MJ or LeBron-Who is the True GOAT?
As LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers prepare to face the Golden State Warriors in their third consecutive NBA Finals, the debate continues as to who is the true GOAT; Michael Jordan or LeBron James. Since LeBron is making his seventh consecutive Finals appearance and recently passed Jordan as the all time leading scorer in NBA post season history with 5,988 points and counting, the debate has been hotter than ever.
Taking nothing away from LeBron James and his remarkable accomplishments, the fact remains that when it’s all said he may end up leading quite a few more statistical categories than Jordan, and in many people’s opinion end up as the ultimate GOAT. As of now though, there is no doubt that MJ is the best ever for numerous reasons that will be mentioned throughout this post.
Despite growing up a huge Bulls and MJ fan, I am certainly open to the possibility that one day LeBron may end up being known as the greatest player in NBA history, as his career is far from over at this point, and it is to be determined as to how many championships he will win. As of now though, it’s still MJ’s world. The number one reason for this statement, is the simple fact that Jordan was 6-0 in the Finals and a six time Finals MVP as well. While LeBron is 3-4 in the NBA Finals, the Cav’s victory in seven games over the 73 win Warriors was rather significant, and if his squad can knock of Golden State again with the addition of Kevin Durant, it will certainly add to his growing legacy.
Consider that Jordan was part of two different teams that were able to three-peat, an accomplishment that only three franchises in NBA history have carried out. Many will argue that had Jordan not retired to play baseball for two years, the Bulls would have won eight in a row. The era in which MJ played was one of the most competitive in NBA history, and produced some of the best players that the sport has ever seen. How can you actually argue with the fact that Jordan never lost in the Finals? Not to mention that fact that MJ knocked off teams with the likes of Magic Johnson, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, Karl Malone and John Stockton. The Eastern Conference was also a hell of a lot more competitive while Jordan played.
Some may argue that James is the GOAT because he just passed Jordan as the all time scorer in the post season. Keep in mind that there could be an asterisk by LeBron’s name in breaking this record for numerous reasons. First off, if took James 33 more games than MJ to break the record. When Jordan played, the first round was best 3 of 5 games, not 4 of 7, and James began his career directly out of high school, while Jordan played three seasons in college for UNC, and won an NCAA championship.
It’s also worth noting that no one seemed to make role players around them perform at a higher level than Michael Jordan. This debate will continue, and in the end you can’t convince every one of who is, and will always be the greatest of all time.