DWarner4

LBJ < MJ... DEBATE THE FACTS HERE!

Recommended Posts

DWarner4    724

It looks like this is the hottest topic floating around NBA waters today and I see it keep coming up in other threads, so we might as well have a dedicated thread to debate the facts.

 

If we can, let's attempt to leave out opinions that can't be verified by some form of mathematics.

We all have opinions," LeBrons a little B itch and never woulda been able to play in the Jordan era!" or "Mike had his Daddy killed and if he'd been subjected to social media he never would've  gotten so large."  That's not what this is really about. Let's see some data to back up what you're claiming.

 

I was 21 when Jordan won his first Chip, and was fully engrossed in every second of the Jordan experience. He influenced my own game. Saw him play live. Was lucky to be in an area where WGN played every one of his games during the ring years, so I  was present for 82 nights plus  while Jordan introduced the world to the League Pass era. And I was caught up in the sneakerhead phenomenon and once owned 41 pairs of J's at one time. I was a Jordan guy through and through. But I'm not blind.

 

Today, Nike has marketed Jordan beyond a point where having a discussion regarding his status is like telling a Christian they really can't be sure Jesus ever existed. It's considered blasphemy. Jordan is akin to Jesus in that anyone who is willing to say anything contrary to the status quo of "He's the greatest ever" sounds like a man who questions Christianity in a country where 90% claim to be Christian. You sound crazy! Dangerous even! And if not that, you sound like such a minority voice, that people refuse to take you seriously. Kinda like a Jehovah Witness or 7th day Adventist in this society. 

 

But in this thread, it's not blasphemy or religion. It's just healthy basketball conversation.

I'll get it started with a link to a Blog I wrote 4 years ago. The title makes my position clear. There's much additional data to be included to the argument since I wrote this but I'm sure we'll get to that over the course of this thread. 

 

For now, have at it!

 

Why is Jordan better?

Why is LeBron better?

And what facts do you have to back up your opinions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TRIPLEA2TOOTSIES    1,542

Michael Jordan is the reason I fell in love with basketball.  At the time, I was 11 and my family and I were living in Southern California, so you can imagine the grief I received as I dawned my Chicago Bulls apparel.  I was a huge Bulls fan in those days, but everyone I knew rooted for Magic and the Lakers (I did have one friend who was a Sonics fan...poor fella:P).  Like @DWarner4, I was also lucky enough to be able to catch most of the games on WGN during the ring years.  My parents however, "were not paying that much money for a  pair of shoes!"...I tried.  I remember watching MJ and always knowing that somehow, someway, he was gonna lead his team to a victory.  I used to be stunned whenever they lost...they were supposed to win every game lol.  I tried to hoop like MJ as well.  Even had some of the older kids calling me "Baby Jordan"! (stop laughing, it's true!) 

After Jordan's career with the Bulls ended, I actually drifted away from NBA basketball for a bit.  It wasn't until all this hype began circulating around this High School kid from Ohio who was being compared to my childhood hero, that I really started paying attention to the NBA again.

Fast forward to today.  I've been a big fan of LeBron James' game since he came into the league.  I totally get why Heat fans despise him, but it's never been that serious for me personally.  LeBron has always been a bit of a jerk, and I think that hurts him when people discuss who's better, him or MJ.  Look at a guy like Derek Jeter.  Renowned as the best Yankee (for some the best baseball player) of all time mainly in my opinion because of the way he handled the media and never ruffled any feathers.  In LeBron's case, its the exact opposite.  It's my belief that if he had more of a Steph Curry demeanor, He'd already be widely considered the GOAT.  LeBron's greatness gets taken for granted too often, as the media and fans are constantly looking to consider someone other than LeBron as the league's MVP. 

The main argument "Jordan Truthers" like to point out is that MJ was undefeated in the Finals...and that is pretty damn good, but so is making it to the Finals 7 straight years.  I think when you debate who's better, it has to be clear if we're talking about who's better as a player, or who's had the better career?  For me, it's too close to call at this point, especially when you consider that LeBron could probably play for another decade if he wanted to.  It shouldn't only be about the rings though in my opinion.  If that's the case, then Bill Russell and his 11 rings are the GOAT hands down.  For most fans, it's impossible to be unbiased.  It's hard to find a fan who isn't emotionally invested one way or the other.  When LeBron retires however, I think he will have had a better career than MJ, but MJ has been the most influential player of my lifetime.  It's hard to imagine any true hooper not being inspired by Michael Jordan.  But if the conversation is strictly who's a better player, it has to be LeBron just based on the variety of ways he impacts the game. (sorry @MadD...don't kill me lol)

On another note, what happen to Kobe? lol....If my memory serves me, he was pretty good too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DWarner4    724
9 hours ago, Majestic said:

Screen_Shot_2017-05-28_at_2.12.43_PM.png

 

Man where do you find all these GIFs? You gotta be the GOAT on the Inferno for the GIF action! Good shyte...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DWarner4    724
13 hours ago, TRIPLEA2TOOTSIES said:

  I totally get why Heat fans despise him, but it's never been that serious for me personally.  LeBron has always been a bit of a jerk, and I think that hurts him when people discuss who's better, him or MJ.  Look at a guy like Derek Jeter.  Renowned as the best Yankee (for some the best baseball player) of all time mainly in my opinion because of the way he handled the media and never ruffled any feathers.  In LeBron's case, its the exact opposite.  It's my belief that if he had more of a Steph Curry demeanor, He'd already be widely considered the GOAT.  LeBron's greatness gets taken for granted too often, as the media and fans are constantly looking to consider someone other than LeBron as the league's MVP. 

 

I do agree personna plays into a players off the court accolades. Jeter is a good example. But compared to Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, James is a nice guy. They're the renowned jerks, yet people place them above Bron for personal reasons and make excuses for the guys they like.

 

Curry's innocent demeanor plays a part in his commercial success to the greater audience, but to many in the inner city and Black community he isn't as attractive. In some ways, LeBrons personna of the highly empowered Black Man is offensive to that greater audience that has embraced Steph. I know that's kinda deep, but our sports sensibilities in this country have always been directly related to race. Boxing, Golf, basketball, the NFL quarterback position, auto racing, track and field. Just naming the sport makes one conjure up images of race dynamics that each have encountered over the years. And the way players are embraced or ostracized certainly has something to do with this phenomena.

 

Quote

The main argument "Jordan Truthers" like to point out is that MJ was undefeated in the Finals...and that is pretty damn good, but so is making it to the Finals 7 straight years.  I think when you debate who's better, it has to be clear if we're talking about who's better as a player, or who's had the better career?  For me, it's too close to call at this point, especially when you consider that LeBron could probably play for another decade if he wanted to.  It shouldn't only be about the rings though in my opinion.  If that's the case, then Bill Russell and his 11 rings are the GOAT hands down.  For most fans, it's impossible to be unbiased.  It's hard to find a fan who isn't emotionally invested one way or the other.  When LeBron retires however, I think he will have had a better career than MJ, but MJ has been the most influential player of my lifetime.  It's hard to imagine any true hooper not being inspired by Michael Jordan.  But if the conversation is strictly who's a better player, it has to be LeBron just based on the variety of ways he impacts the game. (sorry @MadD...don't kill me lol)

 

 

On another note, what happen to Kobe? lol....If my memory serves me, he was pretty good too.

 

Kobe's not even in the same stratosphere as these two. Statistically they're way too far apart for it to be a realistic comparison. For my money, I like to think DWade is above Kobe as the numbers say he was, and the fact he spent more time as the #1 guy on his team than Kobe did. It's conjecture, but had Wade been a Laker he'd have a statue out there, and had Kobe not been a Laker, it's not likely he would've enjoyed a career of winning like he did.  Kobe won 5 rings but never led any of those teams in win shares during those seasons. We hear LeBron criticized when he's outplayed in a single game by Kyrie, but Kobe was outplayed by his teammate for the better part of the first decade of his career. And then in the playoffs when Pau was really good...

Check out this breakdown of Kobe, DWade, Jerry West, Clyde Drexler, and James Harden and you tell me who's the 2nd best ever....

http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.fcgi?request=1&sum=1&player_id1_hint=Dwyane+Wade&player_id1_select=Dwyane+Wade&y1=2017&player_id1=wadedw01&idx=players&player_id2_hint=Kobe+Bryant&player_id2_select=Kobe+Bryant&y2=2015&player_id2=bryanko01&idx=players&player_id3_hint=Jerry+West&player_id3_select=Jerry+West&y3=1974&player_id3=westje01&idx=players&player_id4_hint=James+Harden&player_id4_select=James+Harden&y4=2017&player_id4=hardeja01&idx=players&player_id5_hint=Clyde+Drexler&player_id5_select=Clyde+Drexler&y5=1998&player_id5=drexlcl01&idx=players

For me, there are two categories to compare players in. The Greatest. And the Best.

 

"Greatness" involves off the floor contributions, cultural contributions, and mythology surrounding your name, as well as a players effectiveness to play the game. But mythology is the largest portion of this "Greatness" assessment.

 

The Best is a comparison of the actual all around most talented and most difficult players to stop or score on. No mythology is included here.

 

I'm not sure Lebron is even breaching the top 5 for Greatness. The mythology just isn't there, and much of what is has been so negative... But for me he's clearly the "Best" all around basketball player in comparison to the others.  I'm sure we'll get more into this as the thread moves on...

 

The 11 rings you mention for Bill Russell make him better than Jordan in the category many love to recite as evidence for Mikes status as GOAT, but for me it's bigger than that. I consider him the" Greatest." He was the first Black superstar. First Black Coach. 2nd Black GM. Played on the team with the first all Black starting 5, and 1st predominantly Black team. And he was highly defiant publicly. For all these reasons he was more than a basketball player. Nobody's matched any of that in my opinion. Mike sold the most sneakers and endorsed the most product sold to consumers and that had massive effect, but for me not as positive of an effect of what Bill Russell set in place for those to follow.

 

And Wilt, Kareem, Bird, and Magic all may have had a more profound effect on the game than MJ too. So maybe, without Nike boosting them, neither MJ or Bron would even be top 5 in the "greatness" category at all. That's sounds like blasphemy to Jordanites I'm sure, but not everyone sees a players contribution as being as important as the next guy does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Majestic    8,278
49 minutes ago, DWarner4 said:

Man where do you find all these GIFs? You gotta be the GOAT on the Inferno for the GIF action! Good shyte...

 

lol...technically that's not a gif, it's just a picture. I'm all over the internet, especially reading twitter accounts. 

These kind of pics are everywhere, everyday. I just post the things I think are pretty cool and stuff I think guys on here would like to see and read.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Majestic    8,278

@DWarner4 Did you hear Rob Parker on the Herd this morning? What do you think? (Disregard the Tiger DUI at the beginning...go to 4:40 on vid timeline)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DWarner4    724
2 hours ago, Majestic said:

@DWarner4 Did you hear Rob Parker on the Herd this morning? What do you think? (Disregard the Tiger DUI at the beginning...go to 4:40 on vid timeline)

 

 

Few things...

 

It's my belief, that channels like Fox news and CNN have distinct target audiences they program for and broadcast to. They target a specific audience and fill them up with the type of information that will keep them tuned in all day, or at the least, compel people to make that channel their go-to station for news. I believe every channel does something similar.

 

What makes the sport genre different, is that we've seen precipitous drop offs in the number of subscribers to these channels and viewership of their marquee programs like SportsCenter are down. This caused the ESPN companies to have massive lay-offs twice in the past 24 months. Because of this, it makes the necessity to have programming that's enthralling to viewers that much more important. 

 

As a result, I believe they've created two camps within mainstream media to address the most talked about topic in American sport today-LeBron James. One camp is in the LeBron corner. Guys like Cowherd, and Nick Wright. Shannon Sharpe and Marcellus Willey. In the opposing camp, we have guys like Skip Bayless, Jason Whitlock, and Rob Parker. Whether they actually believe their stances is up for debate I suppose, but they clearly have defining camps and each of their careers has seemed to benefit from the conversation. Perhaps more than LeBrons himself...

 

So we see program after program of opposing information. Why? Because of what I call the Floyd Mayweather effect. They now understanding that an individual who has a strong following of people who like them, also have the counter potential to have a legion of people who can't stand them. Whether it becomes personal, or from a sports perspective like Mike was alluding to. So targeting only one of these perspective groups is short sighted from a marketing standpoint. They've adressed that with James and as a result, the real picture has become kinda grey.

 

But if we could take these guys stances real, I'd say that Rob Parker is a Jordan era guy through and through. In January when he turns 54, he and Jordan will both be 54. He grew up in Jamaica likely loving American culture from afar and Jordan was American culture to many people world wide at that time. His face was nearly as recognizable as Jesus Christs fake image was world wide. lol Nike and the Dream Team did a hell of a job of marketing that man...

 

But I do agree with a few things he said. LeBron does represent the Declaration of Independence era we're in now. I love it, and applaud him for it. Parker's hating on him for it. Different viewpoints, but his may actually be a line he read on a readers comments board after an article relating to James, that he utilized to create conversation much like you do here.

 

It's hard for me to believe Rob Parker, who called out RGIII for basically being a sell-out himself, would see LeBron empowering himself and the other young brothers in the NBA who follow, as a negative thing. But perhaps he does. I'd question his allegiance to the cause if that's the case...

 

I also agree that had LeBron not made the Miami jump, perhaps Durant wouldn't have either. But it's not like Bron was the first to do so. So we may be giving him too much credit for that kind of movement.

 

I disagree that LeBron is the main proponent that ushered in the era of players resting however. That was Pop and the Spurs, and Lebron and his coaches have just learned from them. In fact every coach and player are now understanding the importance of rest and recovery to their careers and effectiveness on a night to night basis. Can't really credit Bron for that, but in the long run, we'll see it as genius. Most people understand 82 games is too many. So we'll continue to see advancement in that area. If Parker wants to credit James for that, I think it's inaccurate, but I doubt LeBron will dislike the connection in the future.

 

His assessment, or the assessment he was regurgitating, that the league is weak because only a handful of teams are competing is actually laughable as someone who's analyzed all 70 seasons pretty intimately. Back when there were 10 teams and the top 150 men were playing, only two teams were really competing for the chip. In the middle eras which were the best we've seen up till now from 1980-1990, there were only a handful of teams competing. LA and Boston met regularly from 80-88 and nobody complained. In fact, we clamored for the matchup to happen. Was the Lakers/Celtic rivaly bad for the NBA in the 80's? Was the Lakers-Celtics rivalry where Jerry West lost 7/8 times to the Celts bad for the NBA? Of course not. Parity is tough to come by in basketball when one player can have such a profound effect on the games outcome.

 

But the weakest era from a competitive standpoint, since the 60's was the 1990-2000 era , due to expansion. But we overlook that because of the Jordan effect. We lump the 80's and 90's together yet forget that only in 1982 did Jordan win anything. In 1980 he didn't. Not, '81, not '83, not '84, '85,'86, '87, '88, '89, or even 1990. For nearly a decade he wasn't winning much. 

In high school, Mike never played for a championship in a smaller class in the State of North Carolina, while James won 3 state titles while playing for the chip 4 times. He won a Nation Title in there too, and was named POY in high school 3 times.

 

And he said Bron is playing nobodies but he beat the Spurs and Warriors and a team with 3 Hall of Famers in OKC. 2 of the 3 have won chips in their franchise history, and those two are at the peaks of their franchises already potent history in the current. 

When we look at Jordan, he beat the Lakers with no Pat Riley or Kareem. You email Pat and ask him if he thought that was a real Laker squad. Then the Blazers who last won in 1979 and only did so once. The Sonics who last won in '77 and only did so once. And then the Suns and Jazz,both of which have never won a title in their franchises history. Those teams.in comparison to the Spurs and Warriors alone make LeBrons routes more challenging. Not to mention all the HOFers on Dallas and OKC... Plus there have only been 11 players in NBA history to achieve a season with a 30 PER. LeBron played against 7 of them, Mike 1... Come on Parker!!

 

So Jordan won in a weaker era, and didn't produce wins for any teams he was associated with until expansion wrecked the competitive balance of the league. It wasn't that the competitive balance was actually ever even there, even before expansion, but it certainly wasn't James Free Agency runs and the stacking of talent that has hurt the league. Play has been enhanced, as well as ratings, so I'm not sure what Parker was referring to as the decline of the league. Thing is, I'm not sure he was either. He likely is just running off snarky bites he stole from peoples twitter feeds that gets people panties in a bunch. But they call it entertainment, so it is what it is...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Majestic    8,278

That post deserves a "like" just for the effort. 

Just so you know DWarner, I don't watch guys like Smith, Bayless, Cowherd, Sharpe, Wiley. I just happened to stumble upon Parker going off, found the YouTube audio of it and thought you would definitely have something to say in rebuttal. I was right. Well done sir. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Scar    1,649

Mj never played a team this stacked. Revisionist would say he'd beat these warriors, but I don't see it.

 

If Jordan had played that spurs team lebron played in his first finals...with no pippen, he would have lost too.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Majestic    8,278
18 minutes ago, TRIPLEA2TOOTSIES said:

If LeBron wins a title against this team...He's the GOAT. 

 

What if he doesn't...will that make Jordan the GOAT?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TRIPLEA2TOOTSIES    1,542
Just now, Majestic said:

 

What if he doesn't...will that make Jordan the GOAT?

 

Naw, then the debate continues.  I'm pretty sure he'll play in more Finals after this one.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
carnageta    773

Having this same exact discussion over at another forum. The only difference is, everyone over there is a blatant Lebron hater and a Jordan/Kobe lover, or a blatant Jordan/Kobe hater and Lebron lover. It's funny how you will almost never find people who can just appreciate the greatness of all 3, like the way many do on these forums.

 

Miami bless.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Majestic    8,278
32 minutes ago, TRIPLEA2TOOTSIES said:

Naw, then the debate continues. 

 

Don't kid yourself, if Jordan's talent had all the advantages that today's players have and he was playing in the NBA today he'd probably be the best in the league.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TRIPLEA2TOOTSIES    1,542
3 hours ago, Majestic said:

 

Don't kid yourself, if Jordan's talent had all the advantages that today's players have and he was playing in the NBA today he'd probably be the best in the league.

 

I'm not sure what you mean...

It's easy to speculate what MJ would do today, but like DWarner has pointed out on a number of occasions, the players are bigger, stronger, faster. 

I guess it's only fair to assume MJ would be too if he was playing in this era, but I'm not ready to say my childhood hero would just dominate today.  Looking back, I don't think we're giving enough credit to Phil and Scottie.  I really hate this argument because there's no real way to determine who's better or who's had the better career.  Lets say LeBron loses in these Finals, then comes back an wins 2 or 4 more.  Then what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DWarner4    724
On 6/3/2017 at 4:29 PM, Majestic said:

 

Don't kid yourself, if Jordan's talent had all the advantages that today's players have and he was playing in the NBA today he'd probably be the best in the league.

 

 

 

 

On 6/3/2017 at 9:01 PM, TRIPLEA2TOOTSIES said:

 

I'm not sure what you mean...

It's easy to speculate what MJ would do today, but like DWarner has pointed out on a number of occasions, the players are bigger, stronger, faster. 

I guess it's only fair to assume MJ would be too if he was playing in this era, but I'm not ready to say my childhood hero would just dominate today.  Looking back, I don't think we're giving enough credit to Phil and Scottie.  I really hate this argument because there's no real way to determine who's better or who's had the better career.  Lets say LeBron loses in these Finals, then comes back an wins 2 or 4 more.  Then what?

 

123_1.jpgupload photos

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now