ICYMI: LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are the 2020 NBA Champions!
Therefore, it’s only right we revisit the debate that is by now INGRAINED in every single NBA fan. LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan. The Shoot or Pass podcast crew settle it for once and for all it in their latest episode.
LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan. Who is the undisputed G.O.A.T. of NBA basketball? In the latest episode of the Shoot or Pass podcast, the crew puts the ultimate NBA debate to bed. Or, do they?
Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby SHOOT if they agree or PASS if they disagree on the following statement:
LeBron winning his fourth ring cements him as the Greatest NBA player of all time.
GABE – PASS
I’m not hating! Just let me just make my case.
It’s hard to compare players over different eras. We’ve had this conversation many times, you know what I mean? If I had to pin it down, I will say LeBron James is one of the top four or five players in NBA history. You’ve got Tim Duncan in there and of course, Michael Jordan as well. Don’t forget about Bill Russell and his contributions to the game on and off the court throughout the Civil Right Movement throughout the 1960s.
Needless to say, LeBron belongs in the conversation. Four-time regular season AND NBA Finals MVP on three different teams. Over the course of his career, he is averaging 27 points per game and holds countless records. I just cannot say he is the greatest because it is so hard to compare players across different eras. The rules were different, the levels of physicality and the disparity between teams vary. But, I won’t deny that he’s up there.
RHOBY – JUMP BALL
I just want to preface this by saying: I HATE THIS FUCKING DEBATE.
There are just so many variables that come into play here, the most obvious one being – LEBRON ISN’T EVEN DONE PLAYING YET! It really comes down to what each one of us value the most when settling scores.
Do you look at the more obvious in the LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate?
- 6-0 record in the Finals and 6 rings
- 6 NBA Finals MVPs
- Accomplished the above on the same team (and even won more after coming out of retirement)
- Was the better pure isolation scorer against tougher defenses
- Arguably the better defender (he did win Defensive Player of the Year after, and LeBron hasn’t as of yet)
OR – Do you value longevity/consistency more than peak performances?
- 4-6 record in the Finals and 4 rings
- 4 NBA Finals MVPs
- Accomplished the above on THREE different teams, most recent one in his 17th NBA season at the age of 35
- Is the better facilitator (and better in pretty much every other category aside from scoring)
- Playing with arguably weaker supporting casts
- Faces more strategically complex offenses and defenses than that of the 1990s
Personally, I believe Kobe Bryant (RIP) also belongs in this conversation.
But at the end of the day, this debate will NEVER get squashed in its entirety.
CHEVY – SHOOT
Honestly, I have to agree with a lot of what you’ve both said here. I think what’s terrible about this question, like Gabe is saying, is the idea of comparing players over different eras. Obviously, in this era, LeBron James is hands down DOMINATING it.
The older fans cry “revisionist history” and bring Michael Jordan to the conversation to try and discount the King. However, in this day and age, 17 seasons down and 35 years old LeBron is still playing at an elite level. His name is always going to be in the record books. He owns or ranks high in pretty much every NBA record – minus the shooting records, which I will admit belong to Steph Curry. Sooner or later, the younger guys in this league are going to be chasing the King in all of these All-time rankings and records.
I have to favor versatility and longevity here, but it truly is a silly debate. There’s room to honor all of the greats here. Today, we honor LeBron James after winning his fourth NBA Title with the Lakers. Earlier this year, we got relive the Chicago Bulls dynasty and honor Michael Jordan’s legacy thanks to The Last Dance.
Now, when we think about who LeBron James passes the torch of greatness to next – we can all agree it’s going to Luka Doncic.