When it comes to debates on whom the best basketball player to ever play the game is, two players always start and end that conversation. Michael Jordan and LeBron James are considered the best players of their respective time periods, but the real question is, who is the best of all time. If you were to ask a younger crowd they would most likely say LeBron but if you asked an older crowd they would most likely say Michael! I am going to use statistics through their first 9 seasons in the NBA, to prove who the greatest of all time is between Jordan and James.
In Jordan and James’ first 9 seasons in the NBA, they accomplished many things that have never been done before. They both broke records, shattered standards, and re-wrote history books. They were both iconic basketball players and social figures. They both had tons of people that loved the and tons of people that hate them. One thing that also brings them together is that they both started from the bottom not necessarily in the same ways though. LeBron was raised in a bad part of Akron with only his mother to raise him. James attended many different schools. Regardless of all this, LeBron was always a superior and successful athlete at all levels. Jordan on the other hand went through controversy when it came to the basketball court. When in junior high, Jordans coach cut him from the team. Michael was always shorter than most of the other players and was not always the most physically dominate athlete on the court. Isaiah Thomas validates this point by talking about LeBron’s athleticism: “LeBron James is the best athlete of today, and he's probably a better athlete than Michael Jordan was. He's bigger, he's faster, he's stronger.”
What could be the most important aspect in this comparison could be the statistics. Throughout his first 9 years, Jordan and James stats are hard to compare. Both Jordan and James have very different styles of play and they also play different positions. However, these statistics are not going to be the only factors taken in to consideration on who is the greatest of all time. Throughout their first 9 seasons (because LeBron James is currently in his 10th season in the NBA) Jordan’s points per game in the regular season was 32.4 points per game, in the play offs it improved to 34.7 points per game and in the NBA finals series he averaged 36.3 points per game. In LeBron’s first 9 seasons, he averaged 27.6 points per game in the regular season, 28.5 points per game in the playoffs and only 22.5 points per game in the NBA finals series. Jordan obviously wins the scoring statistical category. When it comes to rebounds per game, LeBron wins that category, which is to be expected because of his superior stature to Michael Jordan. Being about 2 inches taller and weighing roughly 35 pounds more, LeBron is able to snatch more rebounds over his defender. In his first 9 seasons, LeBron averages 7.2 rebounds per game in the regular season, 8.7 rebounds per game in the playoffs and 8.1 rebounds per game in the NBA finals series. Michael Jordan averaged 6.3 rebounds per game in the regular season, 6.7 rebounds per game in the play offs and 6.6 rebounds per game in the NBA finals series. The assist category is a hard one to say who would win because the numbers fluctuate. In his first 9 season LeBron averaged 6.9, 6.7, and 7 assists per game in the regular season, play offs, and NBA finals series respectively. Michael Jordan averaged 5.9, 6.6, and 7.9 assists per game in the regular season, play offs, and NBA finals series respectively. When it comes to steals and blocks per game, Michael Jordan wins those stat categories by a landslide. So when it comes to statistics, Michael Jordan is the winner on who is the greatest of all time.
Now we will take a look at awards won through LeBron and Michael’s first 9 seasons. In his first 9 seasons, LeBron James won; 1, scoring title, 6 All-NBA first teams, 4 All-Defensive...