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Thursday, October 4th, 2012 at 2:05 pm  |  126 responses

Charles Barkley Says LeBron James Can Be Better Than Michael Jordan


Charles Barkley has always bristled at the very idea that anyone could match (let alone surpass) his good friend Michael Jordan. But Sir Charles seems to have had a change of heart, and is now convinced that LeBron James could become better than MJ. Per the Sun-Sentinel (via NBATV’s “Open Court”, which resumes next Tuesday): “Barkley on LeBron James comparisons to Michael Jordan: ‘I do think he can be better than Michael. I thought I would never compare somebody to Michael Jordan. But this guy, LeBron James, he does everything well. Michael did everything well. LeBron James is just bigger, stronger, faster. That’s the only difference.’ [Shaquille O’Neal] on James’ future: ‘Unfortunately for LeBron, now that the monkey is off his back, he is going to be compared to two people: Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. So now the question is how many championships can he get? We all know he is a competitor.’”

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  • SKemp

    Let the discussion begin!

  • Redd

    No, just no. Lebron did it with 2 other stars coming together, he couldn’t do it with creating a star or consistent, major role player alongside him. Lebron also doesn’t give you the moments that Jordan did. Jordan captivated you, like Ali did. He sucked you into the moment, you stopped breathing & once the moment left you realized how magnificent he is.

    So no, this is dumb. Kobe nor Lebron will ever come close.

  • mario chalmers

    theres never better any doubt that he is the most gifted basketball player to ever live. so to say he COULD pass up jordan is nothing new. From a mental aspect of the game, i personally dont think hell have what it takes to get to 6 rings. which seems to be the consensus of what hell need to be in that discussion

  • Reedan

    And y’all thought Pollen was crazy when he said it last year.

  • reedan

    Pippen (damn corrector)

  • Mike

    Having the mental ability to work through adversity on and off the court, is just as important (if not more important) than having the physical ability. With that said, I don’t think you can compare the two until the resume’s are comparable, and Jordan has two more mvp’s, 5 more championships, a defensive player of the year award, 5 more finals MVPs and many more accolades to go. So in the meantime everyone: pump the brakes.

  • 1982

    I agree. But as far as potential? The sky’s the limit.

  • mike

    Potential? The guy has maintained the same level of play for years, hasn’t really gone up or down. His jump shot and free-throws are still a liability, and he’s one of the biggest floppers in the NBA. I’d like to see what effect this has on his ability to win games without needing the whistle too much.

  • mike

    and he’s turning 28, it’s not like the dude is 24 and accumulating all these awards. He will slow down considerably in his early 30′s.

  • Conor

    LeBron James is, inevitably, going to be a top ten talent within basketball’s history. There are many others, however, who are/were more skilful/talented than James is: Bird, Bryant, Magic, Jordan, and McGrady (not top ten-level, but more skilled) are among them, imo.

  • Conor

    Among those listed, only Bryant & Jordan were ever comparable, defensively, to James. And that’s what I believe separates them from the others. Masterclass on both fronts. James isn’t as, good man-on-man, as the other two.

  • RKJ92

    sucha hater! get outta here!! he wasnt talking about “THE MOMENTS, AND CAPTIVATING YOU” he’s talking about his overall attributes and skill level.. if your going to be biast dont bother commenting.

  • I SLAP HIPSTERS – HARD

    Individually, he can be better than MJ but it all comes down to how many championships you won and individual records you have set.

  • zogs19994

    …MAYBE SKILLED……… YOUNG KOBE IMO, WAS “MORE SKILLED”….
    BUT….
    LEBRONS A LIL BITCH AND WILL NEVER BE GOAT

  • zogs19994

    NO!

  • zogs19994

    FIGNUTON!!!

  • bike

    Key word is ‘can’. I don’t think LeBron has – or ever will have – the same level of comptetive drive that Jordan had. Just have to wait and see.

  • zogs19994

    FAGGOT (damn corrector)

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    at this age, Jordan just lost to the Pistons in the conference finals….again. And all people were saying was that he would never be Magic Johnson.
    .
    Saying it’s not going to happen just sets history up to repeat itself. It can still happen, LeBron is in better position than anyone has been since Jordan retired to catch him. It’s a blatant fact. When you are 27 with 3 MVPs, a ring, and a finals MVP compared to Jordan at 27 who had 1 MVP, 1DPOY, and no rings.

  • MUBWAR

    he can get 2 more with this team as currently constructed. he should also focus on getting the

  • 1982

    He’s one year behind MJ as far as championships and MJ developed his post game about 3-4 years after. The word potential refers o what he can improve and whether or not he has the ability to do it, not what you’ve seen from him so far. And I disagree, he’s gotten a lot better IMO in almost every facet.

  • Sean B

    What he said is all subjective anyway… I have certainly been captivated by all of LeBron’s recent moments… even the epic failures from 2009-2011 that eventually lead him to be successful in 2012.

  • mike

    Fine, but he’s not winning 5 more championships in his career. There’s a team down in OKC that are very young and very talented. Maybe you’ve heard of them?

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Pippen in his prime was leaps and bounds better than the hobbled Wade in last year’s playoffs. Throw in the fact that Bosh got hurt in the first game of the 2nd round. Wade is a mega star and Bosh is an all-star when healthy, but neither were healthy in last year’s playoff run. I’m not saying Barkley’s right, but let’s not act like Lebron coattailed his way to a ring last year. The man lead his team in every significant statistical category.

  • vaze7789

    ok hater

  • Junior Taylor

    LeBron has to become the best player at his position all-time (Bird still is the best SF) before worrying about being better than the greatest non-center in League History.

  • revmike

    That’s rubbish!!! How many people have locked up D Rose in the 4th quarter of a playoff game? My point exactley!

  • revmike

    And Jordan didn’t have a stacked team? Lol!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Would you actually rank Kareem ahead of Jordan though? I don’t know…

  • Junior Taylor

    I would but to each it’s own. I don’t have a problem with those (seems like everyone) that have MJ as the GOAT.

  • Redd

    Jordan had a team of 2 other allstars joining him?

  • Redd

    Bias? You mean having about every sports fan agreeing with me? Lol ok, sure. You’re an idiot. And raptors suck sit down.

  • Redd

    Not even going to argue with you cause I respect your opinion always. But again, statistics aside, Jordan was the more exciting player. He didn’t have the physical assets Lebron does.

  • Redd

    Really? You’re one of a very few..

  • danpowers

    kobe, t-mac and vince couldve also probably been better than jordan. but they werent. same with bron. he is a great guy anway

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    nobody judges best player ever on how exciting they were though lol – and nobody discounts guys for their physical assets. I mean you can look at Wilt and Shaq being in most historians top 8 (SLAM’s top 5) all time as evidence that physical assets don’t hurt legacy. All people care about in the end, is success, dominance, & circumstances. — What I think it separate Jordan from LeBron if he does ever “catch up” will be the fact that Jordan won 6 championships despite sitting out 1-1/2 seasons that were right at the height of his powers. — I mean i totally agree with you that LeBron probably won’t catch Jordan. But he definitely has a great chance.

  • Junior Taylor

    At the same point in their careers, LeBron has a better chance than either one of those cats at matching MJ’s brilliance (not saying he will but you never know)

  • Brion

    I hear what your saying, but Lebron has already given me “the moments” like last year, Boston game 6, facing elimination, wondering if he was going to miss a shot the whole game!

  • shockexchange

    LeBron, don’t let the media hype cause you to lose your focus. Keep trying to master the Shock Exchange’s “LeBron Rules … Keys to Stopping LeBron James” and everything else will take care of itself.

  • danpowers

    true but this chance is like saying “the phoenix suns have a better shot at winning the nba championship this year than the detroit pistons”. whenever old legends bring this goat talk up they rather seek attention for themselves than actually making a reasonable statement

  • Spaceship Jay

    Sigh; Won’t catch up, nobody will catch up from a defensive and shooting percentage standpoint; plus Lebron’s story is already tainted, because he’s a part of a fickle American society in which it isn’t really the fact that it’s done. It’s how you do it.

  • 23

    It depends how you consider somebody better. Are accolades like MVPs and individual awards important? Are championships the 99% deciding factor? Or is it just what a player is able to provide you on any given night? I go with the last one. And in that sense LeBron is just as good as anybody ever. But i know I’m a minority in thinking that way. Most everybody considers team Championships as the only true measuring suck of an individual player.

  • 23

    It depends how you consider somebody better. Are accolades like MVPs and individual awards important? Are championships the 99% deciding factor? Or is it just what a player is able to provide you on any given night? I go with the last one. And in that sense LeBron is just as good as anybody ever. But i know I’m a minority in thinking that way. Most everybody considers team Championships as the only true measuring suck of an individual player. And in that way of thinking, Lebron wont reaxh a “jordan type level”

  • 23

    When it comes to individual records Lebron will finish with PLENTY of those

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    it’s not that LeBron has a chance, it’s that at 27, LeBron is better than Jordan was.

  • 23

    That statement kinda fogs up your credibility. You only consider a player great if he’s fun or exciting to watch? That’s opinion man. Its obvious that people like you have Jordan on a godlike level and nobody will ever be good enough to dethrone him because he is the original. Favorite player and Greatest player arent the same thing. Therefore you shouldn’t judge them the same way.

  • RKJ92

    Bro your actually useless. your like Skip Bayless behind a keyboard running your mouth all day long without anything valuable to add to a conversation. where do you get your facts about everyone agreeing with you? where do you get your facts that im an idiot? you have 0 credibility and no respect. enough said.

  • danpowers

    james was better individually until the age of 26. the advanced stats of both are pretty even till that time by jordan having the better individual traditional stats but james being more successful and more of a leader. james won a championship now but by then you could argue that jordan didnt have a good team around him. at least nothing close to james’ heat and id even say james cavs supporting cast was better than jordans bulls of his early carreer. actually jordans per and win shares are higher than james’. its like the age of 27 when jordan finally surpassed james individually.

  • LakeShow

    Man that is NOT true….
    More accolades fine.
    Better? HELL NO.
    Forgive me for going all Unfrozencavemanlawyer on you, but noooo man.

  • RKJ92

    EXACTLY what I just said not even 5 minutes ago he can never add anything credible or valuable to a conversation he’s always biast and blatently rude.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    James is still ahead of Jordan in terms of success.
    .
    Jordan’s advanced are slightly better than James….but Jordan also played in a much more friendly offensive era.
    .
    When you talk about a player as better all-time than any other, you never ever talk about how good they were when their team was bad. If their team was bad, that is an issue, period. It’s the same reason Dominique Wilkins is never in the “whose the best SF ever” conversation despite having numbers that rival everyone. It’s why nobody talks about Bernard King when looking at Kobe Bryant…despite them having almost mirrored stats.
    .
    Winning is what trumps everything. Winning is the argument for Kobe Bryant the vast majority of the time. Winning is why Bill Russell is considered top 5. If you took Jordan at 27 without a title compared to LeBron at 27 with a title, you’d say LeBron was the better player in an All-Time type conversation. As wrong as it sounds, that’s the way it is. Take the name Michael Jordan and LeBron James out of it and just look at what they accomplished with the stats that they have at the age of 27.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Well than, considering your arguments for Kobe Bryant…..that’s a hypocritical stance.
    .
    You don’t ignore accolades when you talk about what player is better. If you did, then fine, LeBron James is better all time than Kobe Bryant….simply because he is better right now than Kobe has ever been.
    .
    Choose one or the other.

  • danpowers

    it is a mix of all: individual class and numbers, the historical background and team success. thats why it will always be tough to compare players who are not playing in the same age of the game. but we know that jordan also dominated in the defensively toughest era of the nba, also as an old man. while james also has the advantage to play without handchecking. this is why i wouldnt come up with saying jordans early carreer stats are better coz the 80s were offensively friendly.

    i mean, we all know what determined jordans greatness. after getting beaten up and frustrated by the pistons bonecrushing defense, gaining a body armour of muscles to fuck em up to then blow away and dominate the game at one point (seemingly) at ease that he retired coz he became some kind of bored of the game and feeling like he had nothing to prove. i dont see james doing that in four years (yet).

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Was Dwayne Wade a superstar throughout last year’s playoff run. What were Bosh’s playoff averages in the series against the Pacers? What about the Celtics? Face it, Lebron willed the Heat to a championship. Maintaining that Lebron only has a ring because he plays alongside 2 all-stars suggests that you’re either biased or lack basketball knowledge. I think it’s both.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    The Pistons were the first team in NBA history to focus on defense. Jordan dominated in what was still, a very very offensive friendly NBA. His stats, were inflated because of this.
    .
    You don’t score 36PPG with 8Rebounds & 8 Assists without another All-Star in a tough defensive era. That idea is ridiculous.
    .
    And you can put all of your trust in that handchecking did not make scoring any harder for Jordan. Especially if you know anything about the illegal defense rule.
    .
    Jordan got to play in isolation his whole entire career…you realize that? Jordan NEVER saw a zone defense until he was 38 years old. Which means he NEVER was forced to be a jump shooter and NEVER had to worry about a team loading up the strong side of the court.
    .
    Michael Jordan was a better basketball player than James is in terms of individual skill and abilities, but he was not a better basketball player at the age of 27 in terms of success, in which he had none. Which is the ultimate measure of greatness. What makes Jordan, Jordan, is the 6-1/2 seasons he played between 1990 and 1998. Not what he did in the 80s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bishop.SeanMagicJuan Sean MagicJuan

    No “off the court” adversity has ANY importance on a basketball game and/ or comparison of players. Only their work on the court is a factor, anything else is personal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bishop.SeanMagicJuan Sean MagicJuan

    I have to disagree, the 80′s Jordan was the single greatest force in American pro sports history. Every night was the greatest show on Earth. His individual brilliance is what set the stage for the “can a scoring champ win a title?” questions. The 80′s is when Air Jordan was created, the 90′s brought the team success. No one basketball player has even approached the level of the 80′ s Jordan as far as as individual basketball player.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    False – The 60s featured the greatest individual basketball performance of all time. – http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/chambwi01.html – the problem is? Individual performance is not the major factor when measuring overall “greatness” – that would be success.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bishop.SeanMagicJuan Sean MagicJuan

    Nope, better than Bird already.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bishop.SeanMagicJuan Sean MagicJuan

    Did you not know that Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen were inducted onto the basketball Hall of Fame? So not just two All Stars, a lil better .

  • LakeShow

    What arguments for Kobe?
    LeBron is not as good as prime Kobe. He’s close, but not the killer KB was. That is a farce my friend.
    I’m talking about how good a player is. Jordan was a better player than LeBron at any point so far.

  • LakeShow

    Couldn’t agree more.

  • LakeShow

    Couldn’t disagree more.

  • Mike

    So, “off the court drama” doesn’t have a place on the court? Then I’m guessing maybe some legal troubles or trade rumors aren’t a distraction? Yeah, you’re absolutely right – The Dwightmare wasn’t adverse for the Orlando Magic at all.

  • The Seed

    Can Lebron be better than Kobe’s career is the first question to me. NO. Barkley has compared Kobe to MJ plenty of times, saying Kobe is riding in the car with MJ. Barkley is on crack again, like he was in 2007.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Man you have already admitted Kobe has never been what LeBron became this year. Like a week after the finals. The fact that LeBron may not have been as “good” as Jordan is debatable at best. The vast majority of evidence says at this age LeBron was a better (more effective) player up to the age of 27. Judging by Stats, Accolades, and team Success. The only one you can even argue is stats, which is the one everybody dismisses in pro LeBron arguments.

  • danpowers

    i didnt say he put up 36-8-8 in a defensive minded era. i said his greatness started by beating his nemesis, the pistons, to go on becoming the greatest player in the history of the game which happened in the 90 as you said it.

    come on, zone defense and more athleticism in james era, more physical play and handchecking in jordans (yes in the 90s and here i am leaving the head to head comparison age-wise). even as a 38 year old player facing some zone defense that guy averaged 20ppg. we will have to wait and see but i doubt that anyone will be able to do that again.

    back to your arguement of the 80s. scoring might have been “easier” through most of the 80s but even then it is the comparison of jordan against other players of this age. he didnt only score more points than any other player, being the nbas leading scorer but also dominated defensively. james also dominates the league. but jordan was superior to his contemporarys by a bigger margin, which to me is also a measurment of greatness.

    when i consider your team success arguement id put em even and leave the idea that jordan surpassed him at the age of 27. but i wont put james above jordan by that time. even at best. and team success is not the only measurement of greatness. then robert horry would have to be considered better as jordan too.

  • Youngindy21

    Of course Lebron James can be better than Michael Jordan. He has the talent to do it. He has the stats to do it. He has the team to do it. He has the achievements to do it. I don’t see why people say he will never be better than Jordan other than the fact that you like romanticizing about Jordan and the past. I am not even a Miami Heat fan but you can’t deny Lebron James talent. He put up 40pts 18 rebounds and 9 assist in a playoff game this past postseason. Who else is doing that for their team?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I have never even implied I think James will become what Jordan did. What Jordan turned into after that first title was otherworldly. I highly doubt LeBron is going to make the type of jump Jordan did. I was strictly talking about up to the age or 27
    .

  • LakeShow

    LeBron is more complete than Kobe ever was, but he still lacks the killer instinct that is required to compete with players like MJ, Kobe, Bird in the all time best category.
    You like the all around game LBJ has, I like the scoring prowess that MJ, Kobe, and Bird had. You and I will never see eye to eye on this and I don’t want to get into it now. An hour left in work isn’t enough time :)

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    The killer instinct argument is dead. That is a cop out at this point. Was good in 2011 tho.

  • LakeShow

    He has taken over 1 Finals out of three. It’s not that he can’t be, or won’t become a killer, but he has yet completely wipe away his past. He has crumbled badly before and he has risen to the highest of highs now also.
    He now needs to prove that last year wasn’t HIS year, but that is who he is now. This coming post season pretty much says it all for LeBron in my book. He either can be compared to the all time greats or can’t be.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    That’s like someone saying Kobe isn’t one of the greats because he missed the playoffs in his prime.lol come on bruh. If LeBron loses in the playoffs it’s not the end of his legacy. It eliminates him from the Jordan conversation maybe but that’s it.

  • danpowers

    ok, i was about to ask you then if you put team success that high if the 27 year old kobe bryant was better than both then?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    No, you gotta take it under context. Team success means a lot more when you are the main reason the team wins. Plus, correct me if I’m wrong, 27 year old Kobe missed the playoffs altogether anyway.

  • LakeShow

    I mean Mount Rushmore great. Is he a top 10 guy or not.
    Not is he a HOF’er or some BS lol.
    I just want to see if he is really the real deal or not and that remains to be determined in my view.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    If Kobe is in this fictional Mt Rushmore, what I said in reply to you is still relevant. What you just said is a confusing defense as to why you said he has to win a title this year or he’s not great. Kobe missed the playoffs in his prime. Magic got swept in the finals in the middle of his prime. I don’t get your point even a little, it just seems you need a reason to say you don’t believe LeBron is or will be a great.

  • Trueballer4life

    Air jordan the is g.o.a.t! 2nd Kobe then lebron will surpass Kobe but mj never, no 1 will.

  • Trueballer4life

    When it comes down to it jordan was a killer on the court he would rip the heart out u! Lebron and Kobe to try to be like mike.. I love the both of them but they will never be mj ,

  • Old School

    In reality LeBron will never be Jordan, Kobe will be the closest ever to Jordan due to the fact both of their games are similiar. I believe LeBron will reach a Magic Johnson type player when his career is over, due to the fact for a player his size and skill set, match more Magic then Jordan. Jordan had a killer instinct, something different, and not swag but class about himself every moment he touched the court whether he won or lose-he gave it all. And you have to take in consideration Jordan played in a dominant era of the NBA game in which unlike this era was very much stronger considering the future hall of famers he played against every night. Furthermore regardless of what LeBron does and how many chips he wins, he will always be know for that decision, and I respect Lebrons game, but that will always be his achilles heel due to the fact none of the players above went anywhere else……

  • danpowers

    yup, but already had 3 titles and 4 playoff appearences, shaq was the main guy but its not like he was jus jumping on the bandwagon. anyway, its out of question that bron and james were better at this point. i jus dont see james that much better than jordan even tho he had more success

  • Slick Ric

    What is nbk smoking saying Lebron at 28 is better than Jordan at 28….SMH. Show me the stats that suggest this because from what I see MJ was still more efficient and effective than lebron EVERY YEAR except that one year he broke his foot. Lebron has the talent but he just doesn’t have the intangibles and will never surpass MJ.

  • Conor

    I’m sure many have. His playing style is erratic & inefficient.

  • Conor

    Honestly, if you can’t admit that Bryant & Jordan are/were, respectively, more skilled at basketball than LeBron James, you don’t understand the game. It’s delusional.

  • karimAbdul

    Its Jordan’s competitive drive guys that’s why he would somehow always be better than LeBron.

  • russian guy

    What about Tim Duncan than?When he was 27,he had 2 MVPs,2 Finals MVPs,2 Rings and was a greater defensive player than both (though no DPoY).

  • danpowers

    i disagree on him too on that point. but didnt he say 27 bron was better than 27mj? i mean then you could argue that theyd be even because mj was the better player individually and bron had more success till then.

  • Feez_22

    Lebron is a better talent than mike but i don’t know if he could be a better player. That’s a tall order to achieve. Lebron is going to have to exponentially improve his already improved post game and will need to improve his midrange jumper to at least 48% efficiency. Even then… I don’t think i can rank lebron above MJ until i’ve seen lebron’s whole prime. I don’t know if lebron could ever be greater than mike honestly.

    The funny thing was with shaq’s question… Lebron if you think about it came out of high school and was AUTOMATICALLY compared to jordan due to his talent level. He was sparingly compared to kobe. After the NBA finals, that trend continued. I don’t think it was fair to kobe at the beginning of lebron’s career to not draw greatness comparisons… However, i think it was totally fair to withdraw kobe’s name after the finals. No one outside of L.A. is going to have lebron draw comparisons to kobe. Jordan? Bird? Magic? YES. Kobe? NO. Why? IMO, lebron surpassed kobe in 08-09 (some would say 07-08 but i won’t go there). Lebron had 2 straight horrid finals to now having the best finals series since guys like shaq and duncan. 28.6-10.8-7.4 has never been done in the history of the game.

    I think people now realize what i have known for a while… Lebron is a transcendent player. Kobe on the other hand isn’t. I’ve seen a better kobe before in michael jordan. Oscar robertson was a great player but if you juxtapose era’s and the fact that lebron is built like a PF and weighs like a center yet can do what oscar did (not triple double volume but all around game), its fair 2 say we have never seen a lebron james. This is why lebron won’t draw kobe comparisons. When it is all said and done, lebron’s career will be greater than kobe’s. I know i’m not shocking 90% of the comment section by saying this… the other 10% is probably going to negate the dogcrap out of my comment… It had to be said. Lebron=Transcendent. Kobe=MJ Remix (Since remixes are usually good but not as good as the original)

  • Jensen Carp

    in terms of comparing nba careers, off the court adversity should not be considered. Some of these players are going through things you dont even know about. How could you factor that in? It’s completely irrelevant. would you like to start a stat column for adversities overcome? Dumb as f*ck.

  • Anon

    Jordan did not have much class when it came to his teammates.Those guys didn’t go anywhere else because they had good GMs able to bring other good players in. Varejao(sp?) probably was the best player the team drafted while Lebron was there. What does that tell you

  • pposse

    when was pippen dropping 40 pts in playoff closing games?? And if he was, was he doing that hobbled?? Lebron Wade and co. might very well take 6 rings or more, but I’m calling there will be a high probability that Lebron will not end up going down as finals MVP in all of those victories. MJ made Pippen, Wade was always established as an elite player. If Pip did not play with MJ, do any of you guys see him going down as one of the top 50 ballers of all time?? Be real about this.

  • pposse

    why is age being discussed when Jordan played in the league fewer years than Lebron did at this point? The ‘age’ angle automatically puts MJ at a handicap since he only came into the league when he was 21.

  • pposse

    D Wade was a superstar in the playoffs, although he did have bad games, he also had good ones too and still commanded superstar attention, along with Bosh and LBJ.

  • mike

    It’s important. I didn’t say it was important in comparing careers – no two peoples’ lives are identical. You’re just too stupid to understand what I was saying.

  • http://twitter.com/_DFrance DFrance

    Due to Lebrons past Finals failures, most won’t ever put him ahead of Jordan. They’ll say MJ was 6-0 in the finals. They’ll say the NBA was tougher back then, they’ll say LeBron hadtto team up with Wade and Bosh. It’ll always be somethin .

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    That’s a weak argument. How many games in last year’s playoff run can you honestly say DWade played like the mega star that he is when healthy. You’re basing your argument on one 40 point performance. I’m talking about the playoffs as a whole. Wade struggled to find his rhythm offensively and defensively. Can you honestly say the Wade during last year’s playoff run is better than Pippen at his prime?!

  • Milwaukee King

    I Hear What YA’LL, THE MEDIA and (BARKLEY) Is Saying LOUD & CLEAR… I Don’t AGREE With It…lol, But I Can RESPECT It… Now DO I BELIEVE THAT (LEBRON) Has The TALENT To Be GREAT??? …HELL YEAH I DO… 100% …I’ve Been A DIE-HARD (LEBRON) FAN & Watching Him Play Since I Heard About Him In 2001, So TRUST ME I Know His Game THOROUGHLY!!! and I When It’s All SAID & DONE, He Will DEFINITELY Be ONE OF THE GREATEST TO EVER PLAY HANDS DOWN and So Will (KOBE) …But Not “THE GREATEST” YA FEEL ME… (JORDAN) ALREADY OWN THAT TITLE & WILL DIE WITH IT ALSO, So THE MEDIA Need To Let Those UNNECESSARY ASS COMPARISONS Go and Let (LEBRON) Continue To Make His Own NAME, PATH and HISTORY…. REAL TALK!!!

  • Milwaukee King

    I Hear What YA’LL, THE MEDIA & BARKLEY Is Saying LOUD & CLEAR and I Can RESPECT That… Now DO I BELIEVE THAT (LEBRON) Has The TALENT To Be GREAT??? …HELL YEAH I DO…. I’ve Been A DIE-HARD (LEBRON) FAN & Watching Him Play Since I Heard About Him In 2001, So TRUST ME I Know When It’s All SAID & DONE… He Will DEFINITELY Be ONE OF THE GREATEST TO EVER PLAY HANDS DOWN & So Will (KOBE) …But Not “THE GREATEST” YA FEEL ME… (JORDAN) ALREADY OWN THAT TITLE & WILL DIE WITH IT ALSO, So THE MEDIA Need To Let Those UNNECESSARY ASS COMPARISONS Go and Let (LEBRON) Continue To Make His Own NAME, PATH and HISTORY…. REAL TALK!!!

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Not really, by not playing younger, Jordan likely was better in his 30s than LeBron will be.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Up to the age of 27, I’d take Duncan over both those guys.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Exactly! Everyone knows that a full nba season takes a far far FAR greater toll on your body than a college schedule that consists of about 30 games. All of those extra minutes that Lebron logged in his first 3 seasons will affect him towards the tail-end of his career. Just look at the players coming straight outta high school who have played substantial minutes since day one. How are Kobe’s knees? How are KG’s knees? What about Jermaine O’neil’s? What a out T-Macs back and knees?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    the same argument about James winning a title and Jordan having a bad supporting cast, can be made about the stats. Because Jordan had a worse supporting cast, he had to do more individually. So his stats were better.
    .
    All you can look at is a combination of everything, Stats + Success + Accolades (what am i missing? anything?) and judge based on that. Considering LeBron has the clear edge in 2 of the 3, and the difference in the third is completely minimal (and stats based, which again, is the only argument that people dismiss when arguing against LeBron) i think it’s pretty clear who you would call a better player to this point in their career, even if Jordan was more fun to watch.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    I don’t think he played like the superstar that he is when 100%. When healthy, he’s arguably a top 5 player in the NBA all-game every game! In last year’s playoff run, Wade struggled on both ends of the court. He said it, his stats support it, and his off-season knee surgery reinforces this.

  • danpowers

    to your first arguement: jordans stat-line or better: performance was also better than james stat-line was before the cavs put better players around him so that one stays “advantage jordan” to me.

    referring to your 2+3: do you think jordan wouldve done any worse in these categories on teams comparable to james’ teams against a comparable level of competition? i really dont think so. this is why i would step away from saying jordan was better but wouldnt go further then saying their were even in regards of “how good” they were and not about who was in the better situation to have more success.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    well you could say the same thing when LeBron is 35. It all evens out in the end. Which is the main reason I don’t see LeBron catching Jordan, simply because of what Jordan became from the ages of 28-34.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    The Cavs were better with worse players than Jordan was. As this has always been for me, being the best player on a more successful team trumps stats.

  • danpowers

    aight, i can live with this conclusion.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    hey i would like to say, thanks for having the ability to argue without resorting to some form of insults. i really enjoy our back and forth.

  • danpowers

    i know this is blasphemy for the game’s old school scholars but i gotta co sign sean on that one. bron surpassed bird already. there are not many things left that bird could do better than lebron

  • roscoe

    whn chuck talks sometimes it is good to remember the golden tip of “Flush early & flush often.”

  • Seain Kearney

    2 things that MJ can’t do that Lebron can…. 1. Lebron can play every position and match his competition…2 Lebron made a movie of his childhood because he grew up in the hood and showed everyone that he was going to be the next greatest.

    2 things that MJ had that Lebron didnt….MJ didnt grow up in the hood and 2 he was brought to the gym and was trained by trainers by his rich parents.

    Everyone is trying to compare apples to oranges… Lebron can gaurd anyone in the league even dwight howard or shaq, Rose, Durant, … no way in hell can MJ gaurd any of those players their either to tall or to quick. MJ was great at his position and really wasn’t much competition at his position except for when Kobe stepped on the floor and MJ wasn’t that quick compared to Lebron thats what makes him such a bad @$$ he wasn’t strong enough big enough or even quick enough. You put a match up against these 2 players in thier prime….MJ vs LBJ…NO WAY would MJ win…LBJ would stop him in the post/block his shots/ drive by him/ spin by him… lol i can go on and on.

    MJ was better at a few things…. but nothing that would make a difference in a game… maybe free throws.

    MJ had a great shot, dunk and players on his team… everyone also talks about Lebron having Wade and bosh…. dude MJ didnt do it himeself… Grant, pippen, just to name 2 players that are equal to wade and bosh, pippen is just as equal to Wade. Grant can gaurd bosh no problem those 2 are equal. so stop the BS and stop saying that MJ did it himself… NO ONE not even Lebron can do it himself.

  • roscoe

    u make points, but the trump card is Bron bron lost in the finals twice. mj never lost.

  • BucsGatorsHeat

    Is it better to get to the finals and lose or get bounced in the first round like Jordan did several times. If you are going to say Bron failed in the finals, you need to acknowledge that on several occasions Jordan failed before even getting to the finals.

  • pposse

    it doesnt even matter how he played! he was still an established baller, and commanded the defenses attention. the game plan against the heat would not have changed if wade was all of a sudden more healthy. No one is saying lebron coattailed his way to the the championship, but having ball players like Bosh and Wade on a team with Lebron James is 5,000 times more than fans, players, gms should be asking for, and bc of that the comparisons to MJ should just really stop.

  • pposse

    what about the NBA experience factor/maturity? As it is, Lebron had the advantage (if he did which is most likely) of watching every single game tape of MJ, and all other players before and after. You couple that with Lebrons high maturity level as it is, those early years in the NBA definately helped get him to the point that he is at right now. I think a more fairer argument is to base the accomplishments off of NBA years rather than their physical age; its more relative. Then at this point in both of their career Jordan had 3 Championships (i think) and 3 MVPS which puts him ahead.

  • pposse

    he may not have performed like one, but he still was treated like one by opposing teams; you are what your treated like.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Phil Jackson>Spo
    Prime Pippen>Injured Wade
    Rodman>Bosh
    Agree or Disagree?

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Defenses didn’t have to double him as aggresively as they do when he’s healthy. When he’s 100%, he’s a top 3 slasher in the L. Constantly attacking the rim. He really struggled to get any kind off “explosion” with that knee injury. He was forced to settle for off-balanced fadeaways and floaters. And defensively, players like Barbosa,Westbrook, and Rondo were turning the corner on him at will. DWade was not the elite defender that we know him to be during last year’s playoff run. If fans like you and I acknowledge this, you know the scouts, coaches, and players on the opposing teams did as well.

  • pposse

    i agree most of that, but i am hesitant to say Rodman was better than Bosh. He rebounded better and he defended better, but as far as all around game, especially when considering offense, shooting percentage etc. Bosh has to be strongly considered. The original argument from Redd was about how Lebron signed to a team that was ‘manufactured’ in a way. I personally think that this has to be strongly considered when determining Lebron’s legacy; whereas MJ’s squad was homegrown. Rodman was the only major player that was acquired by the bulls via FA or trade and he was only there for 3 rings.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Redd’s original argument was that Lebron couldn’t create an all-star, which I strongly disagree with. Tell me, how have both Mo Williams and Big Z done before/since playing alongside Lebron? He took a team to the finals that had no business being there! And people wanna use that as a strike against Lebron because MJ was undefeated in the finals…ridiculous. Did Lebron join all-stars to get his ring? Yes! Magic, Bird, MJ, and even Zeke didn’t have to, because their GMs surrounded them with HOF caliber supporting casts and excellent role players. Agree or disagree?

  • pposse

    Pip did more than just prove himself, and i tread lightly when when talking about him, but i just don’t believe he would have been the type of player that he became if it wasn’t for Michael Jordan being there from the beginning. Even Phil Jackson, Phil Jackson was no one special before MJ. Lebron probably played with the biggest collection of bums (as far as nba talent goes) when in cleveland and mo became an all star, but when he left he completely went to a polar opposite type of team. I give MJ more than any GM/owner the credit for Pippen and Phil Jackson’s successes. You can never really say that about Lebron as it pertains to Wade and Bosh.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    I completely agree with you that Pip and Jackson were greatly influenced by Jordan. That’s not my argument. My argument is that time and time again, Lebron has shown that he makes his teammates better. DWade is a Mega star and Bosh is an all-star. My argument is that they were both severely hampered by injuries in last year’s playoffs, which forced Lebron to raise his level of play on the defensive end and offensive end to a height that hasn’t been seen in years. For the record, I think MJ is the GOAT, but for people to say Lebron is a champion solely because of Wade and Bosh is a damn lie. This is no knock on you, but to haters who would rather point to his past failures while simultaneously ignoring the historic year he has. Shit, even Larry Bird had to say that he can’t remember the last time a player had a better year than Lebron did last year.

  • fm moreno

    Jordan is History. Lebron will be… at the end of the day everyone will consider everything the both accomplished and did not, to compare them…. comparison will never halt … Jordan will still be great as he was and Lebron or Kobe will always be next to him no matter how good the both are… Michael Jordan brought NBA around the world. I know everyone figure this out that before LBJ and Kobe NBA debut…. all eyes were looking for the next MJ….. Now asked me, lets say Kobe retires right now, can I say who will be the next Kobe? knowing LBJ is still around….. asked the same way for LBJ, knowing NBA has Kevin Durant….

  • lawrence.xuaowefawoeg

    I think that Barkley is right, LeBron is really just bigger, stronger, faster.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.l.turner.9 Joseph L Turner

    You wanna compare greatness, who closed more playoff games and won titles. Don’t forget what you felt as you watched those games. Now who gives you the greatest memories.

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