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The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Opinion: Lebron vs Jordan

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Lebron James and Michael Jordan are some of the greatest players to pick up a basketball. Both over time were breaking records and changing the game of basketball forever.

Jordan and Lebron will always be tied together in the conversion for the greatest basketball player to ever play in the National Basketball Association. With Lebron gaining more accolades in recent years, this discussion has intensified further.

Starting with the facts, Jordan played from 1984-2002, playing 13 years with the Chicago Bulls and two years with the Washington Wizards. During Jordan’s run with the Bulls, he did something that has never been repeated in NBA history; 3-peating twice in one decade. Through this, he won the Most Valuable Player award five times, the scoring champion 10 times, and also won the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Lebron has been playing since 2003, and playing 21 seasons professionally. He was drafted by his hometown team the Cleveland Cavaliers. He then left for the Miami Heat in 2010, where he won two championships.

Lebron returned to the Cavaliers in 2015 and helped the Cavaliers win their first NBA championship in the team’s history. Lebron left the Cavaliers after the 2018 season to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Where he won another championship in 2020. Lebron has won Most Valuable Player four times and has been selected to the first all-NBA team 13 times.

In comparing stats, Jordan averaged 30.1 points per game, while Lebron was averaging 27.2. Lebron beats Jordan in assists and rebounds, averaging 7.5 in rebounds with 7.2 in assists per game. Jordan only averaged 6.2 rebounds and 5.3 rebounds per game.

Jordan outstole Lebron with 2.3 steals a game to 1.5 steals per game.

In overall stats, Lebron has outscored, assisted, rebounded, and blocked more than Jordan. Lebron currently has the most points in NBA history breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record he had held for 39 years since. Lebron has also played 371 more games than Jordan and is still currently playing.

However, Jordan’s hard work and love for the game were evident during his playing days and are another reason he is considered the greatest of all time.

“One of the things that made Jordan great was sheer competitiveness, it didn’t matter if it was an exhibition game in Monaco, or if it was a game seven of the finals; that guy wanted to win at all costs,” said Jack Baker, a basketball fan and Central Oregon Community College Mazama gym goer.

Baker stands with team Jordan.

Jordan won three straight Championships to start in the 1990s. He retired after the 1993 season, returning halfway through the 1995 season. The Bulls won championships from 1996-1998. Jordan retired for a second time after the 1998 season. Jordan returned for two seasons to play for Washington Wizards in 2001 and 2002 where he retired for the final time after the 2002 season.

“What Jordan did in those years was unmatched,” said Baker. “Jordan’s dominance during the 1990s led to two separate three-peats in 8 years.

The Chicago Bulls went 72-10 in 1996 a record unbroken until Stephen Curry led the 2016 Golden State Warriors to a 73-9 season. Lebron then beat the 2016 Warriors in the finals.

Jordan Reached the NBA’s finals six times, winning six times. Lebron has been to the finals 10 times, winning four times.

Lebron eventually lost twice in the Finals after the 2016 season, to the Warriors.

“There’s a lot more competition in this era,” said Nick Osborne, Basketball fan and COCC Mazama gym goer, for team Lebron.“There wasn’t Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Stephen Curry, or Klay Thompson. There weren’t any players like this in that era.”

“That’s why Lebron lost so much more,” said Baker defending his competition argument.

Baker added that Lebron faced greater competition with the 2017 and 2018 Warriors.

“The only team that was even close to them in the conversation is the 96 Bulls,” said Baker. “If you’re saying Lebron lost to the greatest teams ever, then the other greatest team ever was led by Michael Jordan. If he can’t beat this current era’s greatest team. What’s to say he can beat that era team.”

Lebron has switched teams three times, surrounding himself with great players like Dwayne Wade who had already won a Championship with the Heat before Lebron joined, Kyrie Irving who had the clutch 3-point shot that helped secure the 2016 Championship and current player Anthony Davis with the Lakers.

With Lebron winning a Championship in 2020 and breaking the NBA’s points-scoring record in the 2022 season, he cemented himself deeper in the greatest of all-time conversation.

“It’s easy to say that the person you’re currently watching is the greatest, but at the end of the day, Jordan carried his team to victory. Outside of the Steve Kerr shot, Jordan made all the clutch shots in the Finals,” said Baker.

Many elements play a part when deciding who is better between Lebron and Jordan.

“I like the name, Lebron, it’s more original than Michael,” said Khloe Laughlin-Hall, a COCC and Mazama gym goer, with team Lebron.

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Fabian Ruiz, Editor

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