Where does LeBron rank...

greg23

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Jordan went 11-0

1.ncaa title
2 olympic golds
2 fiba golds (pan am)
6 nba titles

Lebron went 7-8

0 ncaa titles
2-1 in Olympics (bronze medal loss was an embarrassment)
1-1 in fiba (bronze medal loss was an embarrassment)
4-6 nba finals

How is this even a debate?
 

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At the time I criticized things like hell when he left CLE for Miami and I just didn't understand the notion of players having the power to make this kind of Superteam happen. I still prefer the build through the draft method / sign rando FA's.. maybe you can sign a star, but getting two stars, while already having one? Just seemed insane. Though if the Bulls had gotten LeBron/Bosh I wouldn't have said a word lol.

But, in hindsight, I don't blame him for leaving that shit show that was the Cleveland Cavs and their ownership/FO. If you look at the teams constructed around LeBron, they're all garbage. Unlike Jordan, LeBron didn't have a Jerry Krause finding him a Scottie Pippen and several good role players to surround him. Part of that is kind of the fault of LeBron's more instant success, where as they were in the Finals his 4th year, while the Bulls were acquiring Pippen and Grant in the draft after Jordan's 3rd year.

So LeBron left, and yes, as I said I didn't care for his destination. Did have a bunch of laughs when they end up losing to a lesser Mavericks team in the Finals though. Also for as talented as that Miami team was, they got taken to quite a few game 7's, which I also knock on LeBron' legacy. How often were the Bulls down in a series or even on the ropes late in a series? Their biggest deficit was a 2-0 hole in the 93 ECF.

So its been my belief that LeBron is more talented than Jordan and has a better body than Jordan for basketball, and thus some stuff is just simply easier for him than Jordan.. but LeBron lacks Jordan's killer mentality. He wants to win ships, knows how to do it and all, but that killer instinct just isn't there.

Kobe had it, but Kobe was a lesser talent.

I never blamed him for leaving CLE the first time. I was actually once a huge LBJ fan and wanted him to leave CLE. When he was a FA that summer, of course I wanted him on the Bulls. But if not the Bulls, I was cool with seeing him go elsewhere to compete for a title. What I didn't like, and still don't, is that he left to join to other superstar players. That was a lame ass move, imo. Do I understand it? Sure I do... He wanted a ring, and that was the easiest way to get one. Do I like/respect it? No.

One of the biggest reasons why I still hate it in hindsight is because of how it impacted the NBA over the last decade. Even though the Celtics really started the first modern day super team when they traded for Allen and KG, that 2010 Heat team was the first to do it through FA, and that set off a trend of players demanding to be traded to play with other superstars, leaving their teams to go to other contenders, etc. which really hurt most of the teams in the NBA. Of course, this has always somewhat existed, but not to that extent.

Because of that, I had less fun watching the NBA in the last 10 years than I ever did in my life.

Thankfully, last season that trend seemed to somewhat come to an end. We seem to be going back to the 2 superstar model as opposed to the 3-4 superstar model, which is better.
 

Scoot26

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I never blamed him for leaving CLE the first time. I was actually once a huge LBJ fan and wanted him to leave CLE. When he was a FA that summer, of course I wanted him on the Bulls. But if not the Bulls, I was cool with seeing him go elsewhere to compete for a title. What I didn't like, and still don't, is that he left to join to other superstar players. That was a lame ass move, imo. Do I understand it? Sure I do... He wanted a ring, and that was the easiest way to get one. Do I like/respect it? No.

One of the biggest reasons why I still hate it in hindsight is because of how it impacted the NBA over the last decade. Even though the Celtics really started the first modern day super team when they traded for Allen and KG, that 2010 Heat team was the first to do it through FA, and that set off a trend of players demanding to be traded to play with other superstars, leaving their teams to go to other contenders, etc. which really hurt most of the teams in the NBA. Of course, this has always somewhat existed, but not to that extent.

Because of that, I had less fun watching the NBA in the last 10 years than I ever did in my life.

Thankfully, last season that trend seemed to somewhat come to an end. We seem to be going back to the 2 superstar model as opposed to the 3-4 superstar model, which is better.
Once the Heat broke up, there was some balance restored.. yes Cleveland was going to ransack the East, but if the salary cap explosion never happens, the Warriors never get Durant, and you never have that happen in GSW. GSW is still a good enough team to win the west and go to the Finals every year, but it's not a forgone conclusion as to who is going to win.

I think as money balances out, superstar egos maybe return, we won't see so much 3 star teams anymore. The Lakers were all in to sign Kawhi last off season and then we'd have another 3 star team (though this one would actually be superstars, I never considered Ray Allen, Bosh nor Klay Thompson superstars). Luckily Kawhi wanted his own team, and not the shadow of LeBron. Unfortunately he convinced the wrong star to show up with him. But it still gives us some balance.

Unfortunately, FA is now part of the game, and the NBA is quite unique in that players don't simple settle for the most money they can get, like they do in the NFL or MLB. There's a stigma in the NBA about signing with most teams once you're an unrestricted FA. Seemingly only currently good teams, or warm weather destinations get free agents. Durant and Irving did buck the trend by signing with Brooklyn. Maybe with our new direction in the FO, we will maybe become more attracted to FA's.
 

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Most Laker fans are like (not the under 12 crowd).... Kobe is still better than LeBron. And older Laker fans are like, Wilt and KAJ are better.

When will these sensationalists get it through their head that being the biggest crybaby in league history is not something that goes into the plus column. And I don't even mean anything he has said about politics, IDGAF about that, just as a basketball player, LeBron is a princess.

Sorry, but LeBron is not a top-3 player. The NBA has this tendency of pushing a player to be the face of the league. Ergo hype, special treatment, etc. Every last player to get into this role has used it to their advantage, but nobody has ever come close to abusing it on a game to game basis like LeBron James. I will never respect a player that not only flops as frequently as LeBron, but also has the leverage to make sure the league enforces the rules differently for him and his rule violations. The refs see it, they aren't stupid and he's just amazing badass that he can flop so often and get away with it. All of this essentially makes the game of pro-basketball worse this generation for the first time in league history, than the generation prior (seriously, even video games have FLOP buttons, as a recognized part of the NBA).

We went from a league where you had many colors and skill sets meshing, to a bunch of travelling ball handlers that are considered "great" at what they do and floppers who hone their craft. That is the LeBron era, and IDK how he thinks he belongs so high on the list, just because he has been given something that most great players had to earn, over and over again.


Fuck no, LMAO @ the crybaby doing what he does best, cry and complain. Just wait until 10 years pass after his career is over, nobody is going to miss LeBron, like they missed players like Iverson, or Magic, or Shaq.
 

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There is zero argument Jordan will always be the Goat, the biggest issue with LeBron was
leaving Cleveland to go to Miami to join Wade and Bosh. I think his career would of looked different if he never went there, they formed a dream team of sorts which to me puts and asterik next to his name. There is no doubt James has had a remarkable career and will go down as top 5 of all time, the MVPs and championships he played in and was a huge part of can’t be ignored, but without Miami, would he have played in all those NBA finals, the Heat were pretty much a shoe in to make it to the finals with James, Wade and Bosh every year until the breakup.
 

Axl Rose

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the biggest issue with LeBron was leaving Cleveland to go to Miami to join Wade and Bosh

For me it's the Mavs series that is his real blemish. It wasn't that he just had a bad series, it was clear he wasn't trying and had mentally checked out. In a game that could have put Miami up 3-1, he scored 8 points total.
 
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Burque

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You can put him anywhere in the top 3, along with Jordan and Kareem.

Right now I'd go:
1. Jordan
2. Kareem
3. LeBron

Another really good year from LeBron that nets another ship puts him ahead of Kareem, then if he gets 6 I think people really need to consider him alongside/better than Jordan.
No way LeBron ever passes Jordan.

Lebron had to build super teams to win in a ticky tack foul era.

Charles barkley would've loved stomping his ass.
 

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In my opinion, 1602902506083.png

I just think he is the most physically intimidating player of his generation. I compare him to Wilt in that way. Only difference is that there are so many gifted athletes today compared to when Wilt played because of the way they take care of their bodies today. Jordan is number one by a long shot. So many better players during that era than today. Honestly the talent in the league sucks today. I put Lebron at 2 a little bit ahead of Kobe because I think at his prime, he would still be just as good playing in Jordan's era because he was so much bigger and faster than a lot of players then. Kobe had the mentality but was not built for 80's/90's Basketball. Playing like he does now, I guarantee Bron would have had a shorter career cause he would have his ass beaten and bruised every game.
 
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Raskolnikov

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In my opinion, View attachment 7681

I just think he is the most physically intimidating player of his generation. I compare him to Wilt in that way. Only difference is that there are so many gifted athletes today compared to when Wilt played because of the way they take care of their bodies today. Jordan is number one by a long shot. So many better players during that era than today. Honestly the talent in the league sucks today. I put Lebron at 2 a little bit ahead of Kobe because I think at his prime, he would still be just as good playing in Jordan's era because he was so much bigger and faster than a lot of players then. Kobe had the mentality but was not built for 80's/90's Basketball. Playing like he does now, I guarantee Bron would have had a shorter career cause he would have his ass beaten and bruised every game.
I think the depth of talent is actually so much better its harder to be great.

Booker is Reggie Miller. If you took any of these cats like Gordon, Gilchrist, and they had the space to shoot back then...I mean we forget how bad of shooters everyone was. They were more brawler on the Knicks and pistons than basketball player. Shooting was secondary and tertiary. I once told my friends I could shoot better than half the NBA...and that might be true in the era I grew up with, but is certainly no longer. I could smoke Anthony Mason and Bill Lambeer and Charles Oakley in horse. But those guys didn't even grow up with a 3-point line.


The Warriors would have lit up the 80's and 90's like a Christmas tree, and then not made it out of second round because half the team would be in the infirmirary.
LeBron translates to any era and so does Jordan because their gifts are transcendent. "The great ones" had some trait or developed a cornerstone of ball ability that is high percentage and unstoppable.

Jordan's was elite quickness, elevation, rare coordination, master ball skill, and unbelievable spin control off the glass.

I played a kid like that once or twice at the local 24 hour, and he was like 5'8", but you couldn't even let him look at the glass. If he could see the glass from inside 8 feet it was 2 points, he could spin it in off any corner, at any speed or angle. But you could smother him with length and take his offensive skill out of the game. Jordan was that guy with a wingspan, 6'6" tall, huge freaking hands, and a 50 inch vertical and maximum quickness.

Nothing you could do even in an era where you smashed anyone who came in the lane. Jordan got smashed, he was also part boxer. Unreal his durability, most guys would be injured all the time and maybe he even was.

His basketball skill sets him apart from the rest. LeBron and Kareem have physical traits that remove them from competition. Kareem develops the sky hook and there is nothing you can do.

Malone develops a fadeaway and there is nothing you can do.

Curry is taught quick release mechanics at 2 years old, extends his range to 45 feet...there is nothing you can do.

LeBron developed a good enough 3 point shot and developed the clutch gene, to answer big shots, and take big 3s down the stretch. Even the concern opens up his bull rush to the lane, which is more Chamberlain than Jordan but its what he is. A hyper-athletic Malone. There is nothing you can do.

His longevity is remarkable. To play the way he does, at that weight, on a hard court. If they get a third guy the warriors will need a complete death star to knock them off.

Like JJ Reddick if the clippers dismantle. Or any elite shooter, or spacer...makes AD/LeBron defensive length and rebounding insurmountable in efficiency and offensive skill.

I agree with whoever said he is like Kareem in that way. At this point his marathon ability is becoming as legendary as his peak performance.

Jordan explained it himself...his competitiveness and drive was actually so extreme he burned out, not once but twice.

Jordan has no claim to the longevity of Lebron or Jabar! They both swear by hot yoga and so do I. Its a good weapon against the modern age as well...for mental focus and peace. If Jordan found hot yoga and settled himself down, he might have added 5 dominant years and there would be no conversation.

Lebron is making a conversation.

To me...I go back and I look what Jordan did to Shaq when he came into the league. Or any perceived threat. I wish the covid special had focused on this more...but Jordan would annihilate any perceived threat. He put them in their place. He brought his best. He destroyed any hope or fantasy they had of competing with him. When Shaq arrived...obviously that 300lb bunny rabbit with 3% body fat and all the laughs would trigger any alpha...and that is when Jordan showed you what he was capable of. Not just for one game, or one series...no...he heard the threat coming. He had a year to train, he went to the gym, he worked on his game, he channelled his desire into his absolute best focus...and that series against Orlando he showed what his peak was. Credit Shaq for bringing out the best Jordan had to give.

Watch that series, and you will see a quickness, a killer instinct, a hounding defensive player, an aerial assault. Its Jordan possessed and he destroys Orlando so bad Shaq leaves first chance he gets. There is no team in history, no player in history, nothing that could have stood up to that experienced, focused, threatened peak Jordan. He took that threat the most serious, and he showed you what he could be. That is why he will always be the best. Had that been a young Lebron he would have gotten smoked, just like any other player that has ever played the game or picked up a basketball. Thats my belief. Walk on that court against that Jordan...and he would have proven himself the greatest to any threat in basketball history. It happened to be Shaq, who has flaws...and it wasn't even a contest. Swept. Maybe Lebron or Magic or peak Kareem, maybe the 6 deep all-star celtics, or the death star Warriors...or some other team could have made him work for it...and that would have been incredible to witness...but what we see there is total annihilation. He was scared, and he didn't just kill...he cut the jugular instantly and then stuck the blade in the femoral, and the spleen. That Jordan on that tape would embarrass anyone.

Look...fucking Draymond Green got under Lebrons skin and bent him out of shape.

The Bulls had a Lebron poison, in Rodman too. I think Pippen could have slowed him down along with Jordan on the prowl, always nearby to strip him, but Rodman would have irritated the fuck out of Lebron as well as been long enough to cause issues, and tough enough to actually take a charge. Broken ribs would have been a badge of honor to Rodman.

I haven't seen a Lebron team yet that would have a chance against Jordan/Pippen/Rodman. They are the greatest.

Jordan is the greatest. Lebron might be two.

The guy I would ask is actually Kareem. I think he is the smartest guy in the room. He probably has the best answer.

Mine is

1. Jordan.
2. Lebron
3. Kareem
4. Russell
5. Curry


Any answer people have problems with. Thats mine. Ask Kareem or Magic how flawed it is. If you want to sub out Russell for Magic I would listen to you, but I think its fair to bring up the players that Bird and Magic had with them. Curry might have the best skills on the list. Jordan gets a period because there is no debate.

Once an Asian man was walking through the park with his wife, and he saw me drill a deep three, followed by a 3, and a dunk, and then turn and take three steps to nail a half court shot the other direction. He stopped in his tracks and he started clapping and chanting..."Curry Curry Curry!!!"

The greatest compliment I will ever get in this life.

He changed the game in an extreme way and showed the efficiency of 3 vs 2.

When Lebron beat peak Curry who had as side kick the second best 3-point shooter in the league in Thompson...that cemented for me how truly great and unique he is. His power was so extreme he trumped 3-point efficiency.

Holy shit.
 
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Pegger

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IMHO LeBron is #1. Not a popular stance on a Chicago site, but it's just the way I feel.
Jordan went 11-0

1.ncaa title
2 olympic golds
2 fiba golds (pan am)
6 nba titles

Lebron went 7-8

0 ncaa titles
2-1 in Olympics (bronze medal loss was an embarrassment)
1-1 in fiba (bronze medal loss was an embarrassment)
4-6 nba finals

How is this even a debate?
If championships are the measurement then Bill Russell is the best player all time hands down. He played in the NBA for 13 seasons and won 11 championships in that time. Complete and total dominance. Respecting eras, he's probably the greatest defensive player of all time for what it's worth.
 

Pegger

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For me, LeBron is #1. With this board I'll try to cater to LJ vs. MJ just because that's the real conversation we are having. Anyway, here's my thoughts:
  • Won a championship with 3 different teams - For me this is pretty big. That's 3 different coaches, groups of players and different situations. There are questions about MJ about if he could have won without Phil Jackson or Scottie Pippen since it never happened. With LeBron that question has been answered in 3 separate ways.
  • Committed to the fans - He's against load management (Leonard) and won't leave the sport for personal reasons (Jordan). He's spoken in great detail about the importance of the fans and his actions back those words.
  • Multi stat category guy - I like players that hit all the stat columns. I just feel they have a larger contribution to the outcome. He's got 28 playoff triple doubles. That's only second to Magic (30) and then the next closest is Jason Kidd at 11. Just to compare, MJ had 2 playoff triple doubles throughout his career.
  • Off field contributions - He's been one of those players who have taken large steps to be an advocate of social change. Many can say MJ was in a different era where he didn't have a place. I'd argue that same group comments that LeBron is stepping outside of his lane when he brings up social issues. IMHO sport is an escape from reality, but if sport can make society better, then it has an obligation to do so. That's where James has used his platform like no basketball player before him.
Now, here we go!

giphy.gif
 
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Axl Rose

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[*]Committed to the fans - He's against load management (Leonard) and won't leave the sport for personal reasons (Jordan). He's spoken in great detail about the importance of the fans and his actions back those words.

Well his father, who he was extremely close too, was murdered. I find him taking off a year to play a different sport and then coming back and winning 3 more titles far more impressive than LeBron jumping from team to team.
 

Pegger

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Well his father, who he was extremely close too, was murdered. I find him taking off a year to play a different sport and then coming back and winning 3 more titles far more impressive than LeBron jumping from team to team.
I don't want to get into his father's murder as there are many stories out there that don't paint Jordan as a victim.

Anyway, Steve Kerr's dad was murdered before he laced them up. Same for Favre the day after his dad died.

Outside of Mike I've never heard of an athlete have a tragedy then leave all their teammates to spend time away from their family playing minor league of another sport.

I'm all for people navigating their way through loss, but there's no denying he took a year off just for Mike. No fans, shoe companies or family members were asking him to go on the road and grind it out playing minor league baseball.
 

MDB111™

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Jordan went 11-0

1.ncaa title
2 olympic golds
2 fiba golds (pan am)
6 nba titles

Lebron went 7-8

0 ncaa titles
2-1 in Olympics (bronze medal loss was an embarrassment)
1-1 in fiba (bronze medal loss was an embarrassment)
4-6 nba finals

How is this even a debate?

Did Lebron ever win any defensive player of the years?

Biggest kicker for myself in this entire argument is scoring titles.
You play the game against your peers and a scoring title says you scored the most points against your peers in your era.

Jordan did that 10 times.
Lebron did it once.



Jordan is the greatest player in the history of the game.
 

SilenceS

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Did Lebron ever win any defensive player of the years?

Biggest kicker for myself in this entire argument is scoring titles.
You play the game against your peers and a scoring title says you scored the most points against your peers in your era.

Jordan did that 10 times.
Lebron did it once.



Jordan is the greatest player in the history of the game.
Jordan is the GOAT, but thats not really apples to apples. LBJ and Jordan game is totally different. Kobe and MJ are mirror images. LBJ game is to be compared to Magic and he is better than Magic.
 

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I don't want to get into his father's murder as there are many stories out there that don't paint Jordan as a victim.

Anyway, Steve Kerr's dad was murdered before he laced them up. Same for Favre the day after his dad died.

Outside of Mike I've never heard of an athlete have a tragedy then leave all their teammates to spend time away from their family playing minor league of another sport.

I'm all for people navigating their way through loss, but there's no denying he took a year off just for Mike. No fans, shoe companies or family members were asking him to go on the road and grind it out playing minor league baseball.
Just to play a minor "devil's advocate?" here...while no one was pushing MJ to go and play minor league baseball, it's well documented that MJ's dad had always dreamed him to be a professional baseball player. So yeah you can say it was MJ doing it for MJ, but that plays itself out as him pursuing his dad's dream for him. And as the Last Dance points out, he actually didn't do quite as awful as people like to remember him doing.

On top of that you look at Kabib just not that long ago, he retired from MMA since he said he didn't want to fight without his dad there with him and he promised his mother that. Like MJ, he also retired on top. Does this also diminish his legacy as one of the best fighters in MMA?
 

Pegger

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Just to play a minor "devil's advocate?" here...while no one was pushing MJ to go and play minor league baseball, it's well documented that MJ's dad had always dreamed him to be a professional baseball player. So yeah you can say it was MJ doing it for MJ, but that plays itself out as him pursuing his dad's dream for him. And as the Last Dance points out, he actually didn't do quite as awful as people like to remember him doing.

On top of that you look at Kabib just not that long ago, he retired from MMA since he said he didn't want to fight without his dad there with him and he promised his mother that. Like MJ, he also retired on top. Does this also diminish his legacy as one of the best fighters in MMA?
Fair points and just to reply:

RE: Baseball was about his dad - That's completely understandable. With that being said there are numerous athletes who lost loved ones that find their own way of paying tribute. Michael's choice was to leave basketball altogether. I've seen less high profile players leave their sport to serve their country (Pat Tillman) or focus on religion (Napoleon Kaufman) and of course there have been two sport athletes that eventually choose one over the other (Deion). There's also rumors that MJ left the sport for a year to avoid a gambling scandal and/or this was about creating contract leverage with the Bulls. For whatever reason Michael made a personal choice and he left fans, teammates and the entire sport hanging. I'm not saying he was wrong for that, only that he made a personal choice that negatively impacted the NBA and it's fans. That's completely fine, but he still has to own his choices.

Just as an example, LeBron did 'the Decision' when he went to Miami. He could easily say it was for charity (which it was), but people still have to factor in that he made it more about himself then the natural flow of free agency. It's easy to argue it was all for a good reason, but ultimately if it was good/bad is subjective and LeBron has to own that decision.

RE: Kabib's retirement - I fully agree with any players choice to leave the sport. Ultimately if their heart isn't in it and it's not making them happy, then they shouldn't feel obligated to do so. It's also important to know it can impact their legacy no different than someone who's career ended prematurely due to injury (think Gayle Sayers/Bo Jackson). Specific to MMA (and I'd add boxing) it's a bit different. Retirement doesn't mean you won't fight again. It means you aren't committed to defend a belt or continue to climb the rankings. There have been many fighters who took many big money fights post retirement because they finally built enough of a brand where they can choose what fight they want. Even more specific to Kabib, he's a different cat. He's essentially a national treasure in Russia and people look to him like he's a walking god. He probably never needs to fight again, but in a few years there will be a dominant fighter and the questions of 'who's better?' will make a super fight very lucrative for him. It will be entirely his choice if he fights or now, but I can guarantee UFC/MMA will be throwing money at him to make it happen.
 
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