Michael Jordan Vs LeBron James.. Who is your Goat? [YOU VOTE]

As the NBA suspension rages on, more debate has been made between two of the greatest athletes of all-time to kill time. Although this conversation is brought up often, now more than ever it has come up in talk shows and Instagram posts that have many players giving their own takes on who is truly the best player of all-time. Now, before you vote on who is the true GOAT, let’s have a look at some of their stats and achievements:

Michael Jordan:

Via: Twitter
  • 6-time NBA Champion
  • 5-time MVP
  • 10-time Scoring Champion
  • 3-time Steals Champion
  • 6-time Finals MVP
  • 1988 Defensive Player of the Year
  • 1985 Rookie of the Year
  • 14-time All-Star

LeBron James:

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Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
  • 3-time NBA Champion
  • 4-time MVP
  • 2008 Scoring Champion
  • 3-time Finals MVP
  • 2004 Rookie of the Year
  • 16-time All-Star

For both players, these accolades are incredible, however, MJ has a clear advantage here. The largest advantages he has when it comes to accolades are his ten scoring titles to LeBron’s one, his three steals titles to LeBron’s zero, and his six championships to LeBron’s three. 

Despite the landslide in the accolades, there are several other categories to look at before making up your mind (if you’re willing to actually listen and not just vote for who you already believe) and that category is Career Stats:

Michael Jordan:

NBA: Michael Jordan's 5 Biggest Rivals on the Court
Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images
  • 30.1 Points Per Game
  • 6.2 Rebounds Per Game
  • 5.3 Assists Per Game
  • 2.3 Steals Per Game
  • 0.8 Blocks Per Game
  • 2.7 Turnovers Per Game
  • 49.7% FG Shooting
  • 32.7% Three-Point Shooting
  • 83.5% Free-Throw Shooting

LeBron James:

during a game at American Airlines Arena on January 19, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
  • 27.1 Points Per Game
  • 7.4 Rebounds Per Game
  • 7.4 Assists Per Game
  • 1.6 Steals Per Game
  • 0.8 Blocks Per Game
  • 3.5 Turnovers Per Game
  • 50.4% FG Shooting
  • 34.4% Three-Point Shooting
  • 73.5% Free-Throw Shooting

The stats are not as one-sided as the accolades were. Both players excelled statistically with numbers unheard of to the average NBA player. With that said, MJ LeBron beat in points, but LeBron has MJ beat in rebounds, assists, and field goal percentage. LeBron has always been an incredible all-around player who makes his teammates play better when he’s on the floor. His passing vision is far superior to MJ’s and has the height to give him the rebounding advantage as well.

MJ has LeBron beat in several areas, however. Scoring is a huge part of the NBA and he has LeBron beat there. He also had him beat in steals per game and has fewer turnovers. MJ is the clear winner defensively, but when it comes to the turnovers, keep in mind that LeBron plays a lot more Point Guard than MJ did.

The statistical argument could go either way as they both excel in different areas. LeBron James does have a slight advantage when it comes to the majority of the stats but there is an argument for both sides.

One big argument that is mainly used by Michael Jordan supporters is playoff history. Let’s have a look at their playoff history so far:

Michael Jordan:

Michael Jordan holds onto the NBA Championship trophy after the Bulls won their second straight title after beating the Trail Blazers on June 14, 1992, in Chicago.
Michael Jordan holds onto the NBA Championship trophy after the Bulls won their second straight title after beating the Trail Blazers on June 14, 1992, in Chicago.(Charles Cherney / Chicago Tribune)
  • 1985-87: Lose First Round 
  • 1988: Lose Second Round
  • 1989-90: Lose Conference Finals
  • 1991-93: Win Championship
  • 1995: Lose Second Round
  • 1996-98: Win Championship
  • 2002-03: Miss Playoffs

LeBron James:

lebron-james-kevin-love-crying.jpg
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images Sport
  • 2004-05: Miss Playoffs
  • 2006: Lose Second Round
  • 2007: Lose Finals
  • 2008: Lose Second Round
  • 2009: Lose Conference Finals
  • 2010: Lose Second Round
  • 2011: Lose Finals
  • 2012-13: Win Championship
  • 2014-15: Lose Finals
  • 2016: Win Championship
  • 2017-18: Lose Finals
  • 2019: Miss Playoffs

When it comes to playoff success, most will look at the number of championships won and decide that this automatically goes to Michael Jordan since he has six to LeBron’s three. Although that’s a solid argument, that’s not necessarily the case. LeBron has nine finals appearances to Michael Jordan’s six. LeBron James also had eight finals appearances in a row while Michael Jordan had three.

They missed the playoffs a similar amount of times with LeBron James missing three and Michael Jordan missing two.

Most people would give this category to Michael Jordan, however, it is not as obvious when you dig deeper into it.

There is also one more category to take into account that especially affects playoff success: Their Teams Around Them:

Michael Jordan had his right-hand-man Scottie Pippen for all six of his championships. Before Pippen arrived in Chicago, the Bulls had not gotten passed the first round of the playoffs. Michael Jordan also had players like Dennis Rodman and had Horace Grant for a season to help him. Granted, before Scottie Pippen came Michael Jordan wasn’t even 24 so it’s unclear if Michael Jordan could have won the Easterns Conference alone.

LeBron proved four times that he could make it alone. In 2007, 2010, 2017, and 2018, LeBron nearly single-handedly took the Cavaliers to the Finals. Obviously LeBron didn’t need to deal with the Detroit Bad Boys, but he had formidable opponents like Isaiah Thomas’s Celtics and the Goin’ to Work Pistons. His best teammates, especially in 2007 and 2010, were laughable as players like Drew Gooden and Antawn Jamison were considered some of his best teammates in Cleveland.

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