LeBron: On His Way To G.O.A.T.?

Editor’s note: As the NBA embarks this week on a new season, Miami Heat superstar LeBron James stands as the league’s most iconic figure. In today’s final installment in our three-part series on James and his place in the league, we weigh in on where James stands in the greatest-of-all-time argument.

In Part One, we looked at the people who have helped shape James into an international marketing force and a difference-maker for at-risk kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. And in Part Two, we examined how James’ on-court game has changed since he burst onto the scene straight out of high school in 2003, and how his early failures shaped the player he is today. 


VIDEO: The LeBron Series — G.O.A.T?

Perhaps it would all be different if LeBron James had not come to our doorstep prepackaged and hermetically sealed, all but tied up with a pretty ribbon and bow.

The Chosen One.

We generally like to pick our own heroes and villains, so as the media hype machine began to serve him up when he was still a teenager too young to drive to school at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s in Akron, Ohio, it was only natural that some would instinctively turn up their noses as if he were a heaping serving of broccoli.

Wilt Chamberlain was an overwhelming, almost indescribable giant. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was towering, majestic and aloof. Oscar Robertson was angry and unshakable. Magic Johnson wore an endearing, embracing smile that could light up a thousand nights. Larry Bird was a good ol‘ boy caricature come to life. Michael Jordan was transcendent as a competitor and a cultural icon.

Yet now, almost despite all that hype, the argument — joining so many others that seem to constantly swirl around him — can be made that James is indeed on track to go down as the best of them all.

Just the mere suggestion that he could one day soon lay claim to the label of Greatest of All Time — G.O.A.T., as it’s known in the vernacular — will bring baas of protest from the anti-LeBron crowd. They’ll call him a preener, a whiner, a shrinker, a choker, a deserter, a pretender, a poseur.

And yet the resume James has compiled in his first decade in the NBA has not only lived up to the advance billing, it’s exceeded it.

Consider that if he were to fulfill the expectations of most of the experts and be voted the league’s Most Valuable Player again in 2013-14, James would join Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Bird on the short list of three-in-a-row MVP winners. If the Heat play for the championship again next June and he is named MVP of The Finals, he would equal a feat only achieved before by Jordan (twice) and Shaquille O’Neal.

And if James were to claim his third straight regular season MVP, third straight championship and third straight Finals MVP, it would be a first in NBA history.

“He has four MVPs already, before he’s 30,” said long-time foe and close friend Jermaine O’Neal. “He has a lot of confidence and I think the sky’s still the limit as long as that same drive is still there. And I think it will be. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. Sometimes, after the first MVP or whatever the achievements are, people tend to cut the motor down a little bit. But I was talking to people and they said he’s better than he was last year. Pretty difficult to be.”

A desire to get better



VIDEO: LeBron goes global with visit to China

That drive, to constantly put down every outside challenge and thrive on the fires from within, forged Jordan’s reputation as the ultimate big game warrior, practice scrapper, teammate-fighter and I’ll-gamble-on-anything competitor. Jordan would let rivals see the perspiration on that gleaming shaved head, but he’d never shed a drop of sweat from worry or doubt.

James is different. He’ll sit in front of his locker or behind a post-game microphone and admit that he fell short and pledge to do better.

Jordan entered the league as a tongue-wagging, gravity-defying, splay-legged phenom that played with the frisky abandon of a colt that leapt the corral fence. He gave us Air Jordan and taught us to fly while he played basketball in the movies with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. He sold sneakers, burgers and sports drinks. Everybody wanted to be like Mike.

James’ arrival was more of an orchestrated corporate sales pitch, pushing a man-child built like a locomotive that barreled down the tracks on the strength of a $100-million endorsement deal with Nike. It seemed a boardroom-drawn image. His game, early on, seemed more manufactured muscle than magic. No one could be King James.

Yet LeBronmania delivered in both form and function. Immediately. He became only the third rookie in NBA history — behind Robertson and Jordan — to average more than 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.

“I thought he’d be OK. I thought he’d have a little bit of a learning curve,” said former NBA forward and current Chicago Bulls assistant coach Ed Pinckney. “But I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone come in with that much hoopla and perform the way he did.

“Magic and Bird, similar. But they were older. Not a high school kid. He came in and hit the ground running.

“I asked Earl Monroe pretty much the same question. And he said, ‘There was a time when a high school kid coming into the NBA, physically, could just not play. Maybe he’d have a good game or two, but not sustain it.’ Where was the rookie wall [for James], all of that? He just busted right through it.’ This was Earl Monroe saying it.

“For an 18- or 19-year-old kid coming in to the league and performing the way he did, on a nightly basis with all the pressure of handling a team, I think he handled it great and he continues to.”

James’ offensive repertoire keeps expanding, and his four MVP awards in the past five seasons are matched only by Russell (1961-65). Another championship this season would give him three by the age of 29. Jordan won his third at 30.

Tuning out the noise

James has been delivering at such a high level, under such intense scrutiny so consistently and for so long,  that many are expecting a fall. Surely, The Decision to jump from Cleveland to Miami and all that came with it still resonate for many who will never let go of the grudge. He is reminded of it every day in a social media world of instant and constant criticism, where every missed shot and misplay is bitterly dissected. That did not exist for Jordan.

Another debate may still rage — mostly out of Los Angeles — but the truth is, James has clearly surpassed Kobe Bryant as the best player in the game today.

“Nobody with a brain would even begin to argue that,” said one league executive.

James’ Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 31.6 last season was more than three whole points better than runner-up Kevin Durant (28.3) and was the second-highest single season ever behind 31.7 by Jordan in 1987-88.

In the annual NBA.com poll of the league’s general managers, James was an 89.7 percent choice as the single player they would sign for their team and a 66.7 percent pick as the player that forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments. He was voted most athletic and most dangerous in the open floor.

Still, James’ game has its flaws, at least according to some. In an ESPN the Magazine poll of 26 anonymous players, Jordan was named by 88 percent as the man they’d want taking the final shot with the game on the line. Bryant received 12 percent. James didn’t receive a single vote.

James, though, is universally regarded as more of a natural playmaker than those two, more able to draw defenses to him and more willing to make the pass to a teammate for a better shot.  Former coach Jeff Van Gundy told ESPN:

“When I think of a closer, it’s a guy who can beat you with the pass or the shot. I’d take LeBron James to close it for me.”

New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham recently told Dan Patrick in a radio interview: “If there’s any player in the NBA who could come and be a complete superstar in the NFL, it’s LeBron. He would be the man.”

Jordan vs. James

If Jordan is considered the G.O.A.T. now, James can’t be far behind. The career stat lines of Jordan and James are strikingly similar. And James is only 28, perhaps just entering the meat of his career.

A young LeBron James meets Michael Jordan in 2003

A young LeBron James meets Michael Jordan in 2003
(David Liam Kyle/NBAE)

James has averaged 27.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.9 assists, shot 49 percent from the field and 40.6 percent on 3-pointers for his career.  Jordan’s numbers were 28.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 49.7 from the field and 32.7 on 3s. Jordan was a lockdown perimeter defender in his day and James is an elite defender at four positions. James is bigger, stronger, much more of a brute force than Jordan, but still can soar with a jaw-dropping 40-inch vertical leap. Jordan was the long, rangy, sinewy embodiment of the ultimate basketball player. James is an athletic anomaly, a virtual tank with the speed of a motorcycle.

As much as the anti-LeBron crowd will protest, it is probably already down to just a three-man debate. And, if you set aside Chamberlain’s gargantuan feats in terms of sheer numbers and records set from a long ago era as too far off the charts to even compare, it comes down to James and Jordan.

Jordan clearly has the edge in the ability to simply pile up points, get buckets when they’re needed. But the analytics crowd will tell you that today’s game is about being able to do more than score. James is the better passer, rebounder, has deeper range and can defend more places on the court.

Jordan dragged his teammates along to championships with the sheer force of his talent and his will. James plays a style that actually makes his teammates better.

On the all-time list of PER, Jordan sits at No. 1 with a career 27.91 rating. James is second at 27.65 and closing.

Want more numbers? How about the Cavaliers winning three out of every four games (61-21) with James in 2009-10 and then losing three of every four (19-63) the next year without him. That’s having an impact.

For all the credit he gets raising his performance for the Heat in back-to-back title drives over the past two seasons, it may have been James lifting an otherwise anemic Cavs roster onto his shoulders and carrying them to the 2007 NBA Finals that was most Herculean.

“Jordan was never able to do anything like that with those Bulls teams before [Scottie] Pippen arrived,” said an NBA general manager.

“I would have to say Bryant and Jordan had that same ability to defend from the perimeter spots, score and make plays from that position, but they never put up the assist numbers that he has,” said Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. “He’s more of a hybrid-type guy and you don’t normally think of all-time great players as being hybrid-type players. The truth is he’s Magic Johnson, but much faster and much more dynamic athletically. Really all that’s left to be determined is how many championships he’s going to win. That’s an honest assessment.”


VIDEO:
Would LeBron James have been a star in the NBA of the 1990s?

The measure of the G.O.A.T.

If it’s the counting of the rings that matters, then James still trails Jordan’s six and Bryant’s five. But again, he is only 28. At that age Jordan had just one.

And, really, should that be the measure anyway?

“When anybody says you measure guys by rings, that’s a crock of [bleep],” said Robert Horry, who won seven with the Rockets, Lakers and Spurs. “That’s like saying I’m better than Karl Malone, I’m better than Charles Barkley or Patrick Ewing. We all know that ain’t true. You can’t go by that. You can’t measure guys by their rings. It’s just ignorant. Having said that, I don’t exactly think LeBron’s done collecting them yet.”

After settling in comfortably in Miami over the past two years, embracing more of the role of alpha dog and learning to enjoy the responsibility and reap the rewards, it is not hard to envision a more relaxed, more confident James climbing higher.

“The story is how far LeBron has come in the last two years on every level,” said TNT analyst and former Jordan teammate Steve Kerr. “Where he was three years ago with The Decision, his play in the Finals against Dallas, the way he handled the post-game interview after Game 6 and the comments he made? He was really at a low point.

“What he has done the last two years is remarkable. He handles himself with grace and class. He’s elevated his game. He is now a champion, he carries himself like one. I think it’s fantastic to see the resilience, particularly in modern society with what he faces. I love what LeBron has done and I have a ton of respect for him. He’s on his way.”

Perhaps closer already to the top than so many think, or will admit.


VIDEO:
LeBron James’ top 10 plays from 2012-13

262 Comments

  1. CanPeopleRead says:

    “Thank you! There are others with more accolades such as Kobe,Tim Duncan & Kevin Garnet.”

    ok. robert horry > jordan

    wait, he completely said that the comparison is idiotic.

    lebron haters keep hating. no human being is as athletic as he is and he’s winning rings, it’s a question of how many.

    just think about the fact lebron can play four positions at an elite level. it’s pretty easy to overlook that fact, huh?

    kobe lovers will love kobe. jordan lovers will just bash until lebron breaks every record in the book. keep up with the self justifications. i don’t know how people do it.

  2. sanjay says:

    this is a crucial year for lebron, if he wants to compete to be the ‘GOAT’. Win this year, he is well on his way. He has been bit clumsy in these earlier games in ball handling. Good new is that the 3 point guys are right on the money. ray, battier, chalmers, cole and may be beasley all can knock it down!

  3. Bryan says:

    The only reason I watch basketball is because I can still witness the legends of the past playing. Duncan, Bryant and even throw in Garnett. Without these guys the NBA is trash, and sadly its already going downhill.

    P.S. I dont like Garnett cause he has a horrible attitude but he’s honestly a decent player and played in the 90′s era.

  4. iamjonats says:

    anybody notice how pathetic lebron flops? just think. he can guard the low post against bigs and not get pushed back. but when running on a screen from a opposing player, gets knocked down on the floor? wow!!!

  5. Isaac says:

    “If Jordan is considered the G.O.A.T. now…”
    This article is an insult to ALL true basketball fans. To mention LBJ in the same sentence with MJ because of “stats”. Stats only don’t make MJ the GOAT, it his overall impact on the game of basketball on and off the court..

    You can say he’s (LBJ) is the best in the league today, but to go too far and say he’s close to heing the goat is beyond insulting to everything MJ did for the game.

  6. David says:

    I don’t know where he got his information but Jordan didn’t average 28.3 ppg 5.9 and 4.9. All this numbers were wrong. Jordan played his position like he was supposed to, he actually averaged 30.1 which went down from 31.5 when he played with Washington. That average goes up to 33.4 in the playoffs, both all time highs. Lebron had 37 in te finals clincher and everybody blows him for it but its only 4 more points than Jordan’s entire playoff career average. Lebrons last two years have been great but it’s a ten year career. Don’t forget about him being swept by the spurs and him shooting brick after brick, don’t forget about him quitting on his team against te celtics, don’t forget about Dallas and dirk destroying him. All that has to e taken into consideration. There is a fine line between the very best ever and Jordan had no quit in him. He was the all time alpha dog and anybody that watched both and wouldn’t pick Jordan to win a game doesn’t know basketball. Lebron might rate out higher in a nfl combine type evaluation but head to hea when it’s time to nut up and win in the 4th quarter, Jordan stands alone. However if put lebron in the 2-6 conversation with bird Kareem Russell magic an wilt and wouldn’t argue about the order

  7. RootandOffspring says:

    First of all, I don’t even like the fact the LBJ is self proclaiming himself to be striving to be the greatest. You let you skills, personality and charisma do that for you. He need to keep it humble and then you can be the greatest. As a matter of fact, he’s never gonna be the greatest. MJ is the greatest of all times not only based on the attention he brought to the game as a global force, but also based on his personality, poise and charisma on the basketball court. MJ won numerous games at the buzzer, has 6 rings and still revered as a basketball wizard, He did all of this with one TEAM. A team he grew with and turned into champions. LBJ is in a championship team that was bought. Period. And his skills may be great, but they are pretty generic and lack the magic of MJ. There is nothing that LBJ is doing now or will ever do that match the skillset and basketball charisma and maturity for MJ. He’s not even close to Kobe Bryant, Journalists are just making noise about LBJ and it’s so annoying to do all these kinds of comparisons. It is very disrespectful to the NBA legends.

  8. Tim Nalley says:

    For me its hard to say Lebron is the GOAT before he is done playing. This much I will say. We have never seen a player with his size and atheleticism ever. I used to be critical of James for not working more on the deficient parts of game, but he has addressed that as he has learned what it takes to win. He had one of the worst jumpers I have ever seen coming out of HS. but, last season he made over 40% and rarely took bad shots from deep. He STILL gets criticized for not going to the hole enough and settling for a jumper, which, in certain situations, I agree, but he has gotten so much better at that aspect as well. Also, when he goes to the hole he FINISHES like no other.
    I encourage you all to go to NBA.COM and look at Player Stats/shot charts. Its a VERY eye opening stat set. Of Lebrons 1380 FG att’s last season, 744 where taken inside 8 feet, and, he made an AMAZING 72.4% of those shots! Compare that to even the big men in the league and not only did he take more shots from the lane, he made a much higher pctg of those shots than even guys like Howard and the other centers in the league! I think Howard, who ONLY shoots from the lane made 62% of his FG’s from there! Then when you take into the debate that he also was 5th in the league overall in fg% trailing only Howard and guys like Javalle McGee, and Jordan from the Clippers who I remind are all inside guys who never take jumpers. 4th in the league in scoring without even really trying to score a bunch as well. Now, Kevin Durant is my favorite current player, but as great as he is, I dont think he will be able to over take James as the best player because he doesn’t have some of the natural abilities that James has. Yes, he can match him rebounding, he is a better shooter in all phases, but, James has a knack for making everyone else better and making the game easier for them. Ray Allen goin to Miami has probably added 2 or 3 years to his career playing with James.
    Now, does all of this make him the GOAT? No, not yet, not imo. Jordan is still the best individual player I have ever seen, Magic Johnson is the guy I would want to start my franchise with, Larry Bird is the guy I want shooting the ball in clutch moments and Kobe is the guy I want driving players on the floor to be their best. IF Lebron keeps getting better and gets a couple more rings, then maybe, but right now, I think its premature

  9. Dennis says:

    The fact that you had to leave your team to go win championships will always bite any hall of famer in the back, James will be in the hall of fame but as the best of all time? Athletic wise yes. Skill wise? no. Jordan was 6’6 with less the weight doing more than LB has done so far, I will not put a stamp on LB because I respect his hard work and the guy is really talnted but most of his points are from him pile driving to the basket with no technique or style. He is a psychical specimen but to be considered the Greatest ever you also need to be fearless. Competitors dont deny a one on one against another competitor public. That shows weakness. True ballers nba or street will contest the one on one with pride. For Larry and Magic that was a no brainer even till now. Specially not bringing up Michael. Another key factor is.. consider the fact that you have almost 5 first round picks playing for the heat right now already. Most nights Lb doesnt carry that team, Jordan in all the finals was the difference if the game was lost or won. Lb is amazing and will mudder anyone but as being the greatest of all time. At least right now that just sounds like a bored generation hyping a truely amazing player up. Let LB talk for himself. But as of now he lacks mentality and style. He does enough but give him time to florish he is only 28. On another note lol if you hate mj stop buying his shoes lol

  10. julie says:

    NICE ARTICLE!! :)

  11. 73RAMS says:

    YO: DANIEL ROBERTS; YOUR COMMENT/CORRECTION ON THE 11 RUSSELL RINGS SMACKS OF SOMEONE WHO HAS DONE NOTHING MORE THAN READ A SPORTS SECTION FOR A LIFETIME.

  12. Freedom fighter says:

    Blinebury got his stats wrong as per basketball reference.com. He has compared Jordans per 36 mins stats to lebrons career stats when he is playing 40 mins and 3 pt % of last season(lebrons best season 3 %) compared to jordans overall career 3 pt %. He could have compared jordans best 3 % season in 94 when he shot 50 % to lebrons best 40% last year. Jordan hands down all day for his 3.3 points better scoring and higher field % and .6 better steals when both based on 36 mins. These numbers would go up when over 40 mins. Also LeBron would have more trouble on perimeter with Jordan then vice versa. Love LeBron he may end up coming 2nd of all time or even 1st if he keeps getting better but as of now. It’s easily Air Jordan

  13. nadeemramjan says:

    LBJ….GFOAT…Greatest Flopper of All Time…you all saw his antics last night right?

  14. genius says:

    The Cleveland argument is so stupid. If the organisation is incompetent and cannot build a champion quality team there’s nothing even the greatest player can do. To win a championship you need a good manager, a good team and that requires a good owner and GM that make the correct long term decisions.
    Even GOAT can’t do all those by himself. That’s why Lebron had to go and that’s why leaving Cleveland shouldn’t be an argument against him.

  15. Dandy says:

    Again and Again….what are kind of Notification is this….common if kobe is playing right now, i know what will be the title of this campaign James is better than MJ and Kobe……lol hahahah…Have some respect to the other players instead!!!!!! what are the whole IDEA of this Story?….ridiculous ……If i can remember during the time of KOBE, IVERSON and T-Mac. they were saying IVERSON is better than KOBE or T-Mac his greatness over KOBE….lol whata f…..and now James over MJ and Kobe…Have some Respect!!!! anyway you cant play basketball either! a sort of advice just watch there game and expound imagination on how this player evolve to their respective team!!!

  16. Phillip says:

    There is no such thing as a greatest player of all time for a player is measured by his team, but there is a greatest player at his position and Lebron is not even that yet.

  17. Blonde Ambitionz says:

    Two rings don’t mean nothing! Michael Jordan got 6 and majority was back to back.Kobe is the closest i’ve seen to GOAT! That’s keeping it REAL!

  18. Ned says:

    LBJ is never to be compared to MJ.
    First, MJ did not leave the chicago bulls and join a team where there were superstars already. Imagine MJ going to the Jazz at the time or the Suns. The fact that a team like miami that has LBJ, Bosh, Wade, Allen,…. there is no way to even start comparing LBJ to MJ. If he had stayed at Cleveland, than it would’ve been a fair comparison.
    Second, MJ is he had not left the NBA for 2 years in 94-95, i am sure he would have won 4, 5, or even 8 consecutive championships; even charles barkley said it.
    Third, looking at the physical body build up of MJ and LBJ, there is a huge difference even in size. While MJ is the art of basketball, LBJ is nothing but a scoring machine (and he has yet to pour 50+ points in a single game). LBJ is like a beast on steroids! It’s like Shaq; he does not get credit for being born so huge and tall. Often he used his body but could never shoot the ball, so he doesnt get credit for something God gave him. It’s how he uses it that matters.
    Even if one is to talk numbers and statistics, I am pretty sure LBJ has some catching up to do with MJ knowing that MJ came into the league at a an older age than LBJ.
    Last but not least, You dont get credit for winning a championship beating teams like the bulls without their superstar rose. It’s like bragging to win a championship against the bulls without MJ. Also, the spurs lost the game due to a coaching mistake. You dont take out Duncan with 28 seconds left in the game! and you foul LBJ before he gets to the 3 point line! get him to the foul line and have them foul you with less than 20 secs left. So many strategic mistakes done on the part of the spurs coaching staff, not because of LBJ.
    Dont get me wrong, LBJ is a great player, but not as great as MJ. If you want to watch basketball for the pleasure of the game, you watch MJ everytime; Kobe as well. If you want to watch for the winning and competition, you can watch LBJ.

  19. bare solez says:

    GOAT DO NOT FLOP. LOL

  20. jr says:

    mj is greatest than ever in nba.. 6 ring. if jordan play on 1994-1995 he got 8rings and 8 final mvp, no one can say labron is greater than jordan, only mj and lj will say that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Damny'all says:

    Guys…MJ reached the finals and got the championship trophy ..NO DEFEAT!!! got it LBJ????

  22. Edub says:

    Lebron isn’t even better than Larry Bird.

  23. Freedom fighter says:

    Magic, bird and Julius erving and half the league were probably bigger and stronger then Jordan so why not say they are better then him if that’s how you judge it in a biased article. Why not mention Jordan was faster, quicker 1st step, jumped higher and more athletic but not bigger and stronger then LeBron. Sekou write me an article. Your my fav writer on here

  24. Karlo Garcia says:

    When it’s all said & done,still have work to do………

  25. Chad says:

    Not of fan of any player in particular. But this article is right on the money.

  26. al says:

    obviously mj is the greatest and the fact is that mj had the greatest playoff production in nba history. lebron is a beast and will probably win 6 more rings but he seems content with just getting by in the playoffs unlike mj who was the leader of every playoff game.

  27. justsayin says:

    GOAT to hell.

    I’ve been ignoring this dude ever since the hatchet piece on McGrady.

    /Note that 9 out of 10 people that believe LeBron is the GOAT weren’t around to watch MJ over the course of his career. They contemptuously discount him out of hand in willful ignorance. Now that’s some haters.

    //NBA.com if you want a good, REFRESHING topic for a blogtable – how about a G Center OAT article.

  28. Batman says:

    Its sad how people try to even compare Wilt to MJ. If anything, compare MJ to Magic and tell me what you get! These great players all reigned in their eras as the best. Now its Lebron’s time. That’s all. It’s not about hating or anything. Facts and numbers don’t lie. There numbers are pretty similar but Lebron has the edge at that stand point. And LBJ and MJ play differently. It all boils down to opinions at the end of the day….Unless you go by numbers..lol

    • Milan says:

      Well said, well said. Maybe it seems sometimes like alot of uf me included wish a time back where we all got this magic from mj in our eyes and mind. Maybe it’s more a wish of let me say goin back to our childhood time, something like that. IT’s true lbj rules all the way down, maybe it’s not on him it’s just how the time has changed, the game is diffrently to the 90′s the nba lost a lil bit of that fame from the 90′s, maybe it’s all that mixxed together, maybe..

  29. croatian says:

    Why you guys trying to tell that he is not good as MJ when stats tell diffrent story?? As the Robert Horry said you cant compere players by the championships.. Are u guys trying to said that lebron not dominating the game like MJ?? And why are you compering him to kobe when they just cant be compered…

  30. NY says:

    I’m a great fan of MJ during his time. If you are going to compare MJ and LBJ NOW, I think MJ still the GOAT but in few year from now and the way LBJ is playing and improving his game every season , I think he will be the better player before he finish his NBA career.

  31. DarylTee says:

    I see a lot of haters on this blog. A lot of close-minded, for sure, die-hard Kobe fans ranting nothing but insensitive remarks. He’s proven both beyond basketball as well as the off-court. It still is too early to judge, but with a blooming career at a faster pace than those before him, couldn’t we be any considerate? He is a close contender after all.

  32. Milan says:

    it’s the same Discussion like all the years people talkin about who’s the greatest in boxing? There is only one so same in bball. Jordan was voted to the athlete of the century in front of ali who placed se3cond. thats all inmy eyes, not only the goat in bball. nope he influenced a whole generation, maeks bball popular to the world, think at the dream team, same to them there’s only one dream team, the crowd the fascination all that. jordan makes people become believers a human can fly, bron not he’s an example of who strength and conditioning works better all over the years to create such an athlete but there are so many others like rose howard westbrook and so on. So to say bron is the greatest mmh in my eyes thats a complete risk, he’s a hell of a player no doubt, got skills, got a mindset, by far nat as close as many wishes to mj’s, and thats my main point take away the comparission of skills scoring stats rings and so on, whats left? mindset, so thats the last point bron looses all the way. mj is an icon of inner strength, was taken by so many other coaches to show what is meant wit believin in ya self, so jordan is way more than a bball player way more, and bron well he’s one of the greatest bballplayers for sure, but more??? make your own decision, for me never ever, you only can write a page on a book once….

  33. chazovsmith says:

    But really that thing “G.O.A.T” has no sense in it and should not be spoken of. Its the same story in soccer with people comparing Lionel Messi to Maradona saying he is the G.O.A.T for soccer. You cant compare this two (LBJ and MJ) simply because they aint from the same era and no matter the amount of stats, huge and physical players that were present during MJ’s time or the technology and fast players that we have now in LBJ’s time, you would never get a correct estimation. They both can be greatest of their time but we can never know who is better amongst them both except there is a perfect situation (same everything; Equal teams, with different players having same abilities, same era…,etc). And this can never happen except there is someone who can turn to GOD and re-creat these players to play in the same era and on different teams. So drop this case and move on!!!

    • Rav says:

      I find myself agreeing with this. It’s just too difficult to compare across eras. Especially for a sport like basketball, which unlike other sports e.g. soccer, has seen so many different eras due to various factors e.g. segregation, rule changes (3pt-line, hand-checking, zone defense).

  34. Bobby Klein says:

    First thing, in just two years, Lebron went from either “big disappointment” or “great choker” to “maybe one day the greatest ever”. The truth lies more in the middle. I guess many observers or former players like Barkley want to redeem himself by praising him over MJ. Since they were too hard on him after “The Decision” and after he chocked in the 01 Finals, they felt stupid after he proved them wrong in the 02 playoffs. Now they play the card “We’ve never seen someone like him before”. So it took those people 8 years to embrace Lebron’s merits and now those same people wanna tell us he might the greatest ?

  35. Swish says:

    LeBron bringing the cavaliers to the finals. I guess i don’t have to tell more. Never did Kobe and Jordan did that on their 2nd year. LeBron got who? Boobie Gibson, Donyell Marshall, Damon Jones, Ilgauskas and Ira Newble. Now compare those lineups please and make me understand why LeBron is so overrated? Sometime you have to swallow that pride for you to reach your goals and that is for him joining the Heat since the Cavs dont want to bring talent to the city. I don’t care if LeBron isn’t the greatest but just don’t call him overrated. I remember Magic, Larry and Jordan had their so called super friends as well, so can’t do without them.

  36. tsk tsk tsk says:

    he doesn’t have anything good to write about…he just want to create a mess in this comment section and see how far this goes….so dumb of him to compare LBJ to MJ..

  37. Luis Brosso says:

    IMO LeBron is a Top-10 All-Time but not the GOAT. My top-10: Jordan, Kareem, Magic, Duncan, Kobe, Shaq, Bird, Chamberlain, Russell, LeBron. But if he continues playing that way and he wins more Rings, more MVP´s, etc. then my top-10 should be changed in order to place him higher. We should wait 8-9 years until he retires.

  38. Skeepe says:

    LBJ is clearly the best right now Kobe is no way near him. He’s a beast and very athletic can who can also shut down the opposing team’s first five. But MJ is still the G.O.A.T. for me. not because of his rings nor his accomplishments but it’s the competition. Back in 90s there were lots of superstar, almost every team has an allstar and a superstar. Plus there were many talented bigs who muscled up their ways in the paint and destroying one another and then there are many elite shutdown defenders plus they were physical. In todays game all the teams are trying to do small lineups so basically bigman who aren’t fully furnished don’t dominate. If shaq, the admiral or the dream played today they will all dominate. MJ was able to become the GOAT because he did dominate in the 80s and 90s with tons of talents. meanwhile LBJ defeated the old spurs and defeated the young thunders. As a fan of basketball I really want to watch lebron playing in the 90s and humiliate jordan so this argument is close. Plus Lebron should put the mentality of all-games-is-a-must-win.

  39. MV3 says:

    Nope. and nowhere near it.

  40. Bobby Klein says:

    Lebron is not even close to Scottie Pippen. Power without grace.

  41. Fabrice says:

    LBJ is the best player nowadays, let’s wait for the future to see what it holds for us. Even when the GOAT had 3 rings, people started to compare him with Magic Johnson and Abdul Jabbar. The point is this season will let us know where he stands in the greatest player of the NBA.

  42. elmer says:

    Go Out After Threepeat

  43. jay says:

    never……………he doesn’t have end game,no clutch shoot!

  44. tarakitok says:

    MJ will always be GOAT.

    most of the time even on opposing team’s court there would be more people watching jordan play rather than their hometeam. ( WTH, but i believe there are UTAH JAZZ fans that still love jordan)

    LBJ is brute force while jordan is about perfection.

  45. Joe Roe says:

    “He is reminded of it every day in a social media world of instant and constant criticism, where every missed shot and misplay is bitterly dissected. That did not exist for Jordan”
    Yeah, and Jordan was not being given the titles of GOAT when he won only 1 or 2 championships. Hypocrites! It’s you the freakin’ media that is hyping him. Let him play his game and once he hangs it up, then we can judge. You media freaks are the one responsible for his confidence levels. Thank you for doing that!
    Whether you like it or not, Kobe will be the standard for LBJ to reach before he’s even brought up in the same sentence as Jordan.
    And try quoting some credible and elite athletes. Unlike you, we know the history of this game. Robert Horry never carried the team for 82 games to reach the Finals. It was rather the dynamic duo. No Shaq, no Kobe = no Laker dynasty = no Robert Horry.

    Anyways, nice try convincing people that you work really hard at your day job! Haha…what a joke

    HEY LEBRON: IF YOU ARE READING THIS, STOP LISTENING TO THE MEDIA. MAKE YOUR OWN CHOICES. STOP LISTENING TO PEOPLE AROUND YOU. DIDN’T WORK. MOVE ON. TIME TO CONTROL YOUR DESTINY ON YOUR OWN. IT’S CALLED BEING A MAN. TRY IT. SEE WHAT HAPPENS

    lol

  46. I think LBJ can be the best player of the game of all time. He’s got the numbers to back it up and the hardware to support that argument. He may be not the Michael Jordan type of player people expected him to be but he is a Magic Johnson who’s more bigger, faster, and stronger. LBJ can be the GOAT if he keeps up the drive and the motivation to be better.

  47. HangtimeBlogTroll2013 says:

    … Kobe 6th-Man

  48. HangtimeBlogTroll2013 says:

    Magic
    Jordan
    LeBron
    Duncan
    Kareem

  49. HangtimeBlogTroll2013 says:

    LeBron needed a coach

  50. NBA-Blog-Troll-2013 says:

    LeBron James vs. Elgin Baylor

  51. Lou says:

    Lebrons game has come a long way since his rookie year.When he came in he was raw.Jordon had the college experiance.You are now seeing Lebron in his prime.Lebron is a better overall player. Period. Even he gets less rings thats the only argument people will have.Lebron makes his whole team better and thats what makes him great.In the end its a team game.

  52. Justafan says:

    All this hate on LJ leaving a team that drafted him to another for a championship…

    I bet MJ would have bolted Ceveland too if they had drafted him instead of Chiagco.

    not to mention Magic etc and all the greats that were lucky to get on famous teams like lakers and celtics. Would they have bolted as well? No, wait they didn’t have to.

  53. NBAfan says:

    If Lebron puts in the same dedication to master his skills like Jordan and Kobe has, then yes….if not, then he’s just a Shaq on the wing…physically dominant players who will see a drastic drop in their effectiveness when they are no longer the fastest, the strongest, the most explosive…or in Lebron’s case, all of the above.

    Lebron’s physical abilities is greatest of all time…until some 7 foot point guard who can move like iverson and jump like carter shows up in 2050.

    As a player..he has MUCH MUCH MUCH to do just to catch up to Kobe…don’t even talk about MJ right now…

  54. The Baron says:

    Anytime a comparison between the two comes up. it’s a good (laughing )one. That’s because there is a whole new generation of LBJ “beleibers” who weren’t born yet, when MJ was ruling the NBA. Therefore they would never understand what MJ did and is still doing today for the world of professional sports. MJ is abrand, a household name even in places where basketball is not the nr. one sports, like overhere in Europe. The people that don’t know anything about bball, they can tell you all about the greatness of MJ. It’s impossible to talk about Jordan if you only want to focus on rings and numbers. What about the countless memorable moments in the history that Jordan made? Jordan is Jordan, and no one will talk about LBJ like they will talk about the G.O.A.T. MJ. Sorry LeBron, but inside your hea(r)t we all now that you also accept Jordan as the greatest of all time in basketball, if not of all professional sports and business. In conclusion there are not enough words to explain MJ’s greatness. We will reserve a place for our brother LBJ in the HOF, but definittely not at the nr. 1 spot, no matter how dominant in this age of time (with obviously lesser competition).

  55. Chow says:

    If you will be the G.O.A.T. you must be on top of the list.. Championships, Stats wise, Achievements and Etc. MJ is not on any category of most in every list he is only number or 3 or 4 or 5.. For example Championships 11 Bill russell.. Jordan is the G.O.A.T. because we watch them play in his era in our time and year.. If Facebook, Twitter or other communication availbale in time of WILT, BILL RUSSELL, OSCAR ROBERTSON, KAREEM, WEST, CELTICS players who won 8 STRAIGHT CHAMPIONSHIPS and Others.. They will say G.O.A.T. is those guys not MJ.. We can easily say its MJ because we are living and watching NBA in his TIME.. G.O.A.T. will never end and will never be G.O.A.T. because they will always come and go..

    • CousinVinny says:

      Well Jordan is on top of Finals MVPs, although there’s an asterick because that award didn’t exist in Bill Russell’s day

      But still 5 League MVPs, 6-0 in NBA Finals, 10 scoring titles, 2x DPOTY, LeBron’s legacy will never look that great.

      Charles Barkley may have picked the wrong players when he said LeBron will never be in his top 5, but he had the right concept

      LeBron can never be a top 5 player of all-time because of all those other all-time greats.

      But don’t worry the media will make sure he’s remembered as a top 5 all-time great by diminishing the legacy of all those other greats

      • Rav says:

        You’re correct to note that Russell didn’t have the Finals MVP in his time, except for his 11th and final Championship, which was the first time the Finals MVP was awarded. In fact, that year it was won by Jerry West of the Lakers, to date the only time a player from the losing team has one.

        If it had been there for his whole career, I think Russell would have won between 7-9. You have to subtract the one West won, of course, but at least one may have been won by Bob Cousy (during Russell’s first few years).

        Also, some players from the losing team might have won it (Bob Pettit, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and West come to mind). It’s unlikely Russell would have won the hypothetical Finals MVP in the two Finals series he lost.

  56. taz says:

    LeBron is a great player don’t get me wrong, but he’s a type of person who will throw people under the bus to get what he wants. If he really wanted to leave a mark in NBA, he should’ve rode it out with Cleveland and made his own mark instead of attempting to compete or better himself against today’s legends.

    Kobe has his own legacy, and MJ recognized him of that. It’s all about recognition and what you truly stand for, and to be honest, hence why I don’t think he would ever be one of the greats regardless of his stats.

  57. CousinVinny says:

    BTW, people need to give Wilt Chamberlain some more respect. No he didn’t play in the Golden Era of Centers, but the 2010s isn’t exactly the Golden Era of centers either.

    Al Horford an out of position PF playing Center is arguably a top 4 Center in the NBA right now. Dwight Howard who is supposedly the best big man in the game, is not even 7 feet. Roy Hibbert for instance has just about as much of a size advantage over his opponents that Wilt had.

    Wilt was 7’1 275 without modern training and nutrition. He could run the floor like a gazelle and had all world stamina. Just look at how many minutes he logged per game, in a faster pace NBA without near the amount of commercial breaks.

    • Rav says:

      He did play with the second-best center of all time, though: Bill Russell.

      Anyway, a lot of people don’t realize just how much of a physical beast Wilt was (especially those who say, “players of today are much stronger and faster so Wilt would only average 13 and 8 in today’s league”).

      Wilt triple-jumped (in college, with – most likely – less training time than most other triple-jumping college/pro athletes of the time) more than 50 feet, when the WORLD record was 53 feet. He shot-putted 56 feet when the world record was 61 feet. He ran the 100-yard dash in 10.9 seconds when the world record was 9.3. In HIGH SCHOOL, he ran the 880-yards in 1:58 when the WORLD record was 1:45. He did all of this at 7’1″ and 250 lbs (these stats may not jump out immediately at anybody who doesn’t know about track & field, but trust me – these are the kind of all-round numbers only top (normal-sized) decathletes reach – absolutely unthinkable for a 7’1″ basketball player).

      So, in addition to being the best basketball player of his time, he may very well have been one of the best decathletes if he had tried that career instead.

      It has been said that Wilt could dunk (or at least finger-roll) from the free-throw line with a 1-step run-up (back in the day, a player was allowed to move around in the semi-circle behind the FT line before taking an FT, but Wilt would just take that 1-step and finger-roll/dunk it in; because of that, they changed the rule to “stay static at the FT line”). Sounds like a myth, but when you combine his speed stats from above with his vertical (here’s a Youtube vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EpVZS26BUs) it begins to sound somewhat plausible.

  58. CousinVinny says:

    The media is the reason why people hate LeBron James. It was the media that organized and orchestrated “The Decision” that LeBron made the poor decision of going along with.

    It is the media that makes these asinine arguments that LeBron is on his way to be the GOAT, when LeBron is one miracle Ray Allen shot away from being 1-3 in the Finals.

    LeBron can NEVER be the GOAT because the true GOAT all have an argument along the lines of numbers or post-season success

    Bill Russell has the most rings. 11 out of 13. Greatest winner ever
    Wilt Chamberlain the most dominant stats ever.
    Kareem has the most combination of rings and MVPs. 6 and 6.
    Magic had the versatility, a guy who could play all 5 positions. Dude started Center in an NBA Finals game. Also 5 rings and like 9 Finals appearances.
    Jordan, we all know his resume. 6-0 in the NBA Finals.

    There is no category where LeBron would have an argument over any of those guys

  59. Sara says:

    Sorry..but there is no one better than Jordan. Jordan left the Nba and came back to win 3 more rings. Simply put, Lebron cant win a ring without 2 all stars to cover his mistakes, such as turning the ball over twice in crunch time against the Pacers.Dude is overhyped. hell, Dirk carried a team by himself with NO other all stars. That’s far more respectable. Stop writing bogus articles about this guy. Its pathetic.

  60. 2cents says:

    Lebron is a greatest NBA active player right now but I don’t think any athlete in any sport should be considered GOAT if they flop the way Lebron does. I used to really like him but I can’t respect any athlete that exaggerates on the court the way he does so obviously, one moment he’s plowing through opponents like a bull & the next minute he’s falling over looking at refs for a foul to be called because someone grazed by him.

    Granted he’s not the only player that commits flopping/exaggerates contact in the league but for someone to truly be GOAT they shouldn’t flop or overact the way he does and still expect to be in a honest conversation about GOAT… and what’s even crazier is that he probably doesn’t even need to flop in the first place.

  61. Chris says:

    I thought Basketball was a team sport and that you don’t win championships by yourself. Otherwise, Jordan would have won every single year, but he needed good players around to do so. This means if we want to compare players, then we compare them on individual stats. Now frankly speaking, who of Jordan, Kove, Magic, Wilt, Bird, James, etc…has the best individual stats? Think about it.

  62. Goodoldays says:

    I miss the days where it was just Wade, someone who uses skill, not just athleticism. I mean seriously, when was the last time Lebron made a nasty crossover? His game is all power, waaaayyy over rated…

  63. Ehsan says:

    Todays, Lebron Is The Greatest but he should grow up more than now! then he can be GOAT !

  64. Newark Representer says:

    Being a ball player myself and having the honor of watching both careers of MJ and Lebron. I almost have to give the edge to Lebron from a basketball stand point. I can remember a few key moments in MJ’S career where he had great moments but Lebron seems to have countless moments of greatness. He’s the total package hands down. Again, speaking from a basketball standpoint and not just a fan, Lebron is already great in my book. There’s nobody close to his accomplishments right now. MJ is great but Lebron is another story in itself. My opinion!

  65. xyz says:

    I’m a fan of Lebron James, but it’s still not fair to compare him to MJ at this point. We can make those comparisons only after Lebron retires. Right now, MJ is still the G.O.A.T. One thing you can’t take away from MJ is that he was doing things on the court that nobody had ever seen before, he really changed the game of basketball and became a global phenom (more than Lebron is at this point of his career). Comparing rings on the other hand is something that you hear constantly in basketball, but you never hear that in soccer, hockey and other sports (I personally find it a little silly, like Horry pointed out)

  66. Zzoe L. says:

    No t sure how they’d play in EACH OTHER’S eras..I do recall the Jordan era as having a lot more defensive-minded players, especially the centers, which aside from maybe Hibbert & Howard, are lacking when compared to guys like Rodman, Dumars, The Alvin Robertsons on the wings, or the Ewings, Eaton’s, Olajuwons ,etc in the middle. Hard to stop a killer fadaway, no matter what age, ear, or level you play, and Jordan had that–as far as him making players around them better, I’ll tie them both in that ability. For NOW I’ll give the slight edge to his airness, but KIng James is right behind him, and when his career’s done, I may change that opinion.

  67. Andrew says:

    He’s not there yet but I think without a shadow of a doubt he will be the GOAT by the time he’s ready to retire. He entered the league with more potential than anyone ever has and he is living up to it already. The rest of his career will only bring more championship rings and MVP trophies and it’s only going uphill.

  68. Tony Moua says:

    I know lebron will retire goat. Last word.

  69. eruohtar says:

    Fran, you didn’t even mention Kobe Bryant. Is that a shot to him?

  70. Jay Cotrone says:

    For Lebron to be the G.O.A.T, he needs to go back to Cleveland and win 4 more titles. Then he is there….

  71. MJ all the way says:

    I couldn’t help but to notice that someone said Jordan wouldn’t have made it without Scottie and Rodman. Lets look back at Bulls 1997 and 1998. Won game 5 in 1997 with the flu and game 6 in 1998 where Scottie was out almost all game because of his back injury. Add to that Rodman wasn’t an all star. LJ has 2 all stars including one MVP player

    The funniest thing is they compare Jordan to Lebron when he was mid 30s while LJ is 28. I would love to c comparison between MJ and LJ in his prime! 1991, 1992? Lets wait and c what LJ can do when he is in 30′s. No MVP, no championship. Won’t be surprised though to c him going to another team to get credit on back of other superstars. Why not? Shaq tried and worked well for him!!!!!

    Nothing bothers more than those glory seekers. No clue about the game but just proud of wearing the Heat jersey!!!!

    • Tony Moua says:

      Dude your stupid jordan went to wizards and what happen. Nothing. Than lets see rodman is not a superstar? Rodman smashes chris bosh any given night on rebounds and defense. Another thing mj was over hyped he still is today. Lebron needs to prove the hype example everyone hates the guy criticizing the guy until he shut them up by doing so. While mj was pure hype. Mj loss to the sheens go look it up on youtube.

    • Tony Moua says:

      And I am a bandwagon fan just like everyone I follow my favorite players. If lebron was on another team im hoppinh there too. I aint trippin. What bout you talking bout mj greatest I guess you bandwagon too so quit hating on the bandwagon because all I see is bunch of hypocritical people because everyone is a bandwagon fan. If you love jordan you one from the start so stfu

  72. Gelo says:

    I think every generation has its own best players. 80′s Magic, Bird 90′s: Jordan 00′s: Kobe, LeBron

  73. Lake show says:

    and LeBron has shot 33% from the 3 point line for his career, not 40%. this writer is completely irrelevant doesn’t even know his stats. smh.

  74. Lake show says:

    Ummm this writer needs to look up his stats one more time, Jordan actually average 30.1 pts per game in his career in the regular season alone, and 33 pts in the playoffs. So scoring wise, Jordan is better than LeBron.

  75. Ryan209 says:

    When he gets his 6th ring we can talk about it until thin if hes so great thin he will get it if not he wont be the goat period

    • Tony Moua says:

      Umm ryan first of all 6 rings lol you dont win 1 ring in nowadays in the nba because every team is a threat not like jordan era only 3 or 4 team is good. Another ryan’s a girls name you should be in the wnba website.

  76. LeBron James says:

    you better vote for me as goat

  77. DWade says:

    Unlike Lebron, Jordan never left his team in chase of a title.. If you ask me, 0 titles in Cleveland is better than 4 titles at a different team.. I may be biased but I think the Heat is still Wade’s team since Lebron went to Miami to join Wade, not the other way around, even though Lebron is clearly better than Wade.. In the end, I still think he’ll go down as the 2nd best in the NBA trailing Jordan because of his decision to leave Cleveland

  78. AGcoleman says:

    Look Let’s be perfectly clear and honest Jordan is still the greatest of all time will always be one of the greatest He helped pioneer and revolutionize the game of Basketball I have the ultimate respect for him but I think Jordan has impacted the game of basketball on such a huge level both on and off the court that it blinds people to the point where they can’t see the truth! The truth is LeBron James is genetic Mutant you have never seen anything like him a 6″8 250 pound guy with the speed of a guard and strength of a center and on top of that he makes his teammates better just check his stats people They are already better than Jordan’s when he was at this stage in his career And if he continues to play the way he has He will in fact become the Goat Like it or not!! The game has to evolve Jordan was a Great Great player but there will always be someone or something that’s greater Evolution!! But don’t get it twisted LeBron still has a lot of work to do period! I’ll leave you with this What really separates LBJ and MJ is Jordan was more mentally stronger than LeBron and he had the heart of ten Lions if LeBron can get that it will be scary!! But the more rings he wins it will only make him hungry for more because he Said it himself he wants to be the greatest IdK but I’m going to Love to watch and see what happens

  79. Jacob says:

    How much do you wanna bet, if LeBron had played as well as he is in Jordans day, and Jordan was the one playing today, people would be saying “its so blasphemous to compare MJ to LJ, theres no way anyone will be better than LJ” Jordan came first and his career is done, lets wait until LeBrons career is over and then lets make the comparison. I’m 16 years old and I feel I have more sense than half of the people commenting, and half of the NBA writers

  80. BagongBayani3000 says:

    Fran just to refresh your memory:

    If Lebron will be the finals MVP on NBA 2013-2014 he will be the 3rd NBA player to have a 3 peat as MVP Finals, first Jordan(twice) as what you have stated, 2nd is Shaq 2000-2002.

  81. Kevin says:

    LeBron has full potential to go down as the best ever, But what everybody fails to realize, is that all the great players need others to win. You bring up Jordan, but he needed pippen, Magic had a starting five of hall of famers, but he also differed to his teammates a lot and made them better, same with Bird, Somebody on here said Lebron is winning with out a superstar, lol really, D wade is a superstar and he differed to Lebron so he can showcase himself and as much as I don’t like Bosh, he is an all-star and elite player. Kobe had shaq and shaq had kobe, they needed eachother. People need to stop comparing players because. Magic and Bird dominated there time, Jordan dominated his time, Kobe dominated his time, now Lebron has his time.

    Lebron is a Hybrid Magic Johnson. Sport Science, dieting, and players bodies are built totally different from back in the day. I will say this I would have any of these guys on my team any day to win championships.

  82. AGcoleman says:

    Look Jordan is still the greatest of all time will always be one of the greatest He helped pioneer and revolutionize the game of Basketball I have the ultimate respect for him but I think Jordan has impacted the game of basketball on such a huge level both on and off the court that it blinds people to the point where they can’t see the truth! The truth is LeBron James is genetic Mutant you have never seen anything like him a 6″8 250 pound guy with the speed of a guard and strength of a center and on top of that he makes his teammates better just check his stats people They are already better than Jordan’s when he was at the stage in his career

  83. jewishmomo says:

    You know Lebron can’t win a title without having 10 allstars on his team..i’m not even sure why this is even open for discussion. Best players of the past couple of decades easy MJ and KOBE. comparison stops there

  84. streboryesac says:

    LBJ is great, GREAT…..but the fact is he had to join 2 of the best players in the league to win Championships, and he couldn’t even do that the first year they joined up. He couldn’t beat the Celtics so he jumped ship BEFORE he was even in his prime (which he obviously is in now). I would’ve loved to see him stay in CLE and beat the Celtics, and win a Championship there, I think he would have because of the Celtics getting old, and people forget how those CLE teams were good. I have no issue with older guys getting together to try and win a championship. But if you are supposed to be the greatest player in the world but you have to take the easy way out, that counts against him in my eyes.

  85. Anitza says:

    Plus, lebron “chased” the rings wich is pretty lame.

  86. zyon says:

    lebron better than jordan

  87. Anitza says:

    The worst article in the history of nba.com
    Just shows again that all the media is on lebron jame’s side.I have only one thing to say, 80% of all the things lebron does on the court is thanks to the athleticism, not as much skill, not like magic or bird or jordan or even kobe or many other players.I wanna see what lebron would do in the court when he will be 35 and then we can talk.Michael is the goat no question, in my opinion and also charles barkley’s opinion kobe in his prime against lebron in his prime, kobe would put lebron to bed, even though you can’t compare them exactly like you can’t compare lebron to jordan.I am not a hater, lebron is a great player, respect for him, he will end his career as a great player but this article is just too pathetic.Actually it maked me laugh for a bit at first.

  88. LBJthaking!!!! says:

    Just to let u guys all kno CLEVELAND CAN’T WIN A THING SINCE 1964 SO U CAN’T EVEN COMPARE THT. CLEVELAND IS THE ONLY TEAM WHO FIRES A COACH AND THEN BRINGS HIM BACK AFTER LAKERS FIRED HIM ALSO SO ENOUGH TALK WITH CLEVELAND. NOONE WULD WIN IT HERE UNLESS THE ORGANIZATION GETS SOME BBALL IQ

    • Leshawn says:

      Turn off the caps lock dude.
      LBJ is just not as good as you think. Relax.

    • Bryan says:

      If you know anything about basketball, you cant start off perfect all the time. My best example would be the spurs. They had guys like Iceman and Rivers, but couldn’t win the playoffs if you payed them. It wasn’t until the late 90′s when the organization turned around with Popovich and Duncan. Now they are the most successful team in the league. So that is no reason to say that cleveland will never turn around. Hell, for all we know the bobcats may take over the nba within the next 2 years.

  89. LIKEMIKE says:

    I respect Lebron and his talent, but what about Kobe? Why is everything about Lebron now days?

  90. Leshawn says:

    Lebron turned off way to many basketball fans. For that reason allone he never will be the GOAT.

  91. I currently have LeBron James at No. 6 on my list. He has a good chance to climb to No. 2 and a small chance to overtake Michael Jordan for the No. 1 spot. The fact that we’re even entertaining the idea that LeBron could become the GOAT is just a testament to his greatness. I never thought I’d see even an outside threat to Jordan’s status so soon.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1795233-10-greatest-nba-players-of-all-time

  92. Brian says:

    Also, for folks who regret, just Youtube MJ, you’ll see..

  93. Leo says:

    This post is nonsense LeBron is very good over all yes, he’s a freak of nature yes but he is in no comparison to Jordan. Jordan won Defensive Player Of The Year award in a league with guys like Kareem, Hakeem, Patrick Ewing and many more all time greats LeBron haven’t won that award as yet neither will he and yet this says he’s better defensively than Jordan. Jordan is better one on one he is the better scorer he have way higher ball IQ and he is better defensively and he have more heart than James you can count on Jordan in the last 2:00 in the game to make magic not LeBron. Jordan avg 30.1 ppg and if he haven’t went to wizards his stats would’ve been like crazy but the media have a job to do and James is who will break under all this pressure mark my word.

  94. Brian says:

    Fran fails to bring up steals. Who has the third most steals of all time (and the third-highest per game average)? Yeah, one-sided opinion here. Third highest there … greatest ppg, that’s just wow.

    LJ is not greater than MJ.

  95. lloyd lewis says:

    I think that lebron is on his way to be the best of alltime, if not the best right now, I think if he retire right now he could go in the hall of fame right now. And he would be in the descussion of the greatest of alltime with the stats he has right mow, so for me he’s amazing right now, to me he’s right under jordan right now.

  96. JP says:

    This article is a Joke…

  97. Ancientsign says:

    Le Bron is really great player but he’s even not close to Kobe..He has to claim a lot of things in my opinion and i believe that he won’t be greatest player of all times..

    We can’t compare him with MJ,just numbers aren’t enough for this…He must play against “really defensive” teams and clear that they’re not here anymore..European basketball is much better about defensive side..

    • Witness says:

      yea sorry but he most definitely is

    • Witness says:

      Actually its the other way around KB’s not even close to LBJ. LBJ is better than KB ever WAS, IS, or WILL BE. i know its hard to accept but get used to it though. The sooner the better.

  98. jimbo says:

    I love this guy Blinebury, writes a totally meaningless article full of his opinions… and gets paid for it. Hey, where do I sign up, I want this job too ! If I wrote this article I would start with Chamberlain’s 100pt night. Totally unfathomable achievement. His resiliency in playing mostly on mediocre teams, but making the most of it when on a good team…that’s the mark of a champion. Or Oscar Robertson, averages double-doubles for his career ! Now that’s one LJ might be able to match. How about Bill Russell’s 11 championships (Bob Horry- shame on you for belittling rings). Will LJ be around long enough just to play on 11 title contending teams ? Magic Johnson, who’s career was cut short but still managed 5 titles and… making ordinary guys look like hall-of-famers when he played with them (one of them actually got in). Larry Bird and Jerry West, both “Mr Clutches” in the heat of battle, from their rookie year on ! Kobe Bryant, 5 rings and all. He has been through the wars, something LJ has not yet had to face. It has yet to be seen how LJ will fare coming back from a serious injury, or playing on a lousy team. Then there’s MJ, the current accepted G.O.A.T. I hate when someone tries to create a best ever, because even though Jordan has been through it all and has come out on top, a lot of his success depended on being in the right place at the right time. In my opinion Jordan and Russell were in the right places at the right times more than anyone else so far. LJ…so far so good. Greatest ever ???, he hasn’t been around long enough, lets see what happens in another 6-7 years. Fran, it will be easier to be objective writing this article then, if you are still around.

    • LBJthaking!!!! says:

      HATERS HATERS HATERS HATERS. PATHETIC. GIVE LEBRON RESPECT WHEN ITS DUE. THE GUYS A TANK. YOU ALL JEALOUS THTS WAT IT IS. HE IS THE BEST RITE NOW AND DEAL WITH IT CUZ ITS NOT GONNA CHANGE.

    • Rav says:

      Kobe has been through the “wars”? What does that mean? Do you mean his falling out with a teammate? His rape accusation? Do you mean the 2004-05, where he missed the playoffs with a team that wasn’t much worse than the teams Lebron led to the Finals/the league’s best record?

      Otherwise, you make some decent points, though I imagine you wanted to say “triple-double” when referring to Oscar Robertson.

  99. Balla says:

    Sometimes your greatness will be measured by the scrutiny of your character of which many people will over look on others. Why because when you are great there isn’t many flaws. Those flaws you do have are so small yet glaring to others. Congratz LBJ. You worked hard bro you deserve it! Just happy to have a great player from my era of basketball.

  100. David says:

    Well first of all, if im wrong tell me..

    Someone said that the number of ring mather the most ?

    Sure Jordan is the great, he change the game in so many diffrent ways but why is it that everyone
    is sleeping on BILL RUSSELL ? 11rings?

    If you win the MVP in The Finals it´s not called the Micheal Jordan NBA Finals Most Valuable Player?
    It´s called the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player!

    So in my eyes Bill Russell is the GOAT!!

  101. NBAIQ says:

    Without D-Wade,a stacked Heat team and an injured Derrick Rose we would not be having this conversation. Kobe is more elite than this dude has been so far and even Kobe is nowhere near MJ status. Besides a few players this league is diluted with talent.Remember that 1992 Olympic team yeah MJ was up against legendary talent not just really good players. Lebron James is just lucky he didn’t have that elite talent to go against or he’d probably have MAYBE one MVP award no four. Now let’s not even talk about how there’s no hand checking allowed in today’s game….”Jordan Rules”

  102. Johann says:

    that’s ridiculous

  103. Toast says:

    MJ averaged 28 in his career? He averaged 30.1 points man!! I can’t believe how hard NBA.com is trying to legitimize the comparison between Lebron and Jordan.

  104. H8r says:

    So it looks like those LBJ private parts are tasting better and better to the NBA writers…

  105. Me says:

    No comparison to Jordan, people are morons who think he will ever reach Michael. Hell Kobe Bryant is still better than him. The man jumped ship to join D.Wade and that in my opinion takes away from his legacy. He couldn’t get any superstars to join him in Cleveland so he bailed like a coward. How can u join a superstar team and expect people to respect you? Jordan and Kobe would never do something like that, and that’s the difference. The Miami heat are the equivalent of a Real Madrid or Manchester City in soccer. They form these superstar teams and completely dominate the leaggues with all the best players ruining the competition with their financial power. No Respect for teams like that. Derrick Rose was also clearly the better player before he got injured. Just saying.

    • Witness says:

      well 2 hours later and your trolling really isnt working

    • Cj says:

      You idiot, Jordan and Kobe had good players around them, only 2 people I remember from Cleveland with lebron is delontay west and moe Williams …

  106. RealTalk says:

    Lets talk For real. Right now Lebron is not the G.O.A.T BUT he is a all time great, matter fact , when he retires, he will be in te conversation.

    NOTE: NOT A LEBRON FAN , NBA FAN AL THE WAY , And saying this im not a so close minded that i will not praise his greatness , Watching NBA since 1975

  107. BoBo says:

    Two points on which LBJ fails & I suspect always will fail when it comes to the GOAT discussion:

    1. Is he having fun playing the game. Look at MJ, at Magic, at Bill Russell – they showed how much they enjoyed
    the game they were playing and the fans picked up on that. LeBron always looks like he’s working a factory job.
    Like the games are an interruption in his otherwise enjoyable life.

    2. Would you want the ball in LBJ’s hands with the game on the line?

    Need more be said?

  108. danny says:

    its like Lebron said in his 2k14 comercial with steve kerr:” dont wanna stop them, i want to join them”
    this guy has no heart

  109. ninjabonsai says:

    what sets Jordan apart in my mind is how well he played under pressure and how well he played through adversity. think flu game in the 1997 finals. i’ve never seen a performance like that.. yet.. from Lebron.

    i think the only accurate way we can make a comparison between Jordan and Lebron now is to look at what Jordan had achieved at the same age. the result.. i think it’s very close. if Lebron has a huge 2014 season and wins another title, he may just take the lead. but that won’t be easy, the east will be really tough this year. also think if it wasn’t for Ray Allen hitting that 3 in the finals back in June Lebron would be just 1/3 in the finals. Jordan never lost in the finals

  110. Lakers4life says:

    40.6% from 3 pointers? That’s not even close lol, go get your sources right. 3pt shots and mid range jumpers were and still are weak sides of Lebron, otherwise the Spurs wouldn’t have dared him to shoot it in the Finals (yes he made them in game 7 but that’s just 1 out of 7 games). The reason his FG% is high is because most of his points comes from driving to the basket thanks to his superhuman athleticism and strength, which will drop as he gets older. Sure he is no doubt the best in the league right now, but his numbers will drop after his 30s since he has not mastered a post move/jumper as Jordan and Kobe did. I will change my mind if he can still score 40 points at the age of 35. Then lets begin the G.O.A.T discussion, ok Mr Flanbury?

  111. basketball opinion says:

    As a basketball fan, we all enjoy what we see when Lebron is on the floor but when you label him as the “G.O.A.T” you have a lot of things to consider. I’ve read about a comment that says about how team plays defense during the time of Michael Jordan. How tough and intense it was specially when it was during playoffs. Think of it as an example during the Bulls – Pistons in the late 80′s, Bulls – Knicks in the early 90′s. Now, you stare to an opponent after one spectacular dunk, you get a technical. Another thing to consider is the players you play with and the players your trying to win against. There are a lot more to consider aside from the things I’ve said. For me, Michael Jordan, aside from his stats, how he revolutionalized and globalized NBA basketball, that’s how he was labeled as “the G.O.A.T”.

  112. How are you saying or calling him the GOAT when he left Cleveland to join Wade and Bosh… MJ never left Chicago to join Barkley and Ewing to win a championship, had he done so the league would no exist. He stayed in Chicago and got bitten by Detroit but never run away from the challenge. He got help from unknown player from the draft( Pippen and Grant) and became the G.O.A.T…

  113. ImJusSayin says:

    BS If I just set aside Wilt’s stats. he actually got called for 3 steps or grabbing the ball to deep on a dribble or how about the fact you could actually touch him and not be a foul or the fact there was no superstar treatment allowing him special privileges for the sake of the fans and league. On top of that I don’t see anyone discounting others from that era.
    Hang Time please don’t disrespect Wilts accomplishments because if was given the freedoms today’s show-boys get NO ONE from any era could stop him (Sorry no contact or 3 paint rule would eliminate those who could). Back to LBJ, Great player and getting better but talent wise still hasn’t reached the top.

    • Rav says:

      You’re right; both Lebron and MJ (and in truth, any “star” post the MJ-era) have received much more preferential treatment than the average player, than the stars of back in the day.

  114. LordHvrrison says:

    I still believe LeBron would have to win at least 5 rings in a row to be considered the G.O.A.T. What Jordan did was undeniably the greatest thing that anybody has done in the NBA and has not been equaled ever since. He was the epitome of “clutch” and the ultimate competitor. Now, with that being said, people say “ohh, he couldn’t win in Cle. so he had to join with 2 superstars to win. Well who wins rings by themselves? He didn’t have a legit 2nd scoring option, who could even put up 17PPG on a consistent basis, he had no complete team. Jordan’s teams were complete when he won all of his rings.. He had a top 50 player of all time beside him, a top 10 defensive player of all time, he had shooters around him, a bench, and Phil Jackson. Jorden was the not the savior every night but he was there when it mattered most. Now, LeBron did not develop that completely until 2 years ago but lets not forget the game 6 against the Pistons. And even so, Jordan nor Kobe ever lead a team to the finals virtually by themselves like LeBron. All I’m saying is to give him some credit for what he has done to mold himself into person and player he is today.

  115. Truth says:

    LJ > MJ anyone who thinks otherwise is stuck in the past.

  116. Jim Muncy says:

    I have been around basketball for a long time. I am 57 years old and I still play three days per week. I played in HS and earned a full scholarship in college. The glory days of Russel were before my time but I remember Chamberlain. I lived for the Magic/Bird rivalry of the 80′s. I loved to watch Chicago and Jordan. And I have seen Kobe do some amazing things. But in all my years of following and loving basketball, I have never seen anything like Lebron. He is the greatest of all time and here is why. There has never been a player with the balance like LeBron. He may not be as overpowering inside like a Chamberlain or a Russel, but Lebron has a lot more ability outside the paint. LeBron may not have the finesse of a Jordan or Kobe but he certainly has a lot more power. Chamberlain and Russel had power unmatched. Kobe and Jordan had movement and handing skills unmatched. But James has it all. Argue as you may about what it means to be the Greatest of All Time. To me it is the total package and LeBron has it all. I have spent the last ten years rooting against him (I’ve never been a Cleveland or Miami fan) and at the same time being amazed at all that he can do in every aspect of the game. Until someone else comes along who can do it ALL, my vote is for LeBron as the Greatest of All Time.

    • Kobe Fan says:

      He is iluminati. Is that a GOAT? All that Lebron has, I’m sure, comes from the enemies of God.

    • Rav says:

      Great comment, I do think that (projecting out Lebron’s career a bit, i.e. he gets better in the post on both sides of the ball), he’ll be the player who could most legitimately play any position on both offense and defense, of all time.

  117. sb25 says:

    Do you people even know how to read? They’re not saying that he IS the greatest, only that he’s on his way to be. You can’t blame them, he overshadows everyone stats wise, he’s the most athletic player ever for his size, he’s got a high bball IQ and can guard and play every position. Not to mention he’s got 4 mvps/2 finals mvp and still has another 5 good years ahead of him. It’s legit to have this conversation

  118. Marcos says:

    If I want to compare LBJ to MJ you have to compare the players LBJ plays against to players Jordan played against in his time :
    And now look : Hakeem, Magic, Bird, Drexler, Malone Stockton , Isaiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Barkley, Kareem , D. Robinson , and so on, vs B. Griffin, K. Bryant , Carmelo , KG, Kevin Durant , CP3, Z. Bo , James Harden , Westbrook, Rose,

    And now seriously, tell me who is the toughest competition??
    The 90′s were the most physical era of the nba. Jordan will always be n.1

    • Rav says:

      KG and Duncan = Malone and Barkley, CP3 = Isaiah (skill-wise, not on rings), Kobe >> Drexler, Shaq > D. Robinson, Jason Kidd = Stockton, Kareem wasn’t really part of that era (well past his prime, though still one of the top players of the time, to be sure), Joe Dumars (lol! – yeah he’s a HOFer, but please). Bird and Magic are tough to match, but Durant + Wade gets close-ish. Can’t find you anyone for Hakeem – centers are a little worse these days (but Dirk + Kevin Love is close?). The late 80s and all of the 90s were better than now, but not by a ridiculous amount such that the fact that James put up a 31.6 PER should be rubbished.

  119. bigtasty84 says:

    This is the dumbest thing someone could ever publish. First of all, Lebron had to switch to an allstar team created by Miami. MJ was drafted by the Bulls and made the Bulls champions over the years, they acquired Scottie who struggled as a rookie, but MJ made his team better, he didn´t sell out to a team that was expected to win a championship. I think i´ve made my point

  120. Cedric says:

    I think MJ is the better player, not only because of his resume, but because of watching them both play. I was very skeptical of Lebron a few years ago. I thought Kobe was a tier above him. Now I think he and MJ are in a tier of their own. What tips the scale for me is Jordan’s ability to dominate both ends of the court. Not just for stretches of games, not just in crunch time, but as a way of life. He won the scoring title, (35ppg), led the league in steals, won DPOY, MVP, All Star Game MVP all in the same season! That is dominance to me.

    No one final thought. Someone mentioned different rules, different eras. More physical play. I love MJ to death. But go in the bathroom. Close the door. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that Kevin Durant or Carmelo Anthony or hell Matt Barnes can put one hand on Lebron’s hip and stop him from getting to the rim or the free throw line. Or both. That argument could be used against Kobe. But I doubt a hand check would have stopped Lebron.

  121. littleteapot says:

    2 man race? I guess I missed the meeting where we said Lebron was better than Shaq, Olajuwon, Duncan, Bill Russel and Kareem. Until about 5 years ago basketball was about the big guys and only a handful of perimeter players are even in the conversation with those guys.

  122. Eric J says:

    This is a stupid conversation Lebron is 2-2 in the finals and would be 1-3 if it wasn’t for having the greatest 3 point shooter of all time to bail him out. Lebron can have great stats all he wants but the ring is the thing. You put MJ on this Miami team they would win easily every year. If you put Lebron on Bulls in place of Mj back in the day they would not 3 PEAT twice. With that said MJ would dominate Lebron in the finals.

    • Truth says:

      MJ is old news. No need to cry.

    • Game Time says:

      Wait didn’t Kerr bail out the Bulls, and Kukoc on several occasions? Do you even know anything about basketball in the past or are you just going with what everyone else says? MJ GOAT without a question, Lebron as a possible is a valid argument. He’s is playing at an incredible level and still in his prime. As for your ridiculous argument about “put Lebron on the Bulls” how about you put MJ on the Cavs and see if he makes the finals. Oh wait that’s right MJ never even got to the finals before Pippen, Grant and Phil.

  123. James says:

    There is NO WAY that LJ is or will be the GOAT. He is not even in the top five. Think about how the league has changed and how small these players are now. They may be “quicker” but who is actually blocking shots in the hole? The big men of today are weak compared to mj era. Lets see Dwight Howard, Hibbert, etc?? Compare these big men to the likes of Olajuwan, Shaq (in his prime), Robinson, Ewing, It is a joke thew big men of today trying to clog up the hole when LJ comes in the paint to drive. The NBA was losing its appeal once MJ left and needed people to come back to watch. So now they are hanging on to the Lebron label to “save” the NBA. Last years finals was a joke, it was so rigged. No way a team is going to win by 20 one night and lose by 20 the next night. The NBA is a business and needs to put people in the seats to create revenue.

    • Game Time says:

      Sounds like you have problems with coping.

    • Garbage of all time says:

      lebron can only drive to the basket coz no one will hurt him like the detroit bad boys of the bigs of the 90′s. i wanna see if he can still dunk on these guys.

    • Bryan says:

      I’m afraid the last of the tough big men is Duncan and he seems to want to leave already. He’s still averaging a good amount of blocks and rebounds to this day, as well as points. For all you basketball rookie’s of this generation that never experienced the TRUE nba of the 70′s-90′s, your last chance comes with Duncan, and that maybe too late.

  124. Brandon says:

    stfu all you pussies, lebron would spank you at ball anyday

  125. jordan says:

    I respect the convo about these two player because LeBron has earned the right, however we forget mikes level of competition was much, much more stout! Also to me LeBron will always be behind Mike and Kobe in than neither of them ever left their teams to pursue a championship. Think of it this way if Kobe would have left for another team in free agency, compiled with stars in the prime of his career how many rings and what kind of stats would he have, the same can be said for Jordan…at the end of the day LeBron will be beat again, this year by a much stronger eastern conference, and we will be talking about LeBron skipping town again for the next best situation!

    • Game Time says:

      I think that’s the dumbest reason to disqualify someone because they left a team. Some people are smart enough to realize that management isn’t going to work with you to build a successful team. Kobe refused to play for the team he was drafted by and thus traded to LA. How is that any different than Lebron joining a team he wanted to play for? And lets not act like Kobe hasn’t demanded to be traded before. MJ also made it clear at one point that he was considering leaving the Bulls. People look at Lebron and fear what he may become, that’s why they can’t admit that he could be the GOAT if he continues to win.

      • Adam says:

        Nobody fears Lebron. we just tired of endless articles about him being GOAT when he’s not even half way there. Dude has two rings people. 2-2 in the finals. How is he great again. These teamates he ‘making better” are already all star and hall of fame players. Wade won without Lebron, but Le bron cant win w/out Wade. lol. GOAT?

  126. Herbert Tiede says:

    I consider myself lucky to have started to watch the NBA again after “The Decision”, cause i can appreciate Lebron’s basketball without any prejudice.

  127. danny says:

    maybe if he had joined barkley and reggie in miami lol

  128. danny says:

    Barkley is such a Lebron fanboy… they should ad Michael Jordan to Open Court I would love to hear his opinion on this topic.
    And yes Lebron would be a star in the 90s but like all the other stars from the 90s who are praising lebron now,he would fail to win a championchip against Jordan.

  129. lol says:

    nah thats just stupid…MJ was a great all around player like LBJ but most importantly the GREATEST EVER SCORER and leader by far…LBJ is there in terms of all around game but he cant touch the greatest scorer ever.

  130. DIZ says:

    Look, how you start does not really matter, lets see how he (Lebron) ends! MJ’s career has been over for a long time now. Let LBJ end his, then we compare btw these two. For now we have the greatest in the game to be LBJ but not yet greater than Jordan! NOT YET!!!

  131. Eli says:

    i think lebron is a selfish person compared to magic, michael and even bird…he tried to win a championship by teaming with two of one of the best in their position(wade and bosh)…bird, magic and michael had to make do with what they have and carry their respective teams…wade proved that he can win without lebron but lebron cannot win without wade…period. if lebron let himself be in cleveland then he might have won more votes.

  132. Courtney says:

    A real and honest quote from Robert Horry.

  133. Member429 says:

    HEY – one thing – LBJ is not fun to watch, I coulda watch NBA without him with no regrets, whatsoever. If you show LBJ plays to someone, who’s not an NBA fan, she/he would say: “so what’s the big deal”. The reaction to MJ always was and is: “wow, pure greatness, harmony of moves, brilliance, art”. YES, art. LBJ is boring, MJ is the GOAT!

  134. bodjee says:

    There are many basket players past and present who has more flair and are better finishers than Lebron but when we look at the combined skills of a basketball player, nobody comes close to Lebron! He is the G.O.A.T!

  135. M. Murphy says:

    Bill Russell – 11 rings

  136. DAMON says:

    C’MON NBA.COM STOP IT SERIOUSLY!!! DON’T DISRESPECT MJ LIKE THAT

  137. Witness says:

    One of the best articles I’ve ever read on Lebron. I grew up I felt the biggest MJ fan ever and I idolized everything he ever did just like every other kid, and I think that MJ will remain the greatest as far as simply Legacy goes and what he did for the game and helped it evolve. Having said that I think as far as the greatest player LBJ will take that title when he retires.

  138. tenyenTENORIO says:

    to all of you who still says “he only got two rings”,blah blah…horry said it, you can’t measure a guy’s skill just because of who has more rings. enough of the “ring” debates. . .

    • Dsilva says:

      Again Horry’s argument only applies for comparison between top players of their team (Barkley, Malone, ewing) who didnt won championships against role players on championship teams like Horry. But when you are being consider the Best of all time, you probably are a top player on your team like Lebron so yeah he has to top a player who won 6 rings and same amount of MVP’s to be consider better than him. So yeah the argument of Horry in this case is totally unvalid the amount of times you win a championship being the leader of your team is a pretty valid argument to be consider if you wanna be consider the best of all time

      • just making a point says:

        So you’re saying Bill Russel is the greatest player of all time by far??? I mean 11 championships as the main player beats six right?

        I also want to touch on the LeBron leaving Cleveland thing, imagine MJ playing on a time with worse Steve Kerr as the second best player on his team, that’s the situation LeBron was in and he still managed to get to the finals, despite the fact that he lost I feel like that is a hell of an achievment. And with the Cavs having no cap space to sign even above average starters for the next couple of years and the GM messing up over and over again it was the right move for LeBron to move on.

  139. Jerome says:

    If he stays healthy for another 6,7 years, then yeah most definitely.

  140. Fly says:

    How do they even put this guys articles up on a major website??? Seems like he doesnt even check his facts before posting!!! Doesnt matter what level of journalism you wotk at your always told to check your facts! lol

  141. Jose says:

    He is nowhere near michael jordan. he’s just a great athlete that can run and jump and play great team basketball. but when it comes to one on one skills, there’s no comparison to mj or kobe. mj did things that’s not written on paper, he had an arsenal of one on one moves and he carried the bulls. offensively dwayne wade is much better than pippin ever was so of course it makes easier for lebron to score. lebron james is not on his way to being the goat. come on guys, pay attention to detail. stats are deceiving. he barlely won a championship last year and he’s only 28 or 29. jordan was still winning championships in his 30′s until 35, jordan scored 50 at 38. come on!

  142. Hype says:

    If he wins 4 more championships withs FMVP, joins 30K club, 1 or 2 more MVP`s and defensive player of the year award maybe we could talk about that. Dont forget 2007 and 2011 as well. Long story short NO WAY

  143. whaiser says:

    and if MJ did not play for the wizards…career average is madly crazy…people forgot that MJ once average like 37.1 for a season…and 32.5 8 8 for another season..and people still compares to the GOAT?????

    • fuertiben says:

      Stop it!
      LBJ is the better defender??? MJ was an incredible defender, just look at the stats of his 88´ (dpoy!!!) season: 3.2 sts and 1.6 bls, as a 6-6 guard, really?! Unmatched!

      Lebron is great, and maybe one day, he´ll be there, but for now MJ has nothing to be worried about. Right now, its just the hype of winning 2 championchips in a row and multiple MVP´s, in retrospective, people will judge the “now” differently. Kobe was on the verge of beeing the GOAT after the repeat in 2010, too. So, hype adds to it, I think!

      First, LBJ has to win that first threepeat and then at least 2 or 3 more Championchips to really heat up this conversation!!

      Good luck with that, LBJ!

  144. whaiser says:

    michael jordan’s career average is 30.1 5.3 6.2 in the season and 33.4 5.7 6.4 in the playoffs….michael jordan elevated his game when needed in the playoffs…while lebron is great…but when it comes to stats…MJ eats lbj for dinner

  145. Fly says:

    And btw Fran! How can I take you seriously with this article when you list the wrong career numbers for MJ? lol Can you even read a boxscore?

  146. Fly says:

    So you dismiss Chamberlain because of him playing way back in another era? How about putting things in perspective with this era James is playing in then? Get rid of the 3 second on defense, bring back handchecking. Then see if james can keep up with Jordan on offense lol Also consider james joined wade and bosh in miami, who did Jordan join in chicago those first 3 rings? he averaged a triple double in the finals against Magics Laker. If you are gonna compare guys from different eras you have to take other things than just numbers in consideration. MJ and Bird played in the most physical era of basketball and still put up those numbers. James is playing in the weakest era the NBA has ever seen. They took the C position of the allstar ballot! PUT THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE!

    • Jorge says:

      I totally agree with u

    • Snorlax says:

      I fully agree

    • Kobe Fan says:

      I agree with you bro. We are talking in different generation here and putting Lebron in the 80′s and 90′s will not give him the superstar status. Dirk Nowitzki is laughing at him…

    • Garbage of all time says:

      well said my friend

    • Rav says:

      In Jordan’s time, teams weren’t allowed to use a zone defense. Whether that cancels out the 3-second defense rule, I don’t know enough to say.

      Interestingly, here’s piece of logic most ignore – if Jordan is a better offensive player (having scored a similar number of points despite rules that made it harder to score), then Lebron is a better defensive player (since Lebron has the same defensive output as Jordan, despite rules that make it easier to score.)

  147. arnocom says:

    Everybody is saying the better is the most title winner: 4 titles more and he will be the uncontested number one of all-time. Or 3 more which 1 or 2 with Cleveland. Cause Kobe 5 (or 2 it depend) and MJ 6 (but certainly 8).
    It’s difficult to compare MJ and LJ: if Lebron get 7 (and he can), it will be an exploit and he will be for me the “Only One”.

  148. it is possible….on conditions like going back to cleveland and winning a championship there with irving, bynum, varejao and players who arent on an superstar/elite level…also lessen his choking skills and actually get clutch on late game situations…and not be startled by trashtalks from shawn marion lol…and also, less travelling lol ;)

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      “winning with players who aren’t on an superstar/elite level”
      You mean like Kobe? or MJ? or Magic? or Bird? or ANYBODY LOL

      The fact that he took the cavs to the finals in 2007 when he was only 22 years old speaks volumes about the type of player he was… he didn’t just ride on Superman’s cape for 3 championships like Kobe did ;)

      • Snorlax says:

        Sure thing bro, kobe did nothing on those championschip runs. or maybe he did… 30.7 ppg if i remember correct and more points than shaq in the finals… they helped each other and would not have won it without each other. About lebron he came to wade not the opposite and that is why i think he woulded go down as the GOAT in the end, he is great but not the best because he left cleveland for his rings.

      • Dan says:

        You’re right. He just joined DWade and Bosh to get to the top.

      • Adam says:

        Kobe didnt ride any coattales. lebron did last year (Ray Allen, Dwayne wade) Dude plays w/ more hall of famers than anybody else in league.

      • bruiser brody says:

        what happened when he got to the finals??

  149. Justcheckin says:

    Just wanted to point out that LBJ has not averaged 40.6% on threes for his career. Must be a typo. I think his career average is 33.7%.

  150. William says:

    No. MJ is the greatest of all time period. Chicago 6 Rings enough said

    • Average Joe says:

      Didn’t you read the part in the article about Horry’s argument against number of rings?

      • Denny says:

        Robert Horrys Argument is Bogus because obviously theres a difference between his rings and Jordans, Jordan was the best player on all the Championship teams he was on, Horry was never a top 5 player on any team he played for his whole career, if that doesnt make sense to you then you have no sense at all

      • Dsilva says:

        Horry’s argument only applies because he didnt win 6 Finals MVP….just saying that being 6 time champion as the top player on your team has a lot value to be consider the best of all time… Horry was just saying that he won 7 rings as a role player and it has more value being the top player on your team like BArkley or Ewing or Malone even though they didnt win a ring that being a championship role player in the discussion of who is better…. So this being said when Lebron’s career is over the amount of rings he has is the first thing to consider if he wants to be known as the best in history and there is no discussion he has to top a 6 time Finals MVP and same amount of rings.

      • Really Funny says:

        Robert Horry is a Joke. Nobody will say he’s better than Chuck, Malone, Ewing etc. Do you know why? All those guys in the conversation were the Star on their teams. The Ring conversation in the argument of greatest players is ONLY for the elite players. Bench and role players…which Horry is… are not eligible, therefore nobody cares how many rings he has acquired its just ridiculous!

    • Rav says:

      If Lebron wins 6 rings, and is the best player in all of those teams, is he automatically better than Jordan?

      • Rav says:

        Anyway, Bill Russell won 11 rings (and was the best player on at least 7 of those teams), so he’s obviously better than Jordan. (I’m being somewhat sarcastic here, by the way).

  151. francisco says:

    this guy is overrated

    • bruiser brody says:

      Thank you! There are others with more accolades such as Kobe,Tim Duncan & Kevin Garnet.

    • George says:

      Thank you Franisco!! Finally somebody said it. The media and the fans they were able to manipulate just keep shoving the hype down our throats and it’s getting tiring. He’s a great player true but the greatest ever is ridiculous. The man is all athleticism. His jumpshots mediocre. He has no moves other than barrelling down the lane and drawing fouls. If it’s not that, then he’s on the receiving end of alley oops. His game is pure athleticism. Once that fades (which it will) or his knees give out, he’ll be a nobody. He’ll be Penny Hardaway

      • manny says:

        I guess Lebron will have to join the raptors and take the raptors to the final only then he will be not overrated. I don’t know any other player that makes any team so match better. Cleveland was better than Chicago and after LeBron departure have been getting high draft pick one after the other and they are still not even close to being as good as the LeBron cavaliers. The only active good player is verajao the rest cant get any real cash for their talents.

      • The Voice Of Reason says:

        Agreed pure athletisicm – which by the way is awesome to watch. But I feel Tracy McGrady had a better all round game – he was just really unlucky cause of injuries, same goes for Grant Hill. When Lebron gets older and his athleticism goes down hill and he is foreced to show footwork, IQ, technique etc, then we will truely see how good his game really is.

  152. Erlo says:

    Lebron is the GOAT … no questions asked. I know some people want to hang onto the past, but give it up already. Jordan did his thing and there is no shame in being the second best of all time. Lebron can guard anyone, score on anyone, and like the article says, MAKES HIS PLAYERS BETTER.

    • Snorlax says:

      Tell me more how he made wade and bosh better, ohh wait he didnt and tell me more about how he made cleveland champion, ohh wait he didnt. this guy is a great player but dont give him the credits for those things. players came to jordan to join him lebron went to players to win it. built>bought

      • enoc43 says:

        Tell me more how MJ made Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman or Steve Kerr better. Oh, wait… he didn’t. Tell me more about how he made the Bulls champions without those boys. Oh, wait… he didn’t. What the heck are you talking about, dude? Did you read the article? They’re not giving LBJ credit for nothing he hasn’t done yet. They’re giving him credit for what he has accomplished so far (MVP’s, Championships, Finals MVP’s, etc.). There’s no unearned credit given to LBJ here, the writer is just making a legitimate argument about the evolution of LeBron’s career and him being on his way to be the G.O.A.T. if he keeps it up. Don’t hate. Apreciate greatness.

      • The Voice Of Reason says:

        Ummm…he DID make them better. If you watch any interview with Scottie or Rodman or if you listen to Steve on commentary, they all say that Jordan’s incredible drive to get better and desire to make his team better is what made them better.

        Lebron will probably go down in history as the greatest player this side of the millenium but at best he will be in the conversation of GOAT. What makes Jordan GOAT is NOT the majority of his stats – although his is the only person in history to have higher numbers in playoffs. In time people will surpase his numbers – Kobe is closest to total points etc, its called progress.

        Why Jordan will largely be considered GOAT is his desire to win, his killer instinct, toughness (Jordan never complained and the game was WAY more physical in his day) and his X-Factor (you can’t explain it but you have to watch him, you have to appreciate him, you knew he was somebody, even if you had never seen him before in your life.)

        Like Barkley says, Lebron is bigger, faster, stronger, but he is not smarter and unfortunately his choice to go to Miami means he will always have a mark on his card saying he gave up. You probably don’t know this (too young I suspect) but in the late 80s people said Jordan was never good enough to make his team better; “a scoring champion doesn’t always = championships” (isn’t that right Melo/Durant?) They never made it even to the conference finals. But Jordan never called Magic (Lakers) or Bird (Celtics) or anyone else and asked to play for them. He built his team mates and they won their first 3peat…BEFORE Rodman or Steve Kerr joined the team.

        I love watching Lebron, but seriously Fran, for you to say all that, you are either a guys who only started watching basketball after 2009 or you are a shame to the game and sports writing. Context.

      • Bryan says:

        This is why i choose snorlax on my team. lol

    • bigdiesel says:

      LeBron guarding Jordan, on the perimeter? Jordan in his prime…I don’t know about that friend

  153. James says:

    For all the haters out there, Lebron will be the greatest player of all time, alot greater than Michael Jordan..
    MJ will say alot right now because he’s scared that he will be overshadowed by the hype and fame of Lebron.

    • hype23 says:

      I’m a hater of Lebron before, but the way he’s contributing on the NBA league right now? It’s like watching another Jordan in the past. Imagine the NBA now without Lebron, I think it will be boring, be glad that he’s in the NBA that you can criticize, praise, hate, idolize or whatever you want to say to him. But he brought back the NBA as where it should be. I wouldn’t say that he will be the greatest player than MJ, but this man has the talent to get there to the top.

    • Dan says:

      Ah right, anyone that doesn’t verbally fellate Lebron is a hater. Good argument. Sorry James, Lebron won’t be greater than MJ. You can keep dreaming though.

  154. isaac says:

    He is a very good player but not the GOAT. Jordan is the GOAT

  155. De Muis says:

    Mr Blinebury u are officially a certified madman. Even a miami bandwagoner couldn’t have written such a one sided article. U could have made a case for Tiago Splitter lol.

  156. Romeo Aguirre says:

    Naw not even close He’s good but not the greatest if he had to guard Magic Johnson, Magic would smash him.

    He can somewhat guard Kobe I’ve seen Melo get a triple double on him. In game one of the nba finals he didn’t guard KD, CP3 has crossed him several times he’s great but no even top ten of all time

  157. What a question... says:

    No way… there is no better player than MJ!! LJ is a great player, the best nowadays, but he is not yet MJ…

    • The Beard says:

      Compare Jordan and Wilt to Lebron and it’s obvious James has some catching up to do.

    • New Yorker says:

      I am not a LBJ hater. I’m a Miami fan, but I like D-Wade more. Anyway, this is a perfect example how you can manipulate some numbers. Like here, when MJ retired the 2nd time with the Bulls his scoring average was much higher, above 30 ppg. So you are comparing a prime LBJ scoring average to a whole career, including 20 ppg with the Wizards of MJ. Not fair. Let’s wait and see if he plays until he’s 40-42 and what his numbers are then.

      Also, media are a bunch of hypocrites. Take Charles Barkley. Now he praises LBJ like GOAT already, but rewind the clock to 2010 after the decision, practically everyone, including Barkley, were saying that now LBJ can never be compared to basketball grates. Why? Because in their prime MJ didn’t leave the Bulls to play with Ewing. Malone didn’t leave Utah to play with Drexler etc. Short memory I guess.

      And saying LBJ got this many rings at this age and MJ had this many… OK, if Jordan left to play with Magic at age 25 he would have more rings while being younger. And let’s face, had Jordan not left to play baseball there is a high probability he’d have 8 right now.
      And you said he carried Cavs to the finals… right, where they were swept. Did the Cavs had to go through Bad Boy Pistons or the All Star Celtics?

      LBJ is a great player, let’s just leave the GOAT conversations until the end of his career please. This is getting a bit annoying.

      • Rav says:

        Being a hypocrite is not the same thing as changing your opinion. Barkley may have used the word “never”, but if you asked him right now I’m sure he’ll admit to you that it was a mistaken choice at the time.

  158. Admin/ER says:

    This is a stupid conversation.

    • Dan says:

      The Lebron homerisms are at an all time high. The only talk of “LeBron hate” comes from these homers that need to validate their stance. This guy is desperately trying to compare the two when the comparison isn’t warranted until Lebron finishes his career. He’s comparing them at respective ages rather than seasons, so he ignores that after 10 seasons, Jordan had 3-4 titles already, because that would hurt his argument. Lebron may one day be in the argument for G.O.A.T but he isn’t as good as Jordan, nor do I think he’ll ever get there. Love the rationalizations blog writer:)

      • LBJthaking!!!! says:

        He’s saying Lebron James is a better all around player. It’s the truth. He also is stronger and alot faster. lebron is a beast!!!!!!!!!!! I love this article and its so true u can’t go by rings chamberlain has what 11 rings… He obviously aint better than Jordan. Come on keep hating on Lebron and oh ya keep reading bout him too its ok haters can’t resist cuz they kno the truth!

      • Daniel Roberts says:

        LBJ thanking, Bill Russell has 11 rings not Wilt Chamberlin. know what your talking about.

      • FUN FACT: lebron hasn’t won by himself…LeBron got beaten by a dallas mavericks team with basically 1 superstar and average players lol

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        @ Don’t ever CLICK MY NAME!!!! You Have been warned

        Heres another *FUN FACT* … NOBODY HAS WON A CHAMPIONSHIP “ALONE” .. Basketball is a team sport, Kobe definitely couldn’t do it alone, he won 3 of those 5 champions playing with the most dominant big man to ever play the game and that’s why Shaq got all 3 finals MVP’s ;),. MJ couldn’t do it alone, the 90′s bulls were a Dynasty! LeBron took that Garbage Cavs team to the finals when he was just 22 years old…And like the article above states: “MJ couldn’t have done anything like that with the Bulls team before Pippen arrived” …
        You really have to find a new argument against LeBron ………………………………….

        #3PEAT

    • KunJayMaster says:

      Stupid conversation just like your opinion?…See what I mean? They are all opinions, there’s no way to prove such thing. Numbers are pretty similar, if he manages to get the same amount or more rings he can challenge Jordan. Some will claim he is, others that he isn’t, at the end of the day it’s all just an opinion.

    • LBJThreePeat says:

      How is it stupid? He’s just entering his prime at age 28 and already has 2 finals Mvps and NBA Mvps. Name another player his size that is a great all around player like he is. He’s a leader and you could put him at your pg sg sf and pf. Stop hating on talent he’s got another solid 8 9 years in him and to make more history.

    • Cameron says:

      Agreed. LBJ being considered the GOAT is a complete joke. Until their career is over a current player cannot even be in the conversation. A players entire resume has to be taken into account when discussing their viability as the GOAT. As of right now LBJ may be the tenth best. He may elevate to top five but considering his reliance on his physical prowess above intelligence and shooting ability he could easily stagnate on this list. He is in rare air already, let’ not get ahead of ourselves elevating him to a higher level than is rational. I wonder how any of THESE individuals would feel reading this article…

      Michael Jordan
      Wilt Chamberlain
      Oscar Robertson
      Bill Russell
      Jerry West
      Magic Johnson
      Larry Bird
      Hakeem Olajuwon
      Elgin Baylor
      Kobe Bryant
      Julius Erving
      Dominique Wilkins

      That is some awfully tough competition.

      • Bryan says:

        Ok, so you have Kobe on the list but not Duncan???? That to me makes no sense.

      • Rav says:

        Dominique Wilkins sticks out like a sore thumb from that list; he does not belong there (and there are many others who also do not belong on the list, but are more worthy than Wilkins e.g. Karl Malone).

        Julius Erving only belongs there if his ABA career is included.

        Otherwise, it’s a decent list, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a glaring omission. George Mikan is somebody most fans forget.

        Kobe shouldn’t be there because, as you said, “current player[s] cannot even be in the conversation”. If Kobe’s on there, Duncan should be there.

        I think THAT those in the argument of “best ever” (going in chronological order) are Russell, Chamberlain, Robertson, Bird, Magic and Jordan. Projecting out to the end of his career, I’d wager Lebron joins them.

        Olajuwon etc. are not in that same group. Including Olajuwon would necessitate including Shaq, and also probably players like Bob Pettit (another player people often forget).