IMO, the thing that has Jordan above LBJ (and another point for the "debate" with Kobe) for at least the forseeable future is not just his championships (after all, I doubt Jordan would have won with LBJ's Cleveland cast and I'm sure if LBJ had a Pippen he could have won a bunch), but WHO Chicago beat; that 2nd 3peat really elevated him to another level beating Stockton/Malone twice and Payton/Kemp. Nobody has prevented legends from winning it all the way Jordan did and it's not close. Barkley, Malone, Stockton, Payton (with a significant role, not piggybacking off D-Wade and the Diesel as a reserve), Ewing, R. Miller, etc. all likely end their career with some hardware if it weren't for Jordan. Those Jazz and Sonics teams are arguably in the top 10-15 single season teams of all time. Gary Payton was like a combination of Chris Paul and Deron Williams offensively and Rajon Rondo and Jason Kidd defensively. And Kemp was maybe one of the top-5 most freakishly athletic players ever...essentially Blake Griffin. They won 64 games in the regular season and took a 72 win bulls team that had only lost 1 game previously in the postseason to 6 without a healthy Nate McMillan who was instrumental to their defense. Schrempf, Hawkins, etc. really solidified that team. Those Jazz teams won 126 games in 2 years, had a top-5 PG ever and a top-3 PF ever AND real nice role players like Hornacek and Russell. Two AMAZING teams. We'll see if LBJ can do something similar. Of all the Finals' the lakers have made since 2000, only 3 were against legitimately Finals-caliber teams. '04 Pistons, '08 Celtics, and '10 Celtics. They went 1-2 there and they were very fortunate to say the least to get that 1. '00 Pacers, '01 Sixers, '02 Nets (though obviously should have been Sacramento playing them anyways), and '09 Magic were pretty weak for Finals teams. So Kobe never prevented legends from winning. If LBJ goes on a tear and prevents guys like Rose or Durant (and Nowitzki for that matter) from ever getting any hardware, THEN it becomes a serious discussion I believe.
[ Edited by andes14 on May 30, 2011 at 1:10 AM ]