Is LeBron now the greatest of all time?

Is LeBron now the greatest of all time?
June 07
10:01 2018

I have seen a lot of chatter recently about whether or not LeBron James is the greatest player of all time? Every since he has retired, Michael Jordan has been the concensus pick as the greatest player of all time but the younger generation is creating a case for James.

I want to start this off by saying LeBron James is one of the greatest players in the history of the game. Also what I have to say is not an indictment on James, it is simply my reasons why he will never surpass Jordan as the best the game has ever seen.

James is the most gifted player, skill wise, that has ever stepped foot on a basketball court. At 6 foot 9 inches and 260 pounds, he is a freight train in sneakers. He has guard skills with the height of a post player and one of the most gifted scorers we have seen. His passing skills are second to none as well.

With all of that being said, James still comes up just short when it comes to Jordan. I know it is almost impossible to compare players from different eras, but Jordan will reign supreme.

In the early part of Jordan’s career, he had to deal with the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers with Moses Malone and Dr. J, the Boston Celtics with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish, the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Atlanta Hawks.

I’m just mentioning what he had to face in the Eastern Conference because the West had the “Showtime” Lakers, who dominated for much of the 1980s.

Once the ’90s came about, Jordan started winning titles while having to go through the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic along with the Western Conference teams he had to face in the finals.

Jordan went six for six in the NBA Finals with six MVPs. He also has two three-peats under his belt. James is three and five in the finals with three MVPs. With another loss likely coming by way of the Golden State Warriors, he will have as many finals losses as Jordan has titles.

I have heard some whispers that the level of competition Jordan faced during his era is not up to par with what James has faced throughout his career. Yes, it’s true that athletes today are bigger, stronger and faster than in the ’90s but two things will always trump those facts.

For one, back in Jordan’s days the rules were completely different, allowing defenses to play a lot more physical than in today’s game. If Jordan were playing now, he would easily average 40 a night due to the fact you can barely touch a player.

The second fact is back then stars did not jump ship and team up to win titles. Players stayed together for several years so they knew one another, building a sense of chemistry unknown to todays stars.

Granted, James has faced some stiff competition in the finals, but lets look at his losses. He was swept by the Spurs in 2007 with an undermanned Cavaliers team. He was beat the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, where he disappeared in the fourth quarter of the final three games. In 2014, his Miami Heat, coming off back-to-back titles, were beaten handily by the Spurs in five games. He has lost to the Warriors in 2015 and 2017.

For me, I think he should have beaten the Mavericks and the Spurs (2014), which would have given him two more titles. I can’t blame him for losing in 2007 or his two losses to the Warriors. If he would have beaten the Warriors last season with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love as running mates, he still would be in the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) Conversation in my opinion, but he didn’t, so he’s not.

Not only does Jordan have more titles but he has more MVP trophies, beat more 50 win teams in the playoffs, more scoring titles, and was named to more all defensive teams than James.

Those are just some of the facts but the biggest one still remains that James does not have the same killer instinct that made Jordan, Jordan.

There have been stories told by former teammates and friends that Jordan never liked to lose at anything whether it be basketball or a game of Scrabble. I’m not saying James does not want to win as bad as Jordan did, but it was something inside Jordan that drove him like no other player I have ever seen.

As fans we will never truly get a consensus answer to the question of the greatest of all time because people play in different eras. What we can say is that Jordan was the best of his and LeBron is the best of this current generation. What I also believe is that Michael Jordan has and will continue to be the best I have ever seen.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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