed down and until Lebron comes even close to those six titles, the rightful heavyweight champion of the world continues to rest on Jordan’s bookshelf.
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