The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
Jordan or LeBron? Greatness or greatness? Championships or Championships? Leader or leader? Winner or winner? Honestly can you go wrong with either choice? The answer is no. It depends on what you want and expect out of your leading man. Jordan is different in many wants when it comes to LeBron and LeBron is different from Jordan in many ways.
But when it comes to this debate on who's the G.O.A.T. what never gets brought up is expectations, medicine, and the game of basketball at the time just to get into a few differences. It's always stats vs stats and comparing the 80's, 90's, and early 2000's to early 2000's, 2010's and now the 2020's and is that simply fair to do when comparing the two players? Absolutely not. So much has changed from the time Jordan entered the league to 2021 that has changed the way the game is played and how players go about playing.
Comparing these two players by stats is like comparing a movie that came out in 1988 and a movie that came out in 2019 with how much money they made and not looking at inflation, what was going on with society, and how promoting movies has changed when they were released in their respected times. I won't try and tell you who's better and who to go with but I will try and give you a different perspective when comparing the two players who are great in their own ways.
When Jordan was playing and in his prime, the game was played at a very slow pace compared to how it is played today. That means less shots are being taken and the opportunity to score is much lower than it is today. Fouls were also being called less and therefore Jordan was having less opportunities at the free throw line and the game was more physical when it came to hard fouls and injuries, which means more time out for players then today.
As the game has changed throughout the years, more rules were added to make the game safer for players and therefore giving them a lot more opportunities at the free throw line. The game has also made the game a lot more family friendly so they made rules to help stop fighting and physical fouls which means less players being injured and more time playing the game.
We can also take a look at how fast the game is played and how teams run their offenses compared to when Jordan was playing. In today's game, teams are shooting about 50 to 60 three point shots a game which is leading to higher scores and more points for the players who play in today's game. The game also is more spread out in today's game which leads to much clearer paths when driving to the lane then compared to when Jordan was playing.
Jordan's Era was played much closer together which led to hard fouls when driving to the lane and being hit by more players as well. The fact that Jordan was not a three point shooter also hurts him when comparing him to LeBron because LeBron plays today, where if you don't have a 3 point shot, you won't play. Jordans era also shot a lot more mid range shots and if you watch today's game, the mid range shot has pretty much disappeared.
Those are just a couple of differences in the game that have severely impacted stats of these two players. Another thing to look at is medicine and technology when looking at injuries and strength and conditioning in the NBA. We all know since the 80s technology in medicine and overall health has changed so much and this has impacted how players played, were treated for injuries and how long they were able to play in the NBA. LeBron has the best treatment money can buy to keep his body in top shape to play for as long as he would like.
Jordan has the same thing but again, the technology and knowledge was not the same and so much worse in my opinion. We can also compare the nutritional aspect of being in the NBA. Just looking and comparing what was eaten and what was suggested in the 80s and 90s to now? It doesn't compare because we know so much more about what's better for our bodies and this helps with injuries and our overall physical condition. This clearly has an impact on both players.
When looking at expectations when the two played. Jordan legit hated players who did not play for him. He would not talk to them and you can even make an argument the reason Isiah Thomas was not on the dream team was because of Jordan. Jordan did not team up and with anyone and was surrounded by players who knew their roles very well. Jordan or anyone else at the time teamed up together to win and that is clearly different in today's NBA. Jordan was expected to lead and win by scoring and since the game was played at a slower pace, it means his assists were lower than LeBrons and so were his rebounds.
LeBron was much more friendly when it comes to his opponents. He teamed up with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and Anthony Davis just to name a few SuperStars he's played with. The game has changed with how players go about winning but we all know LeBron isn't the only one to do this.
One last thing to consider when looking at this debate. Players learn, evolve, and take moves from people before them. Jordan took moves and learned the game from people who were legends to him and who did things that were never seen before. LeBron did the same thing. Jordan then took everything he learned and did it better and same with LeBron. The difference is, LeBron learned a lot from Jordan, Jordan didn't learn anything from LeBron. LeBron saw a lot more talented players and more skills performed at a high level then Jordan did so had much more to go off of and add to his game then Jordan.
I could go on and on about how the 1980's were different then 2021 in the game of basketball but that isn't necessary. Looking at this Jordan vs LeBron debate should definitely be looked at in this light because clearly it isn't the same game and it gives a lot of context behind the numbers. This is very important when comparing the two and whose career is more impressive and ultimately who is the G.O.A.T.
The Recommended Content Widget will appear here on the published site.