Last month LeBron won his 2nd NBA title and Finals MVP
award. He is well on his way to turning the Miami Heat into
the next great NBA dynasty. As LeBron continues to accumulate
accolades and championships, the comparisons between
him and Michael Jordan will get even deeper.
So the questions are, can he catch Michael Jordan? In regards
to championships and MVP’s the answer is yes. LeBron is only
28 years old and seems to get better year after year. If he wins
the League MVP award next year that will give him five tying
him with Jordan. If LeBron stays healthy he could easily play
another 10 years at an elite level. Based on how the Heat are
currently constructed they should be the favorites to win the
title the next two years. So if the Heat can 4 Peat, then LeBron
would just need three more titles in the next 8 seasons to
surpass Jordan in rings.
But measuring how much Jordan meant to the league and
fans just based on rings is an insult. If you’re 25 years or older
you’ll see Jordan’s legacy as unobtainable. He is the reason
why you wore Jordan sneakers, drank Gatorade Citrus Cooler,
had his poster on your wall, or stuck your tongue while you
were playing basketball.
While NBA greats such as Dr. J, Magic Johnson and Larry
Bird elevated the game in the late 70’s and 80’s, Jordan took
the game to new heights. TV ratings skyrocketed, attendance
went up, and jersey sales were as high as ever during Jordan’s
era. His deal with Nike would pave the way for future NBA
stars such as LeBron, Shaq, and Kobe to all get their lucrative
The six rings that Jordan has won has become the standard
bearer of what all NBA superstars thrive for. But even if eventually
a superstar such as LeBron surpasses the six rings that
Jordan has won, it won’t necessarily put him above Jordan,
and here’s why. From 1990 to 1998 every time Jordan
played a full NBA season he won a championship. Had he
not decided to retire from basketball and pursue a baseball
career he could easily have 8 rings. In addition Jordan was
able to keep other all-time greats from winning a championship.
Fellow Dream Team players Charles Barkley,
Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone and John Stockton title
dreams were shot down by Jordan and the Bulls. Time will
tell if LeBron can keep other superstars in his era such as
Kevin Duran, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul ring less.
What also sets Jordan apart from other past and present
superstars is his perfect record in the NBA Finals. Going
6 for 6 in the NBA Finals and never having to go to a 7th
game is a feat that LeBron cannot achieve. LeBron’s record
in the Finals is 2-2 and he has already lost more games in
four Finals appearance (12) than Jordan did in six Finals
However there’s one obvious trait that sets LeBron apart
from anyone that has ever played the game, and that’s he’s
At 6’8, 250 pounds LeBron is a freak of nature and when
his jumper is on he’s unstoppable. He’s built like Karl
Malone but has the speed of a point guard. As it’s been
made evident over the last 2 Heat championship runs,
LeBron can guard anyone of the five positions on the court.
This is something not even the great Michael Jordan could
Another factor for the fans that believe LeBron is better
than Jordan is that he is one of the greatest passers the
game has ever seen. In fact many call LeBron’s game a
combination of Magic and Jordan. Whether it’s been his
teammates in Cleveland or Miami everybody loves playing
People will always harp on the way he left Cleveland and
that he had to go to a team with other superstars in order
to win a championship. For whatever reason big name free
agents have no desire to go to Cleveland. So in order for
LeBron to play with adequate players that can help him
win a championship, he had to leave Cleveland or be stuck
with losing in the Conference or NBA Finals year after
year. Aside from the 2004 Detroit Pistons every recent
NBA champion has had at least 2 hall of fame caliber
players. Just think of how many championships Jordan
would have won without Pippen.
So to answer the question once and for all can LeBron
catch Jordan in rings and as the greatest player of all-time?
Honestly it’s a question that won’t be answered until LeBron’s
playing days are over and even then it will be up for
debate. We should all just appreciate LeBron’s greatness
instead of mentioning his imperfections whenever he has
an off game.
All LeBron needs to do is keep playing the way he is and
his legacy will define himself. As he said after winning his
second championship he has no worries.