Morning shootaround — May 26


VIDEO: Highlights from Game 4 of the Western Conference finals

NEWS OF THE MORNING

LeBron better than Jordan? | No additional discipline for Horford | Warriors breathe sigh of relief | Thomas ready to recruit for Celtics

No. 1: James’ teammates: LeBron closing in on Jordan as greatest ever — The long-standing, never-ending debate over which player in NBA lore — take your pick from any legend, mind you — is the greatest ever is one that will never die. In modern days, the argument seems to settle on who is better: LeBron James or Michael Jordan? Like any debate, the answer is subjective. But according to James’ teammates on the Cavs, LeBron may not be that far from passing Jordan. Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group has more:

After willing his team to a 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals at The Q on Sunday night with an exhilarating performance, a long soak in the cold tub followed.

It took his 12th career postseason triple-double of 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists to place the Atlanta Hawks on the brink of embarking on an extended vacation. He became the first player in playoff history to produce a stat line of at least 37 points, 18 boards and 13 dimes.

His greatness, his dominance can no longer be brushed to the side. There are those who believe his time has almost come.

Michael Jordan’s long-coveted slot as the supreme basketball player in the history of the game is in serious jeopardy of being dropped down a peg.

“The only thing that he’s missing is a couple more championships and then it’s a wrap,” Kendrick Perkins told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “Right now we have arguably the best player to ever play the game. I’m just saying man. I’m not taking anything away from Jordan, but all (James is) missing is titles. A couple of more titles and that’s it.”

Perkins has played with some of the greats in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. He grew up watching Jordan play.

“That’s one hell of a debate. Honestly, in my opinion, if it’s not Jordan then it’s him,” J.R. Smith told NEOMG. “It used to be no question. It was a landslide. It was Jordan. Now, you have to consider my boy.”

“Just think about it, truthfully, if he wanted to, he could win the MVP every year,” Perkins said. “Think about that. He averaged 25 [points], 6 [rebounds] and 7 [assists]. That’s absurd, and people are like ‘he had a down year.’ That’s crazy talk. When it’s all said and done, he’ll probably be the best the game has seen.”

***

No. 2: No additional discipline for Horford — Atlanta Hawks fans are still smarting over Al Horford‘s ejection from Game 3 for his elbow to the head of Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova. True, Hawks supporters will never know if having Horford all game would have led to a 2-1 Cleveland lead in the series instead of its current 3-0 edge. But, they can take solace in knowing Horford will suit up for Game 4 tonight, writes Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Al Horford will not receive additional discipline for the Flagrant Foul 2 that resulted in his ejection from Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals Sunday night.

Horford was assessed the foul with 34.3 seconds remaining in the second quarter when he got tangled up with the Cavaliers’ Matthew Dellavedova. Horford delivered an elbow that was above the shoulders, according to lead official Ken Mauer. Dellavedova hit Horford near his knees while on ground, prompting the Horford reaction. Dellavedova was assessed a technical foul on the play.

The NBA reviews all flagrant fouls and maintains the right to impose a fine and/or suspension upon any player who commits such a foul at any time during the playoffs. The foul will not be downgraded.


VIDEO: Did Al Horford deserve to be ejected from Game 3?

***

No. 3: Warriors can stomach Game 4 loss — Yesterday was the 40-year anniversary of the Golden State Warriors wrapping up their last NBA championship. As such, it would have been somewhat poetic for the team to get a 4-0 series win over the Houston Rockets in the West finals and clinch a Finals berth. That didn’t happen, of course, but Golden State is OK with the loss mostly because NBA MVP Stephen Curry is OK after taking a scary fall in the second quarter. Our Fran Blinebury was on the scene and has more:

There were times in the first three games of the Western Conference finals that Stephen Curry‘s play was at such a high level, you might have wondered if one day he’d quite simply lift right off the face of the planet.

When it finally happened midway though the second quarter on Monday night, Curry came down with a sickening thud beyond the baseline and suddenly everything else was up in the air. The game, the series, the Warriors’ magnificent season and, most important, the health of the NBA’s 2015 MVP and singular performer.

The most prolific shooter in the game was on defense, trailing a Houston Rockets’ fast break, and launched himself in an attempt to block a layup from behind. When Trevor Ariza paused to gather himself, Curry soared, caught his knees and then his backside on Ariza’s shoulders and tumbled upside down and out of control before coming down hard and smacking his head on the Toyota Center floor.

“When it was happening, I felt like I was in an R Kelly music video with angels all around me,” Curry said to a friend in the Warriors’ locker room.

Curry’s father Dell, his mother Sonya, and wife Ayehsa, were all watching from the stands when it happened, then moved to a spot in the hallway of the arena to seek information.

“We were concerned, of course,” said Dell Curry. “He was down for a long time. I wasn’t sure how he was even when he walked off the floor.”

While they were waiting, Dell had to calm both Steph’s mom and his wife.

“Yes. Yes,” he said.

The younger Curry shrugged off lingering concern.

“I’ll be fine, yeah,” he said. “I didn’t know when I was walking off the court, because you have falls like that, you don’t really know what’s going to happen in the next 15, 20 minutes, how you’re going to feel. I was still kinda in a little shock, I guess, from the feeling of falling because you don’t go and have that happen every game.”

Curry did not come back until he was examined all through halftime and cleared the NBA’s concussion protocol. By the time the second half started, he was running sprints in a back hallway and with 5:58 left in the third quarter matter-of-factly showed up and checked back into the game.

 

Curry missed his first shot upon return badly, a 3-point air ball. But he found his rhythm, shot 4-for-11 in the second half, including 3-for-6 on treys.

That he came back and looked like his old self was an emotional boost to the rest of the Warriors.

“Because if he don’t come back, you still wonder,” Draymond Green said. “You’re wondering what’s the extent of it. To see him back is just a comforting feeling. It goes far beyond winning and losing the game, just knowing that he’s OK and actually seeing he’s out there. He is very tough. All he wants to do is win. That’s his only agenda. So it didn’t surprise me one bit to see him back.”

Steph is Steph, as they say, going up and even coming down hard.


VIDEO: Stephen Curry takes a nasty spill in Game 4

***

No. 4: Thomas wants to help Celtics in recruit free agents — Point guard Isaiah Thomas spent the first few seasons of his career with, at times, an unclear role: was he a starter, a backup, or a combination of the two? A midseason trade to Boston from Phoenix, though, cleared a lot of things up for Thomas as he became not only a starter for the Celtics, but the heart and soul of a scrappy, young team. Boston is flush with money in free agency this summer and Thomas is apparently all-in on helping the team land its free-agent targets, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:

Thomas lived in a hotel after being acquired in a February trade with the Suns, and he has still yet to purchase or even lease a home in Boston, so it has been difficult to get past a feeling of temporariness. But a recent conversation with Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was both comforting and compelling.

“Danny said if there’s any free agent out there I’m interested in, to let him know,” Thomas said by telephone. “That has me excited. For him to ask for my input means a lot, because it means I’m definitely, right now, a part of the future, and they also value your word and what you think about the game of basketball. It means a lot, and it’s a mutual respect we have. Now, hopefully, we can get a few guys.”

Thomas did not name specific players on his wish list during an interview with the Globe, but he said a rim-protecting big man would be at the top of it.

“A defensive-minded player,” he said. “It’d be nice to get one of those in the draft. A lot of the big men out there could definitely help us out. But I know Danny is always up to something.”

“The history behind the Boston Celtics is what you want,” Thomas said. “And the city of Boston is definitely a sports city. They love their players and support their players. Really, everything you want in a basketball team and organization is here. It might not be Miami or LA with the weather, but what’s most important is the culture. And I can only imagine, when we really get good, what the city would be like.”

Thomas was flattered by the notion that he could become one of the Celtics’ cornerstones. But it is also obvious that if they are to evolve, if they are to have a winning record and take a playoff series and show that they are more than LeBron James’s punching bag, they will need help.

“I think we’re close to taking that next step,” Thomas said. “Definitely, adding a big piece to what we’re trying to do [would help]. I know Danny’s going to try to go after everybody that’s available, especially the high-level guys. I think if we can add a big piece, we can take that next step. People saw what we could do even without a so-called superstar. We held our own, for the most part, against Cleveland, and we weren’t expected to do anything.”

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Digging into everything you need to know, stats-wise, from Game 4 of the Western Conference finals … The Golden State Warriors might have been a little confident for Game 4 … The Indiana Pacers are going to bring 7-foot-2 center Stanko Barac in for mini-camp workouts … Houston Rockets guard Jason Terry says he will definitely be playing next season … Is there such a thing as “Elimination Game Josh Smith“?LeBron James is pushing hard for Tristan Thompson to be a ‘Cavalier his whole career’The latest edition of the Morning Tip, ICYMI

ICYMI Of The Night: The Houston Rockets were, as they say, on fire in the first quarter …


VIDEO: The Rockets score 45 points in the first quarter

96 Comments

  1. Kome the Black Dumba says:

    Better comparison is who is better? LBJ or Magic?

    They both played the same way, very unselfish and can change the game without scoring.

    On the other hand, noone gets close to MJ. Just copycats who even copy MJ’s signature win pose. What a douche.

  2. Da_truth says:

    Jordan is the best of all time. LB played in a time of sissy defense. Anybody touch him and it’s a foul. If the nba let them played defense like in the 90’s, I don’t think he would have won any of his championship with Miami. I used to be a big fan of nba. But all these sissy flagrant fouls loses my interest in the game.

  3. What is this? I just posted a long 10+ line comment twice and it doesn’t appeared but when I accidentally type a one letter comment it works?

  4. Cavs Legend says:

    Magic Johnson Has 5 Titles & 9 Finals appearances

  5. MJ says:

    EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE LIKE MIKE

    BUT NOBODY WILL EVER BE LIKE MIKE…

  6. Baller says:

    MJ is better than LeBron and it will likely stay that way. However, as tight as defenses were in the 80’s and 90’s I think LeBron would still bully his way through if he played in the era. The guy is a beast. Go back and look at old footage and you’ll see that todays players are bigger, stronger and more athletic than ever. LeBron is huge and would still dominate just like Jordan would dominate in today league. As for rings, Jordan has more. However, I still think the Bulls team would have lost to the 2014 Spurs who played perfect team basketball.

  7. B says:

    LBJ OVER MJ.

  8. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    The Rings say alot and back to back three peat’s are hard to go against, but Lebron is a one man show, right now and the last two years in Miami and 07 in Cleveland when he was 22 years old went to the finals, he’s a better all around player, but Jordan always raised his game in the playoffs and finals, his last six years, but Pippen was a really good player really good, and Rodman was not bad himself. Lebron is in the mix of greatest players right there with Jordan, Magic, Bird, etc. I think if they would of played in the primes against each other Lebron would give Jordan the biz’ness, Lebron would D him up, bigger stonger, guard him the post, It would of been Jordans toughest challenge ever if they were to play in there primes. There both top 10 player’s all time. , Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Magic, Bird, Jordan, Shaq, Kobe, Duncan, Lebron, in order as the time the played from 60’s to 00’s, not 1 thru 10. My top 10 of all time.

  9. mano says:

    MJ is the best if offense situation is all about

  10. barako says:

    LeBron James is a lot better player than Kobe Bryant…LeBron James is not an “I” player.

  11. Dude is sooooo overrated says:

    LeBron is an unstoppable force at times because the dude is huge, athletic, and skilled, but he is NO WHERE near MJ. The only way he beats Jordan 1-on-1 is if he muscles his way to the rim every time. You can’t truly compare a G to a F because their game, physique, and skillsets are usually very different. Put LBJ in a 6’6 220 frame and watch his game diminish. He’s an inconsistent jump shooter, nowhere near the level of difficulty as far as footwork, offensive, jumpshots as MJ, nowhere near the killer instinct of MJ, not to mention he hasn’t revolutionized the way we think of and play the game. He is undoubtedly freak of nature, but is he a better ball player than MJ? No way. He isn’t even in Kobe’s zipcode yet. He is essentially mini-Shaq with a jumpshot.

  12. Arjan says:

    I’ve tremendous respect for Lebron James, but I’ve absolutely no doubt Jordan would come out on top if they had ever met each other in the play-offs. Lebron may be one of the greatest athletes the game has ever seen, but Jordan is probably the biggest competitor the game has ever seen. It’s just unrivaled. I find it even difficult to explain how extraordinairy Jordan’s will to win was. It transcends everything that makes Lebron James one of the greatest players ever, and that’s saying a lot. Don’t get me wrong Jordan was of course a great athlete as well, but that athletic ability is not wat parts him from the rest.

  13. Seriously2015 says:

    Jordan has never lost a finals….The End. There’s other things but that one alone ends the argument

    • DJ says:

      Exactly what Seriously2015 said. 6 finals appearances, 6 rings, 6 times finals MVP.
      No team could even push a Jordan led team to 7 games in a finals series, let alone beat them. Finals W/L 24-11 (68.5%)
      Lebron Finals W/L 11-16 (40.7%). 5 finals appearances, 2 rings, 2 times finals MVP.

      Even if Lebron wins and gets another finals MVP this season, he is still a long way off those numbers.

      I can accept Lebron being bigger and stronger than MJ. But more skilled? No way. Jordan did so many moves that Lebron could only dream of. MJ’s game was graceful & beautiful to watch. There is nothing graceful about Lebrons game, he is just an unbelievable athlete. There are many players in the league with much better basketball skills.
      And that comment that Jordan is selfish and didnt use his team mates. How about the finals against Phoenix, he set up Steve Kerr in the biggest moment possible, to clinch the title. And also he could and did do it all.

  14. Mcano says:

    If Lebron James looses another final he will be the biggest “Finals” looser of all time.
    You can even compare him to someone that had 2 separate three-pete runs, also Jordan never had the support that Lebron has, every time he moves to a new team he makes sure he has at least 2 more star players.

    • ajax says:

      Yeah, Pippen was pretty bad, and Rodman and Kerr and all the rest were nobodies.

      Oh wait, thats ridiculous, but thats what you just implied. MJ is the best, going by what he did and how he did it, but the idea he did it alone is ludicrous.

  15. louisasmo says:

    Michael Jordan was the best ever during the latter stages of his career and up to LeBron James until LeBron turned 24…
    then LeBron taught all of us the RIGHT WAY to play basketball…through your team.

    Basketball is a team sport and this is precisely why LeBron is the better player…

    Michael wanted that last shot to win it by himself…and get the headlines…LeBron wins it THROUGH HIS TEAM any way it
    should be done and still gets the win. But, LeBron does it selflessly doing whatever it takes.

    LeBron is the evolution…bigger and stronger than Michael and able to defend all 5 positions from guarding a 5’9″ guard to
    blocking the shot of a 7’1″ center coming in for a dunk.

    LeBron does more….and obviously expends more energy too!!

    I know we love our heroes and we will always love Michael Jordan. I cherished him for years as the best I have ever seen.

    But, NOW I have seen a more updatred and modern version….bigger and stronger and more skills…

    LeBron James is the best basketball player of all time….whether you like him or not…whether you want him to replace Michael or not.

    Even Oscar Robertson agrees with this.

    After LeBron sets the record for most consecutive Finals appearance somewhere around 9 in a row or something it should be obvious to everyone…

    BUT IT NEVER WILL BE OBVIOUS because people will cling to their hero in Mike…they want to be like Mike!!!

    One on one Michael would have NO SHOT against this modern day marvel…

    And in a team sport LeBron is teaching the world how to play basketball by involving EVERY player on the court.

    It is a team sport with 5 players and LeBron is the BEST EVER!!!

    Louis in Las Vegas who has seen them all play,

  16. louisasmo says:

    LeBron is the bigger, stronger, version of Michael Jordan…PLUS he plays a much more selfless game of basketball and a MUCH MORE CORRECT game of basketball.

    Michael wanted to win HIMSELF….with a selfish desire to take the last shot and get the credit.

    LeBron does everything THROUGH the team and he gets everyone involved and makes his team much better.

    IF you give 4 players to Michael Jordan and the same 4 players to LeBron James and they play each other…LeBron’s team will beat Michael’s team most of the time BECAUSE LeBron plays through the entire team while Michael plays the more selfish style.

    LeBron James is the best basketball player of all time!!! and I have been saying this since he was 24 years old…

    Louis in Las Vegas who has seen them all play…

    Ask Oscar Robertson…he agrees with me!!!

  17. Francisco says:

    I like how the James plays but comapre with MJ it is really absurd and stupid, please the all merchandise machinery builded around James, think a litlle bit, all are prepare to bi a excellent business but, excellence on basket ball, I am sorry but not.
    Everything are prepared to be a bif historical fake, In order to get the money invested on this theatre around James, yo don not see it?
    But please con make an incredible and absurd comment to compare with the biggest man? Michael Jordan, please

  18. Murat says:

    Both great players but the reason I will always give the edge to MJ is that he played at a time where defenses would seriously and literally beat you up when you approached the rim. Detroit guys would just punish you and the refs would watch it. Today, you touch a guy and it is a foul. Jordan took serious abuse. LBJ is playing in a softer NBA. He is great though, that’s for sure.

  19. kjbad says:

    Has LeBron ever played against HIMSELF in a commercial because no one else could hold him? Has LeBron’s shoe ever been BANNED from the NBA? Has the #1 Knick fan ever appeared in a LeBron commercial to talk about how good LeBron is? Has LeBron ever won Defensive player of the Year? Has LeBron ever had 200 steals and 100 blocks in the same season? Has LeBron ever scored 3000 points in a season?

    Why is this even a debate, stop comparing LeBron to Michael already….

  20. kjbad says:

    Has LeBron ever played against HIMSELF in a commercial because no one else could hold him? Has LeBron’s shoe ever been BANNED from the NBA? Has the #1 Knick fan ever appeared in a LeBron commercial to talk about how good LeBron is? Has LeBron ever won Defensive player of the Year? Has LeBron ever had 200 steals and 100 blocks in the same season? Has LeBron ever scored 300 points in a season?

    Why is this even a debate, stop comparing LeBron to Michael already….

    • celeriumz says:

      If Lebron did he woujld get criticised for trying to copy jordan. Just like how nba is like nowadays.

  21. david says:

    jordan is the best.

  22. TheTruth says:

    MJ played in an era of basketball where everything was more hard. Normal season games played like current playoff games. If you think LeBron is greater than MJ because he’s dominating in today’s soft NBA, then you’re an idiot. I’m sorry but MJ will always be better than LeBron.

  23. Thiago Viana says:

    Come on! Lebron is a good player but, he can’t beat MJ never, and nobody will do.

    Best players ever:

    Soccer – Pele
    Basketball – Michael Jordan
    F1 – Airton Senna
    Golf – Tyger Woods

    MJ always will be the best, even Magic Johnson tried but, he couldn’t beat him.

    • Matthew brown says:

      Hey idiot, u spelled Kobe’s name wrong. And Kobe went to three finals without shaq, winning 2 MVPs the 2 he one.

  24. Nizami says:

    LBJ is not even close to MJ or KB. Latter guys could have changed the game anytime, other players within their team have becoming mentally and physically stronger only knowing that they had MJ in his team ( teammates like Pippen,Harper,Kukoc,Rodman) , the same is true for KB ( teammates Gasol,Odom,Ariza,Fisher) .
    MJ had the style of play that no one could match nowadays, The closest one is KB, but he is one step behind.
    LBJ is only playing by pushing opponents, using his weight and acrobatics.
    And also championship factor that has been mentioned several times, 6 >2 and that’s all.
    Taking number 23 doesn’t not mean that you can be compared to the GOATs

  25. jill says:

    It is not just championships folks. Robert Horry and Ramsey from Boston have 7 rings. Do you know who there are? Probably not. They were not dominant, true leaders that carry their team on their backs like Lebron does. Another example Koby Bryant 5 championship rings. Do you think he would get any without Shaq? Probably not! Lebron is doing with nobodies. He is playing with kids as helpers. Does he has the same level as Jordan? In some ways yes he does. But his style is different, his leadership undeniable. I would say Lebron and MJ are right there. Both extremely talented, gifted and unselfish athletes. Both will be remembered by history as the most dominant players. Comparing them wouldn’t be fair. But what Lebron is doing at this time is exceptional. He is carrying his team believing in his young teammates and making them believe that they can deliver. This is called UNSELFISH LEADERSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Nizami says:

      Kobe (5 rings) won 2 championships back to back w/o Shaq
      Shaq ( 4 rings) won only 1 championship w/o Kobe.

  26. bunbury says:

    Lebron is playing in the WEAK Eastern Conference. Hence, 5 straight NBA finals. Please don’t overlook this.

  27. johnny dawson says:

    Why is it that nobody mentions Bill Russell? Eleven rings is not enough to be mentioned in the conversation? The problem is the limitation of living memory. Many of the people who witnessed Russell are dead now. Nobody under 60 has much interest in his eleven championships.

  28. Jack says:

    Dellavedova is a scumbag and doesn’t belong out there. He is reckless and throws himself around injuring other players. He’s a dirty as it comes and HE should have been ejected.

  29. mj the best says:

    This topic is getting so old… just review the 4th quarter of the last game! So many turnovers and unforced errors. Finally he gets the 3 to go down, and then the running jumper, and everyone forgets how badly he stunk during the whole quarter. Nowadays media drools when someone gets more than 30 points. MJ did it routinely, and many many times over 40 in the playoffs. As far as true fans of basketball are concerned, Lebron still hasn’t won anything – he bought himself two championships in Miami, and this year will get dropped again by Golden State… what a total bum! The fact he’s being compared to Jordan is beyond ridiculous!

  30. Javier says:

    Que pendejos los que comparan a MJ con el mojon ese de Lebron. Jamas Lebron sera mejor que MJ

  31. GRENADIAN LIONKING HEAVY DEE says:

    LEBRON IS GREAT AND CAN BE THE GREATEST AFTRE JORDAN BUT GOT A FEW THINGS TO TO EVEN B EQUAL TO JORDAN. HE IS CLOSE TO JORDAN WHEN TALKING ABOUT THE CONSISTENCY OF BEING THE NBA’S BEST PLAYER FOR YEARS AT A TIME EVEN IF HIS TEAMS WERE NEVER AS STRONG AS JORDAN OR KOBE’S OR EVEN SPURS TEAMS. I THINK THATS WHERE HE STANDS OUT THE MOST BUT HE NEED A LOT MORE TO BE THE GREATEST OF ALL TIMES. THAT MY FAVORITE PLAYER AFTER MJ. THINK HE HANDLES THE PRESSURE WELL. I ALWAYS LEAN TOWARDS THE GUY WHO EVERYONE WANTS TO BEAT LIKE MJ OR LBJ. GREAT GUYS GREAT ROLE MODLES/PROFESSIONALS AND THE HARDEST WORKERS WHO ONLY BLAME THEM SELF FOR FAILURE. JAMES COULD HAVE EASILY BLAMED WADE FOR GIVING MAVES THE TITLE FOR TRYING TO BE THE HERO AND TAKE OVER THE FINALS WHEN THAN THAT COULD HAVE BEEN HIS EASIEST RING. JAMES NEVER BLAMED WADE.

    IT IS DIRTY TO SAY THAT DELLII IS DIRTY PLAYER JUST BECAUSE BETTER GUYS ARE MAD AT HIM FOR PLAYING HARDER THAN THEY DO. THE ONYL THING DELLII DID WRONG WAS IN THE BULLS SERIS AND THAT IS ONLY A NORMAL FOUL ANYTIME IN ANY CONTACT SPORT. HE WAS FOULED HARD ON ALL OF THE PLAYS BUT NO ONE SAW IT, IF YOU ARE INTO THE RULES OF THE GAME, GO LOOK AT THE REPLAYS AND SEE WHO SHOULD GET THE FOUL. HE GOT PUSHED AND PULED DOWN. WHAT HAPPENED TO KORVER WAS JUST UNFORTUNATE. EVEN TNT’S KENNY SMITH HAS IT WRONG ABOUT DELLI.
    LASTLY, AL HORFORD, JR SMITH AND DWIGHT HOWARD ALL DESERVE THE SAME SUSPENSIONS. MAKES IT LOOK LIKE AN NBA DOUBLE STANDARD IF THEY KEEP GIVING DIFFERENT ANSWERS TO THE SAME QUESTION.
    GOOD DAY GUYS

  32. Sage says:

    Who’s better Jordan or Lebron? Will this question finally stop? Also, it’s the wrong question. Wilt was better than MJ.

  33. Jason F. says:

    Please do not publish articles like this until he is one win away –

    Mike was a better person and even with his faults he never addressed the fans straight to a mic saying “people will have to wake up with the same lives that they have…I’m a continue to live the way I want to live…”. Jordan may have done worse, but he never put it on us. He let us be fans of the game only.

    He cant take this back – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKj3Zwcy7ME

  34. BitchPlz says:

    lebron lames

  35. Geri says:

    MJ was a stellar player in an era when defenses were T.I.G.H.T. I don’t think that the offensive arsenal of LBJ would be sufficient in that era. Today’s defense rules make the game ridiculously easy for 1-on-1ers. No surprise that they suffer against international teams in international rules when athleticism cannot give the upper hand.

  36. Alex says:

    No fair to compare him with Jordan. He may be on his way to becoming like Jordan, if LJ get 3 rings with the Cavs… may be

  37. vincent says:

    my only red flag for lebron if he wins more championships is how many times he’s jumped ship.

  38. Emerson says:

    C’mon! That talk again to compare LBJ and MJ and the fantasy about a Mt.Rushmore of all time great basketball players. LBJ needs more rings, six to talk about MJ .

  39. dustydreamnz says:

    1. I didn’t see Jordan play much but from what I saw, he was clearly better than James and is the best player I’ve seen.
    4. The Celtics are building something special in my opinion, up there with the Hawks as the biggest over achievers of the season. Also like what the Jazz are building.

  40. Roger says:

    I found it ridic to be comparing MJ to anyone, LBJ its a great player, no doubt, best player on the planet rigtht now but MJ played on a much much tougher NBA back in the 80s and early 90s where defense were a lot more fisical, not like the womanish stuff we see today where defense are not allow to be nearly as fisical as in the MJ years, and this is because the NBA set the rules for this to be like this, favoring high scoreboards becuase to the TV audiences watching a defensive game its boring but watching a game on which both teams scores over 100 points thats a lot more exciting and appealing to watch.
    Having said all this, i would looove to watch LBJ to put the same numbers back in the 80s and early 90s vs defensive playoff teams like the Pistons or the Knicks, they would had murdered him, a “playoff foul” back them would had been a flagrant 1 or perhaps 2 these days.
    And also, cant imagine MJ playing against these defenses, if he was able to put up those numbers back in the day he would have absolutely killed the oposittion today.

  41. David says:

    Ok. Here is the difference between LBJ and MJ. With LBJ, all you have to do is beat the Cavs, along with Lebron and win. With MJ, you have to beat the Bulls AND Jordan’s will to win. In the last six years of MJ’s career nobody was able to do that. MJ even told the greats during his time, that none of them will win the title as long as he is in the league, and backed it up. LBJ is a great player.But to no fault of his own, NOBODY compares to MJ. There is Jordan and there is everyone else. That’s the deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Santana says:

    Lebron wouldn’t last one quarter against defense Jordan had to play against.

    yes, both are/were ref-protected but Lebron has no creativity, versatility or unpredictability Jordan had.
    Knicks’ or Pistons’ defense from MJ era would eat Lebron like a chocolate cookie while Jordan dominated them.

    to any serious and unbiased basketball fan this is not even a question. Lebron is good for today standards. but nowhere near to GOAT.

    it’s just a cheap attempt to gain readability.

  43. mike says:

    enybody remember Kobe?
    the first, that thought to be better then MIKE.
    strange, that the debate is not “who is better: Kobe or LBJ?”
    so after all everybody is mesured by the greatest – MJ.

  44. Drew says:

    How many games did the Bulls win the year after Jordan left the first time? How many games did the Cavaliers win the year after Lebron left to Miami? How many players can switch teams (to a team that didn’t make the playoffs) and bring them to the Finals in their first year with his two best teammates hurt? Doubt Jordan could have taken the Bulls to the Finals with Pippen and Rodman hurt. Also pretty sure Jordan had a terrible playoff record prior to Pippen showing up. Pippen doesn’t get the credit he deserves. This should settle the debate. Lebron makes the biggest single impact on a team than anyone in history not named Bill Russell.

  45. bob says:

    lebron wears mj’s number. let him get his own and then we’ll have this discussion

  46. Rj says:

    MJ or LJ as players

    Mj Biggest edge more fundamentally gifted,

    LJ biggest biggest edge bigger, stronger, more length with a little more athleticism than Jordan, and an all time great playmaker.

    Considering there era’s they both would’ve great players in any era. Kobe is a good prediction of what Jordan might’ve been like in this era, and Magic is good indication of what Bron would’ve been like but with a higher propensity to score.(kobe is 5-2 in lebron era of basketball; magic was 5-4 80s in jordan era of basketball) we all estimate Lebron is slightly better than Magic and Jordan is better than kobe so easliy could have simillar or better records as those two in those eras.

    What’s more appealing about Jordan is the poetic style of winning in the 90’s, 2 3-peats is insanely hard to do mainly because of health. Lebron is approaching something similar to that with appearing in the final 5 straight times, some may argue that’s by default because the best teams are out west and that definitely has an effect but it still can’t be completely downplayed.

  47. Raptor4Life says:

    The Greatest Ever does *NOT* make it to the NBA Finals and lose…. EVER.
    One of MJ’s accomplishments that LeBron can NEVER equal, even if he plays until he is 45 years old and wins more than 6 championship titles.
    A few years back, LeBron announced to the world that he intended to become the first “sports” billionaire…. some months ago, Forbes magazine announced to the world that Mr. Jordan had become the world’s first “sports” billionaire. Maybe one day LeBron can be #2 (again).
    MJ has even become the outright owner of an NBA franchise…. Dan Gilbert has only allowed LeBron to become the de facto General Manager of the Cavaliers. Advantage to Jordan yet again.
    There is no denying that LeBron is the current “league darling”, and he is an incredible athlete that will end his career with outstanding statistics and a couple of NBA championships – but he has LOST on the biggest stage and will NEVER be “greater” than Michael Jordan!

    • ism says:

      Come on, man. LBJ brought the old Cavs team AND this year’s lottery squad to the Finals.
      It is true that in the end, LBJ will also be measured by his winning and losing in the Finals, but your reasoning here is much too simple for such a complex matter. Just stop.

    • Tigah says:

      Tiger Woods is actually the first “sports”-billionaire whilst still playing…. Tiger Woods is the GOAT, apparently.

  48. Fred/PCRUSh says:

    Delevenova is the dirtiest player I have ever seen in the last 28 years….Shouldn’t NBA do something about this?

    • Davo says:

      Did you actually see the footage.Horford dragged delly down with 2 hands on his arm.Horford caused it himself.Open both eyes before making a cooment.

  49. Jat Stone says:

    I actually SAW Michael plays from college to his last championship. There is no argument here. MJ by a landslide. Lebron, good player.

  50. kenny says:

    LBJ is no where near as good as Jordan was Jordan won 6 championship MVPs 10 scoring titles 6 MVPs and deserved all of them and more and didn’t ever loose in the Finals more ppg better shooting percentige and free throw percentive and 5 defence player of the year James 2 championships and they were riged 1 Finals MVP lost in the finals 2 times and olnly has 3 MVPS and olnly deserved 2

    • LBJ fan for life says:

      Do you research before commenting, Get your facts straight before mouthing off buddy!
      You know nothing about Basketball, maybe youre from Miami

  51. JohnnyC says:

    I love all this talk about mj being better because of rings…and he didn’t lose in the finals lol,first of all players don’t win championships teams do, and mj clearly had unquestionably better teams than lebron… Makes it a little bit easier to win when you have the best team don’t you think? Lebron brought pretty much mediocre teams to the finals and lost to way better competition especially his first trip to the finals… Robbert horry never lost in finals either and his record is better than mj a perfect 7for7 i think…bill Russell has 11 rings and he is never even in the conversation…Kareem has 6rings and 6mvps also better than mj…so all this talk about rings is just silly because I’m pretty sure no one thinks Robert horry or Derrick fisher is better than lebron..teams win championships not players and mj was just lucky to have a great teams coach gm and so on..lebron has never really had as much firepower as mj not even close..lebron has never even had a good coach yet IMO ….to me lebron is the better basketball player without a doubt . Because when I think about it, if you take lebron off the cavs team that went to the finals and replace him with mj, they would never get there…same could be said about the cavs this year and the lebron heat teams..mj just can’t do all the things that lebron does and guard all the positions he had to guard.if mj were on those teams it would probably look like the early bulls before they got pippen,mj putting up ridiculous numbers but can’t get his team over 50.

    • Stan says:

      Completely agree, also the overall talent and fitness level of the NBA has gotten better than it was back then and coaches have evolved strategies. But I guess since the haters are so focused on rings Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Steve Nash and John Stockton are all worse than Matt Bonner, Luke Walton, Kenny Smith and Cory Joseph.

  52. Bentot says:

    I grew up as a solid MJ fan..but lets not talk about the rings andt speaking of basketball abilities. I can see LBJ is better than MJ defensively and offensively. LBJ can guard and play all 5 position which leave MJ playing and guarding only the 2 spot. LBJ has more all around game compare to MJ. MJ needs the type of Rodman, Pippen and Kerr while LBJ plays like Rodman, Pippen and Kerr. No offense to MJ die hard fans but during his era only him plays that level of basketball but now look at the hype of play from the likes of Curry, Westbrook, a 6″10 rolling thunderly Durant and lot more. If MJ will play this era outside Phil Jackson he will not get a ring. But look at LBJ he can win MVP every year if he wanted to. to any team and any coach About the rings why cant everybody see that like Kobe, MJ can not win a ring with out Phil Jackson. He did not get a piece with Doug right.

  53. Dan says:

    Do we really have to suffer through this ridiculous question over and over again? LeClumsy is no match for Jordan on any planet or in any era.

  54. Nakul says:

    About Lebron James being better than MJ, are you kidding me? Look at the caliber of teams he plays week in week out and even in the playoffs , in the Eastern Conference and then compare that to the star studded rival teams MJ played against. For me the image of Lebron clutching his kness in exhaustion in Game 3 of the EGF says a lot. Firstly, if it was a Russell Westbrook or Kobe Bryant taking those many shots, despite finishing with a triple double, people would be quick to point to the shots attempted stat and not patting them on the back like they are doing with Lebron. Secondly, petty as it might seem to some, he was exhausted playing against a team depleted of their key offensive player who was ejected in the first half and yet he struggled, albeit successfully, to carry his team over the line. That is something Superstars are expected to do.

  55. GameTime says:

    I thought Howard would be ejected, but looking at the shove by Bogut I understood why. That’s easily a flagrant one since the ball was dead. The refs showed leniency, but the league might not and it’s highly possible Howard is suspended for the next game.

  56. Miguel Castro says:

    Michael Jordan was robbed of at least 2 more MVPs. Retired for 2 years, missed all but 18 his second season. Played less playoff games due to format and dominance. LeBron could win MVP every year if he wanted. You could say the same for Jordan. No debate for me. MJ at least for now.

  57. Yuri says:

    Lebron better than MJ??? the person who dare to say that is definitely defecating from his mouth…

    MJ got 6 titles in 6 finals, didn’t move for a team with several superstars to win title, set absurd records in his carreer through the most revealing legends decade on the league, He beated noneless than Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Olajuwon, and despite loosing for Larry Bird, he drops 63 points on a playoff game against bird and his monstruous team. MJ took basketball to another level.

    Please, who says Lebron is better, didn’t got out off diapers. That’s just ridiculous to argue, sorry!

  58. Jordan was marketed as the best of his time.

    And now Lebron is being marketed as the best of his time.

    Truth be told, being the best is about being sold as the best. And the people buying into it.

    Why else does Dr. J never get the proper hype for being Jordan’s prototype?
    What about Bill Russel’s 11 rings? Jordan played a lot of years before getting his first ring.
    What about Wilt Chamberlin’s stats? Or Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s stats?
    What about Magic Johnson’s historic greatness getting cut short by AIDS?

    What about the fact that the man we all buy into as the best basketball player ever, was NOT a basketball lifer? Quitting basketball not once, but TWICE.

    At least with Kobe being a near Jordan clone, Kobe never quit on basketball. And he still hasn’t.

    Jordan wasn’t perfect. He was only marketed as such.

    And Lebron is the same.
    It’s all about how well you can sell it, and how long you can sell it for.

    • The other thing I think people forget, when Jordan quit basketball, popularity took a hit.

      Now there’s no denying Jordan was already great, but the impact of his quitting showed how important he was to the NBA from an economic standpoint.

      That’s why when he came back, the NBA and the media capitalized on it again. And he was again sold as the best, although there were other superstars doing great things, Jordan got the most recognition.

      Maybe if Jordan had never left, people would have had a chance to get bored of him and other superstars could be favorites for a while.

  59. Steve says:

    Don’t think lebron is better than MJ yet. but I would take Lebron over Kobe anyday.Lebron is a all around player that has leadership, basketball IQ, and most importantly can win games. If i am only allow to have one superstar, I would pick jordan or lebron because they could at least get me into the playoffs.

  60. Thomas says:

    For all of you that are saying “Jordan won 6 titles, and therefore he is the best”… I think you guy’s need to read up on Bill Russell. He won 11 championships. Is he (almost) twice as good as MJ? Robert Horry won 7 titles. Is he better than MJ too? Wait, according to your logic… Jud Buechler is better than Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley too… cause he won a title while Miller and Barkley didn’t. Please use your brain a little and stop equating number of championships to being the best, because MJ is nowhere near the top by that logic. If you’re gonna say he’s the best, present a stronger case cause the championship rationale is a losing battle.

  61. Tony says:

    This must be a joke. LJ far from MJ. On the court, I cannot see the same skills/creativity. Kobe… maybe comparable.

  62. Drago says:

    I think Lebron is going to lose in the finals against Golden state they are healthy and have more star power than Atlanta.Better than MJ sure why not win 6 rings and you are the GOAT.

  63. brian says:

    there will only be one Michael Jordan, Lebron james may be the best player on the planet today his attitude and personality will always make him second to MJ. He may be a nice guy on the outside but MJ never put down his coach by saying a scratch that off and told him to give me the ball. You may deserve it and probably the best person to have the ball at crunch time but act like superstar dont just play like one. When you add greatness on and off the court it makes you supreme and that to my opinion is what MJ had. LB really needs to start learning what he says when he talks to the press some things are better kept in the locker room if you know what i mean.

  64. Jat Stone says:

    Jordan, man. Lebron has gone to the Finals 5 times and won 2. Championships are not easy to win and Jordan won convincibly all six of his. There is not doubt about it. If you are going to mention Lebron then add Kobe to that list, but Jordan still is the best ever by a landsile.

  65. Benno says:

    Not sure if I think Dellavedova is “dirty” but he is most definitely reckless. Throws himself at players knees and then feigns surprise when they retaliate?

    How many Hawks will he injure before Adam Silver says “enough”? Of course, he is LeBron’s guy, so he’ll probably get away with it and the Cavs will keep saying he “hustles” or plays with “energy”.

    HE ENDED KYLE KORVER’S SEASON! And then crashed into Horford’s knees. All this after his little leg lock on Gibson. Enough already. The guy puts others at risk. Shouldn’t put a guy like that on the court unless he can demonstrate a little body control.

  66. Linda says:

    Is LeBron better than MJ? Let me ponder that – uh heck no! MJ took the game to a whole new level. LeBron hasn’t done that and probably won’t because he’s already beginning to adjust his game for the injuries he’s dealing with.

  67. Benno says:

    Puh-leeze with the “Is LeBron better than MJ?” talk! Until LeBron wins a bunch of more rings, lets not even talk about it. MJ did not lose in the Finals. Also, MJ had tougher competition in the East just to GET to the Finals. This years Bulls or Hawks are nothing compared to the Bad Boy Pistons MJ competed with.

    LeBron is great. So is Tim Duncan. Kobe. Hakeem. Kareem. Magic. Bill Russell. So were a handful of others. LeBron is willing his team onward. But hype is hype. Every generation thinks their player is the best. Michael Jordan: best ever. Period.

  68. kev1921 says:

    Not again the MJ debate… please 6-2. Double Threepeat. Won against hall of famers that would dominate today.

    MJ willed his teams to whatever he wanted to. Lebron needed 2 buddy all stars to take him over the hump! Let him get those rings, then we talk again

  69. miguel says:

    Jordan is the best ever, better numbers in less seasons.

    LEBRON IS GREAT ATHLETE AND GOOD BASKETBALL PLAYER….
    JORDAN WAS GREAT BASKETBALL PLAYER AND GOOD ATHLETE….

    Lebron is better for business!! (NOW). CURRY COMMING SOON!!!

    “I AM NOT A HATER”

  70. Truth says:

    Honestly, these NBA-wide attempts to dethrone MJ are sad… First they build him up, make loads of cash off him (MJ that is), then try to put him aside for this lack-luster “KING”. Pathetic… NEWS FLASH, there isn’t a greatest ever because everyone has taken bits and pieces of each others game. Each of the greats say this. Hell, LeBron wants to be considered better than the guy who’s number he wears.. Ridiculous. Oh, and btw NBA, everybody knows the TRUTH! So you might want to stop annoying them. Holla!

  71. rob says:

    lebron has a little more hair on the head, shoot better 3s, that’s all. generic superstar reigning on a poor decade, waiting the new jordan

  72. Celticgreen BRD says:

    LeBron better than Jordan?

    NO

  73. Brian.CA says:

    JUST STOP ! Eastern Conference is trash. Don’t compare LeBron to MJ(GOAT) or even Kobe.

    LeBron is one of the best, but clearly he’s MOST OVERHYPED ATHLETE IN SPORTS HISTORY.

  74. James2c says:

    This MJ/Lebron conversation is so overrated. As great as Lebron is, his road to the finals generally over his career has been a cake walk. This year for example, he is playing arguably the weakest eastern conference in NBA history. You can make similar cases for prior finals trips for him. This year Cavs would not make it to the Finals in the West. Regardless, MJ 6-0 Finals & Lebron 2-3. We should first compare him to others like Kareem & Magic, etc who have multiple rings and similar pedigree.

  75. Jesse says:

    JR gets 2 games suspension for blindly hitting a player. Guy from Boston gets 1 game suspension for dislocating K. Love shoulder. T Gibson no suspension for kicking a player. A Horford no suspension for elbowing a player. D Howrd no ejection for purposely hitting a player. The officiating is so inconsistent, the is ridiculous. This truly needs to be addressed.

  76. Bodjee says:

    Horford dragged Dellavedova down and then dropped the elbow on him. I think he should be suspended for 1 game. If not, then NBA should never suspend another player for being ejected. If they really reviewed the incident, they should have seen that Dellavedova did not initiated contact with Horford and he did not deserved a technical foul.

  77. LeBron says:

    @mikeenglish I agree with you about the inconsistencies but at the end of the day all I truly want to see is the end of this street ball mentality. I know it is the playoffs and these are grown men but we are talking about careers that are ultimately being shortened due to the fact that certain players are unable to use reasonableness when they play. I enjoy watching LeBron play far too much to allow Pero Antic to ruin things for me. http://www.gamejames.com/2015/05/lebron-james-gets-fouled-hard-by-pero.html

  78. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    King James… Curry MVP…

  79. Tone says:

    Did anybody get Kevin Love’s opinion of Lebron closing in as the greatest ever? Lebron needs alot more than a couple championships to be considered. MJ is the greatest.

  80. William says:

    LeBron likely headed to his 5th finals in a row.

    The team he took to the finals last year dd not make the playoffs this year.

    The team he will take to the finals this year has not made the playoffs since he left.

    Dude’s a pretty good player!!

  81. EnglishMike says:

    I can’t help but compare Horford’s flagrant 2 with Howard’s flagrant 1. Inconsistent?

    • Marky says:

      Horford got a flagrant 2 because the elbowing was not a necessary movement but he still did it maybe because he didn’t like what Delly did. Howard’s elbowing was part of his motion.

  82. cfwood says:

    How is the elbow on Bogut not on this? I’ll be surprised if Howard is there next game or the first game of next season.