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Lebron vs. Jordan

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Lebron James:

"Michael's an unbelievable player, I've got a long way -- long way -- to be mentioned as far as one of the all-time greats. Not even just Jordan. There's a lot of great players who have played in this league. Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, all these guys who are floating around with multiple rings, Bill Russell, all these guys who have pioneered this game.

"I'm gracious. Humbled by Scottie's comments, especially with him being a teammate of his and seeing Michael on a day-to-day basis. But as far as me, I'm not going to sit here and say I'm better than Jordan. I'm not better than Jordan."
[ Edited by 49ersMyLife on May 28, 2011 at 10:00 PM ]
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Lebron James:

"Michael's an unbelievable player, I've got a long way -- long way -- to be mentioned as far as one of the all-time greats. Not even just Jordan. There's a lot of great players who have played in this league. Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, all these guys who are floating around with multiple rings, Bill Russell, all these guys who have pioneered this game.

"I'm gracious. Humbled by Scottie's comments, especially with him being a teammate of his and seeing Michael on a day-to-day basis. But as far as me, I'm not going to sit here and say I'm better than Jordan. I'm not better than Jordan."

Aaaaaaaannnnnndddddddd

I'm shocked at the existance of this thread considering the Kobe/MJ thread comparisons are not allowed due to where the threads lead to.
If we can't discuss Kobe/MJ, then why is it ok to try to make this comparison at this point of Lebron's career when he has yet to win anything. And even if he did win the title, and as admitted by James himself, he's got a long way to go before he should even be included in these discussions.
Originally posted by vrabbit:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Lebron James:

"Michael's an unbelievable player, I've got a long way -- long way -- to be mentioned as far as one of the all-time greats. Not even just Jordan. There's a lot of great players who have played in this league. Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, all these guys who are floating around with multiple rings, Bill Russell, all these guys who have pioneered this game.

"I'm gracious. Humbled by Scottie's comments, especially with him being a teammate of his and seeing Michael on a day-to-day basis. But as far as me, I'm not going to sit here and say I'm better than Jordan. I'm not better than Jordan."

Aaaaaaaannnnnndddddddd

I'm shocked at the existance of this thread considering the Kobe/MJ thread comparisons are not allowed due to where the threads lead to.
If we can't discuss Kobe/MJ, then why is it ok to try to make this comparison at this point of Lebron's career when he has yet to win anything. And even if he did win the title, and as admitted by James himself, he's got a long way to go before he should even be included in these discussions.

I don't know, I don't think rings = greatness. A valid point could be make that Lebron, in his senior year in HS was better than most NBA players but he hadn't played a second of NBA basketball.

I think this is where the eye test overtakes stats and rings.
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by vrabbit:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Lebron James:

"Michael's an unbelievable player, I've got a long way -- long way -- to be mentioned as far as one of the all-time greats. Not even just Jordan. There's a lot of great players who have played in this league. Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, all these guys who are floating around with multiple rings, Bill Russell, all these guys who have pioneered this game.

"I'm gracious. Humbled by Scottie's comments, especially with him being a teammate of his and seeing Michael on a day-to-day basis. But as far as me, I'm not going to sit here and say I'm better than Jordan. I'm not better than Jordan."

Aaaaaaaannnnnndddddddd

I'm shocked at the existance of this thread considering the Kobe/MJ thread comparisons are not allowed due to where the threads lead to.
If we can't discuss Kobe/MJ, then why is it ok to try to make this comparison at this point of Lebron's career when he has yet to win anything. And even if he did win the title, and as admitted by James himself, he's got a long way to go before he should even be included in these discussions.

I don't know, I don't think rings = greatness. A valid point could be make that Lebron, in his senior year in HS was better than most NBA players but he hadn't played a second of NBA basketball.

I think this is where the eye test overtakes stats and rings.

Don't get it twisted, I by no means believe greatness = the # of championships you've won.

I'm just talking about overall resume (titles, all-star selections, clutch moments, defensive awards/recognitions) Lebron is still building his resume. Kobe has a robust resume and the Kobe/MJ threads are locked right away, it's not like this thread is gonna get any better than those
Originally posted by vrabbit:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by vrabbit:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Lebron James:

"Michael's an unbelievable player, I've got a long way -- long way -- to be mentioned as far as one of the all-time greats. Not even just Jordan. There's a lot of great players who have played in this league. Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, all these guys who are floating around with multiple rings, Bill Russell, all these guys who have pioneered this game.

"I'm gracious. Humbled by Scottie's comments, especially with him being a teammate of his and seeing Michael on a day-to-day basis. But as far as me, I'm not going to sit here and say I'm better than Jordan. I'm not better than Jordan."

Aaaaaaaannnnnndddddddd

I'm shocked at the existance of this thread considering the Kobe/MJ thread comparisons are not allowed due to where the threads lead to.
If we can't discuss Kobe/MJ, then why is it ok to try to make this comparison at this point of Lebron's career when he has yet to win anything. And even if he did win the title, and as admitted by James himself, he's got a long way to go before he should even be included in these discussions.

I don't know, I don't think rings = greatness. A valid point could be make that Lebron, in his senior year in HS was better than most NBA players but he hadn't played a second of NBA basketball.

I think this is where the eye test overtakes stats and rings.

Don't get it twisted, I by no means believe greatness = the # of championships you've won.

I'm just talking about overall resume (titles, all-star selections, clutch moments, defensive awards/recognitions) Lebron is still building his resume. Kobe has a robust resume and the Kobe/MJ threads are locked right away, it's not like this thread is gonna get any better than those

I agree, it won't be but a back and forth between the believers and the haters...I'm kidding...there's not debate until a player gets close and since Jordan didn't have arguable the 2nd best player in the league with him, neither Kobe or Lebron can compare.
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by crzy:
What Scottie Pippen meant to say was that Lebron James is the greatest physical specimen to ever play the game of basketball.


To even compare Lebron James actual talent, competitiveness, mental toughness, overall ability, and RESUME to Michael Jordan is just so absolutely f**king ridiculous.


It would be the equivalent of saying Dwight Howard is better than Bill Russell.

No, you are trying to interpret a direct quote. Last time I was learned, a direct quote from someone holds more value than an interpretation from what the person said.

If that's how we are doing it, then Pippen's word holds a lot of weight, from a guy who played against Jordan in just about every practice and had to guard him in every practice so things would even out, I'm sure he knows what he's talking about, right? I mean, it's a direct quote and he's seen him both play.

What I think? Lebron is a more skilled player than Julius Erving because of his ability on defense and no one in the NBA has ever been that skilled since Magic or Oscar.

This is hilarious considering your recent attempt to interpret Phil Jackson's direct quotes.
JORDAN>KOBE>>>>>>>LEBRON. lebron isnt even 3rd place, there are greats like Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Kareem, Larry Bird, Dr. J, Shaq, John Stockton, Carl Malone, David Robinson, Tim Duncan... theres a huge list of guys who have accomplished great things, not just championships. Lebron is not even close to walking the walk that these guys have walked. when its all said and done, who knows, but for now hes not. Jordan was offense, defense, he made everyone else better. bron bron is offense and defense but he needed to join forces with two of the best ballers on the planet to do what hes doing this year. Kobe did it with shaq and without him so id put him closer to mike than Lebron.
They're difficult to compare because they had different responsibilities on their respective teams. LeBron has always been the de facto PG offensively, whereas after Phil Jackson took control of the Bulls, he made Pippen the de facto PG and MJ operated off of the ball. MJ often established scoring position on the wings, behind the first line of defense. He was actually the SF in the triangle offense, with Pippen as the PG and Armstrong/Kerr/Paxson/Harper were the SG. By contrast, LeBron primarily operates with the entire defense in front of him, handles the ball MUCH more than MJ did, and sets plays in motion the way that PGs do.

Just as LeBron is the de facto PG, MJ was the de facto post presence on his teams, and was devastatingly effective either from the pinch post (where Kobe or Dirk primarily operate from), or in the low post when he got older. Him being such a tremendous post up player spaced the floor for teammates in a way that allowed for easier shots. That being said, having Pippen taking care of the PG duties allowed him to establish scoring position in a way that wouldn't have been possible without a legitimate initiator. So MJ was fortunate in this respect.

Conversely, LeBron isn't nearly as good at his responsibility (initiating) as MJ was at his (post presence). For years there's been a huge disconnect between the fan's/media's opinion of LeBron and that of NBA talent evaluators, and it's largely because he breaks off plays and freelances so often that where his teammates were originally supposed to be is no longer valid, because he went somewhere else with the play. I know that folks here may think that I'm just hating on the guy, but there's a reason that as recently as the beginning of this year, a panel of current and former NBA coaches, scouts, GMs, and players picked Kobe as the best player in the NBA ahead of LeBron, and by a significant margin.

This is a quote from a Western Conference scout that speaks to what I'm talking about with LeBron...

Quote:
“Every year, we look for ways that he has lost a step and you look for ways that younger guys like LeBron or Kevin Durant have caught up to him -- and maybe in the middle of January, you can find some of those. But Kobe is always going to make a smart play, he is always going to find a way to get a good shot, no matter what stage of the game or how deep in the playoffs, and I don’t think the younger guys in the league are there yet.”

Until LeBron starts making the smart play and getting his team a good shot on a consistent basis, his team isn't going to be anything remarkable on the offensive end, despite having remarkable offensive talent.

Now, obviously James offers a lot of positives offensively as well. He's the best transition player in NBA history, and it's not even close. He goes from one end of the floor to another as fast as anyone ever has, and is so big and strong that the only question is whether or not it's gonna be an And-1 or not. He's also a phenomenal "pocket passer" on the pick and roll, where he delivers the pass to the roll guy in between the two defenders. His court vision, in terms of direct passes that lead to assists, is tremendous. He's also great at drawing contact in the lane, and getting easy points from the FT line as well. There's certainly plenty of meat on his offensive game.

On the defensive end, LeBron's been absolutely incredible in these playoffs, and I do think the Pippen comparisons are valid...this year. And that's the rub. MJ was a consistently great defender over the course of 10 years, whereas LeBron was an average defender (at best) until the 08-09 season, was superb over the last two seasons, and has been Pippen-esque during this playoff campaign. If he sustains this over the course of a fews years, he deserves a ton of praise and recognition, and he'll have the advantage over MJ, Kobe, or anyone aside from Pippen in this respect.

That being said, even the greatest perimeter defenders can only impact the game so much, simply due to the fact that they spend a good portion of the game 20 feet away from the hoop, and away from where the play's being made. A perimeter defender can't single-handedly take a game over the way that a big man can, or the way a perimeter guy can by having the ball whenever he wants to on the offensive end.

Ultimately, this is also an unfair comparison because part of greatness is longevity. I've never seen a better player than Shaq from 2000-02, but he's never mentioned as the best player ever because he didn't sustain that level of excellence for long enough. LeBron's still writing his story, and if he ever starts playing chess on offense, he has a chance to be the GOAT.

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Originally posted by LA9erFan:
They're difficult to compare because they had different responsibilities on their respective teams. LeBron has always been the de facto PG offensively, whereas after Phil Jackson took control of the Bulls, he made Pippen the de facto PG and MJ operated off of the ball. MJ often established scoring position on the wings, behind the first line of defense. He was actually the SF in the triangle offense, with Pippen as the PG and Armstrong/Kerr/Paxson/Harper were the SG. By contrast, LeBron primarily operates with the entire defense in front of him, handles the ball MUCH more than MJ did, and sets plays in motion the way that PGs do.

Just as LeBron is the de facto PG, MJ was the de facto post presence on his teams, and was devastatingly effective either from the pinch post (where Kobe or Dirk primarily operate from), or in the low post when he got older. Him being such a tremendous post up player spaced the floor for teammates in a way that allowed for easier shots. That being said, having Pippen taking care of the PG duties allowed him to establish scoring position in a way that wouldn't have been possible without a legitimate initiator. So MJ was fortunate in this respect.

Conversely, LeBron isn't nearly as good at his responsibility (initiating) as MJ was at his (post presence). For years there's been a huge disconnect between the fan's/media's opinion of LeBron and that of NBA talent evaluators, and it's largely because he breaks off plays and freelances so often that where his teammates were originally supposed to be is no longer valid, because he went somewhere else with the play. I know that folks here may think that I'm just hating on the guy, but there's a reason that as recently as the beginning of this year, a panel of current and former NBA coaches, scouts, GMs, and players picked Kobe as the best player in the NBA ahead of LeBron, and by a significant margin.

This is a quote from a Western Conference scout that speaks to what I'm talking about with LeBron...

Quote:
“Every year, we look for ways that he has lost a step and you look for ways that younger guys like LeBron or Kevin Durant have caught up to him -- and maybe in the middle of January, you can find some of those. But Kobe is always going to make a smart play, he is always going to find a way to get a good shot, no matter what stage of the game or how deep in the playoffs, and I don’t think the younger guys in the league are there yet.”

Until LeBron starts making the smart play and getting his team a good shot on a consistent basis, his team isn't going to be anything remarkable on the offensive end, despite having remarkable offensive talent.

Now, obviously James offers a lot of positives offensively as well. He's the best transition player in NBA history, and it's not even close. He goes from one end of the floor to another as fast as anyone ever has, and is so big and strong that the only question is whether or not it's gonna be an And-1 or not. He's also a phenomenal "pocket passer" on the pick and roll, where he delivers the pass to the roll guy in between the two defenders. His court vision, in terms of direct passes that lead to assists, is tremendous. He's also great at drawing contact in the lane, and getting easy points from the FT line as well. There's certainly plenty of meat on his offensive game.

On the defensive end, LeBron's been absolutely incredible in these playoffs, and I do think the Pippen comparisons are valid...this year. And that's the rub. MJ was a consistently great defender over the course of 10 years, whereas LeBron was an average defender (at best) until the 08-09 season, was superb over the last two seasons, and has been Pippen-esque during this playoff campaign. If he sustains this over the course of a fews years, he deserves a ton of praise and recognition, and he'll have the advantage over MJ, Kobe, or anyone aside from Pippen in this respect.

That being said, even the greatest perimeter defenders can only impact the game so much, simply due to the fact that they spend a good portion of the game 20 feet away from the hoop, and away from where the play's being made. A perimeter defender can't single-handedly take a game over the way that a big man can, or the way a perimeter guy can by having the ball whenever he wants to on the offensive end.

Ultimately, this is also an unfair comparison because part of greatness is longevity. I've never seen a better player than Shaq from 2000-02, but he's never mentioned as the best player ever because he didn't sustain that level of excellence for long enough. LeBron's still writing his story, and if he ever starts playing chess on offense, he has a chance to be the GOAT.


Post of the NBA season!!! The most informative and honest post on this subject I've read or heard this whole weekend anywhere. Liked the way you broke down their roles, their strengths and weaknesses, and I never saw or considered certain things the way you described, and it makes a LOT of sense. This is why I love the webzone, and hearing from certain members. Not only they know what they're talkin' about, they know how to explain themselves.

Showoff.
you mean Pete pwns at basketball? Huh, the sky is blue

however it's only a matter of time 'til SD and JC get on here and find something to disagree on with that post
Originally posted by global_nomad:



best b-ballers of all time