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LeBron tweets he’s not MJ, but he’s playing in that air now

Feb 13, 2013, 12:03 PM EDT

BKN-NBA-HEAT-NETS Getty Images

That we are even having this conversation speaks to how well LeBron James is playing.

As a sports culture have mythologized Michael Jordan to the point he’s superhuman and unassailable. Nike deserves some credit for that. To mention anyone playing at a Jordan-like level is to bring out MJ’s defenders (does he really need defenders?) to point out his stats, or how he never lost in the finals, or how he played at this level for so long, or whatever line of defense they are offering. Even though nobody is questioning Jordan’s greatness.

But the fact remains that right now LeBron is playing at a Jordanesque level — six games in a row scoring 30 points and shooting better than 60 percent in each of those wins. Nobody has ever done that before. Combine it with his LeBron’s run of winning the NBA MVP last season, the finals MVP, a ring with the Heat then an Olympic gold medal — a one-year combo only accomplished by Jordan — and it’s hard not to make comparisons.

Because Jordan is the measuring stick and LeBron has started to come closer than anyone else ever has.

LeBron doesn’t want the comparisons.

That’s fair. He wants to be his own man. LeBron isn’t Jordan; they are different players in both style and temperament. They played in different eras (with different rules about defending on the perimeter).

Jordan is the measuring stick for a reason. While I would argue LeBron has played at a Jordan level the last year and a half, Jordan played at that peak level for six or seven years and has six rings to show for it. Jordan has 10 scoring titles, 5 MVPs and 6 glittering rings. LeBron isn’t there yet. In a long-view historical context Jordan is the better player. Of course, when you get into the historical context you have to bring in how Wilt Chamberlain dominated the league (he led the league in assists one season, just for fun), or Bill Russell (11 rings and as fierce a competitor as there has been), or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s ridiculous career numbers (six time MVP, six rings, most points scored in NBA history), or a number of other guys that should be in that conversation.

But Jordan is the most recent guy in that historical conversation, the guy we all saw play and dazzle us, the guy imprinted in our minds, and he’s the guy we measure all the great players of today against. Fair or not.

And the way LeBron is playing right now, we have to compare him in a historical context because he is unquestionably the best in the game right now.

LeBron is playing closer to Jordan’s level than anyone since Jordan himself retired from Chicago (I have blocked the Washington years out of my mind). In the past season and a half LeBron has been beter and more efficient than peak Kobe Bryant, than anyone since MJ himself.

Jordan is the historical measuring stick and while LeBron may not want out of that shadow the comparisons are unavoidable.

The question is how will we view those comparisons when LeBron retires someday?

100 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. buffalowned - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    it’s too bad people can’t just appreciate what he’s doing instead of tearing him apart for not being MJ. he’s not the one making these comparisons it’s the media. there will never be another LeBron just like there will never be another MJ

    • nycalldayz - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      @buffalowned

      Speak the truth, but don’t tell ESPN that.

    • chicitybulls - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      I agree. It is a shame but the media is lazy. If you really look at it it is crazy to mention them in the same breath. I have respect for lebron’s game but Jordan had that killer instinct and would not be denied. He did whatever he had to do on the court to win. Mike NEVER would have left his team to join with another star to win. Maybe the mentality of players nowadays is different as they would rather team up to win than beat the other elite players head to head but players would have been trying to join Mike not the other way around.

      • broncobeta - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        “Mike NEVER would have left his team to join with another star to win.”

        Yeah, the just came to him instead. He was the Wade.

        Also, “Mike NEVER would have left his team…”

        He did that too.

      • chicitybulls - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        @bronco

        “Yeah, the just came to him instead. He was the Wade.”

        Exactly my point.

        As far as him leaving his team and you saying he did that too. Well if you dont understand that by the time he was playing for the Wizards his career was essentially over then I really can’t have an intelligent conversation with you. Nobody cares about that episode in his career. It’s like when Montana went to play for the Chiefs or Rice when he went to play for the Raiders. Technically it happened but it doesn’t really count.

      • cosanostra71 - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:51 PM

        I don’t necessarily agree with broncobeta’s overall argument, but his point was that Jordan did leave his team. He retired in 1993 and left his team.

      • chicitybulls - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        Sure he did. But he retired. It’s not like he left the team and went to the Pacers or Knicks or somebody. We can agree there is a difference, right?

    • j0esixpack - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      bozosforall still insists the Lakers are better than the Heat

    • loungefly74 - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      absolutely.

      LBJ is playing out his gourd right now. the man is on fire! Forget about comparisons…it is clear James rules the roost in the NBA. no slam at Durant but James is sickening awesome more than ever. He is the torch bearer of the NBA. The current symbol and the icon of the NBA. no questions.

      dang…why did Kurt have to mention my boy, the Kobster, in the article? Kobe is my all time fav player and did some amazing things himself…but this is the “Lebron Era” now…

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      I hated MJ, couldn’t enjoy him because he was always kickin my Knicks ass………….
      but I can’t rob myself of watching LJ, he has the game in the palm of his hands right now………
      what he is doing stats wise is just unbelievable………….
      the game belongs to him right now, what ever he wants to do he can………………
      and I think my Knicks will have to go thru LJ now……………

      Skip Baseless is the only person in the world who can’t admit to himself that LJ
      is doing something unbelievable.

  2. aboogy123456 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    “He is better and more efficient than peak Kobe Bryant”

    That’s a ridiculous statement to just flat out say that and I would highly disagree. Maybe more efficient when you look at stats, but not anywhere near as good in terms of basketball skills. Kobe at his peak was ARGUABLY better than anybody ever.

    • brianspider - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      How else do you look at efficiency if not at stats?

      • cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        Kobe never played with 2 all stars & he won 5 rings. Only 1 season Michael played with 2 all stars & won 6 rings.

      • libertarianvoter - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        Kobe played with 3 all-stars in ’98: Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel and Shaq.
        Kobe played with 2 all-stars in ’00: Glen Rice and Shaq.
        Kobe played with 3 all-stars in ’04: Karl Malone, Gary Payton and Shaq.
        Kobe played with 2 all-stars in ’08-’12: Gasol and Bynum.
        Kobe IS CURRENTLY PLAYING WITH 3 all-stars/future hall of famers: Gasol, Howard, and Nash.
        But who cares about facts?

      • libertarianvoter - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        Except for the Miami Super Team, Kobe has had better teammates almost every season of his career than Lebron has had, yet even in Cleveland he put up the most insane numbers any one has put up since Jordan. Kobe’s best statistical season doesn’t come close to Lebron’s worst (discounting his first two years).

      • heat256 - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Ah, Canton rears its ugly head again, full of misinformation. Kobe played with Shaq and Horace Grant, Robert Horry, Ron Harper, guys who may not have techically been All-Stars but wasn’t for a lack of talen. And those guys were multiple champions, which counts for something. Kobe also played with Gasol, World Peace and Bynum, who were All-Stars. So your argument is moot, not to mention head scratching since you’ve devoted considerable time to blasting the abilities of Wade and Bosh.

        However, comparing Kobe and LeBron is hard because of thier skillsets and style. Kobe is a better pure scorer and fiercer competitior, but LeBron has a better all-around skillset and his ability to guard multiple positions places him above Kobe on the defensive side. There are things I like and appreciate about Kobe’s game but I’d still say LeBron is the better player. Measuring them solely by rings is dumb. Horry has multiple rings, and he’s in no way better than LeBron.

      • broncobeta - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        “Kobe never played with 2 all stars & he won 5 rings. Only 1 season Michael played with 2 all stars & won 6 rings.”

        That’s not true, Shaq is as big as at least three all stars.

      • aboogy123456 - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        I also don’t think accolades are the most important thing to look at. Kobe could easily have 2 more championships if Bynum wasn’t injured against boston and if Karl Malone wasn’t injured against Detroit. Also this year injuries to other players have hurt the lakers as well. Kobe and jordan both had great teammates but Jordan had more continuity with his teams and he had phil jackson for more time than Kobe did. I just watch the games closely and I think Kobe at his peak was the best.

      • stanmrak - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        Forget Michael, forget Lebron.

        Wilt summed up it up best when he told Jordan, “When you played, they changed the rules to make it EASIER for you to score; when I played, they had to change the rules to make it HARDER for me to score.”

        That’s how good Wilt Chamberlain was.

    • teehov843 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      We’ll see if the LeBron’s, Wade’s, Durant’s and Melo’s of the world will still play at a high level after 17 years in the game like Kobe. That’s when i will compare them to Kobe! Nobody can deny that! That’s real talk!

      • pantsfreezone - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:12 PM

        Kobe is good at scoring. That’s about it. The fact that he keeps winning defensive awards is a joke especially because Wade has been a better defender than any other 2 guard in the league other than Tony Allen the past 5 years.

      • cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        @ heat 256: misinformation???? First of all playing with all stars & role players are totally different. The fact that you throw Horace Grant out there, at the end of his career is a joke, much like your “knowledge of the game”. Ron Artest was only once an all star & that was with Indiana 9 YEARS AGO!!!! The resin guys like Ron Harper are multiple champions is because Jordan & Kobe averaged over 30 a game in the Finals! Luc Longley, Dennis Rodman & Scottie Pippen got big contracts as free agents & couldn’t win anything without Michael.
        Study up on your NBA history son, before you embarrass yourself again. It’s a good thing you’re obviously following me & my comments, you might actually learn something.

      • hehateme2 - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        Kobe is way overrated. Washed up has been

    • 808raiderinparadise - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      Had to log-in when I seen this hot garbage comment.

      Kobe couldn’t sniff what LBJ is doing and will be doing since he is just now hitting his prime.

      #1 Kobe played with one of the most dominant players ever SHAQ, while SHAQ was in his prime, not too mention some of the best rosters NBA has seen and coach.

      #2 LBJ is doing this while also being one of the least selfish players with the ball in the league. Will pass up looks to get an assist like few stars ever before (Magic -Like).

      #3 and if your going to talk about “basketball skills” ??? Ummmmm ok? Kobe can have that, whatever the F, that means? cuz LBJ is straight dominant and obvisouly he is fooling us all right? becuase he isn’t using basketball skills to do so LoL?

      eat it.

      • 808raiderinparadise - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        Also people are comparing talents when LBJ just hit his prime last year, so hold on tight and evaluate the next 5 years as he keeps you losers logging-in to discredit all his records, titles, and MVP’s ahead.

      • teehov843 - Feb 16, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        I understand people don’t like Kobe because he’s a jerk but “Real always Recognize Real” Yall comments don’t mean ish. The NBA players that play against Kobe night in and night out know the deal! They say it all the time that Kobe is still one of the beast after 17 years in the game! Who cares what yall say! LMAO! All this LeBron jock riding is really sickening. He’s the best player in the game now but “The Bean” ain’t too far behind!

    • aboogy123456 - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      If you break down every aspect of the game, Kobe at his peak is better than Lebron. There are a ton of things but here are a few:

      Shooting: Kobe
      Killer instinct: Kobe
      Smarts: Kobe
      post up game: kobe
      off the ball: kobe
      passing: kobe (even though he’s a scorer)
      going left: kobe
      dribbling: kobe
      left hand: kobe
      mental game: kobe
      clutch: kobe
      making difficult shots: kobe

      Lebron has his advantages too and the one main advantage is that he’s a physical freak. If you break down every aspect kobe has more going in his favor. lebron probably is a better defender but people forget kobe was amazing in that regard as well. The point of my post was that kurt said lebron is better than kobe was, as if that’s a fact, when it’s more like an opinion.

      • jab240 - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        It’s funny you mention “left hand” aspects of the game. Lebron is actually left handed. He shoots right handed though. So if you think he doesn’t go left enough that means he’s using his “weak’ hand more and better at it than Kobe. And if he’s also taking and making shots with his weak hand all the time then every one if his shots would be considered a “difficult” shot for most everyone else.

      • buffalowned - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        you did not just say that kobe is better at passing than lebron….stop

      • fanofthegame79 - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        Dude, I really need what you’re smoking. I mean, it’s one thing to have a favorite player and be biased. But to give all of these “comparisons” to Kobe is beyond crazy. And killer intstict is a joke in sports. Do you know who has a killer instinct? Ted Bundy. He killed people. Athletes who can score in the closing moments of a close game is clutch. Please, we have to stop with the “killer instinct” idea.

      • aboogy123456 - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        people say lebron has a better overall game than Kobe and Jordan and I’m trying to correct that misconception. Just because he has better overall statistics does not mean better overall basketball skills. Lebron is the best physical specimen to ever play basketball, he could play in the NFL if he wanted to. But there are a lot of skills that you need and while you can argue that lebron is better than kobe, it’s clear that kobe has a more diverse skill set.

      • robones - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        How the HELL do you come up with stuff? Where you high on weed buddy?

        Lets look at your dumb comments:

        Shooting: Kobe <==== LBJ has a better career field goal percentage than Kobe ever had. Have you been living under a rock for the past week? Have you not heard the news about LBJ setting NBA records?
        Killer instinct: Kobe <=== how the hell can you gauge this?
        Smarts: Kobe <=== again how the hell can you gauge this?
        post up game: kobe <===have you seen where 90% of his are coming from which lead to his remarkable streak of 6 games averaging 30 points 60% field goal percentage???????
        off the ball: kobe
        passing: kobe (even though he’s a scorer) <=== are you kidding me? Lebron is compared to Magic for his incredible vision on the court!!! LBJ averages more assists per game than Kobe!! Do you even watch basketball?
        going left: kobe <=== I am starting to think you have not watch LBJ play for the last 3 years.
        dribbling: kobe <===Does Kobe really have an advantage? You are making me wonder if you HAVE EVER watched LBJ play.
        left hand: kobe <=== My assessment is confirmed
        mental game: kobe <===== HAHAHAHA! "mental game" are you for real?
        clutch: kobe <==== I will finally give you this one. Kobe has definitely made more clutch shots than LBJ but considering LBJ still has about 50% left in his career, and Kobe is on the way out, LBJ will definitely have more opportunities to be clutch.
        making difficult shots: kobe <====I'll give you that Kobe makes more acrobatic shots but LBJ makes equally difficult shots when half the team is on his back hacking him when going for a dunk or layup.

      • buffalowned - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        i can’t believe you’re even trying to make this argument. like the guy above me said it’s one thing to have your favorite player but you are just making some ridiculous arguments with absolutely nothing to back it up. there is NOTHING that makes it clear kobe has a more diverse skill set because he doesn’t. notice this article was about lebron and mj…not kobe. let it go

      • loungefly74 - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        aboogy…love the shared passion we have for the Kobster…

        we know kobe has done some really amazing stuff in his career, no doubt…heck, he is a top 10 player of all time…but this is Lebron’s time now. James is the best right now and is playing some amazing ball. Could stats be slanted to favor any which way? absolutely. Do i think Kobe has had some amazing runs maybe better than lebron has done recently? Yes…that my opinion…but it takes nothing away from what James is doing right now.

      • kclanton80 - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:19 PM

        Sorry@ Aboogy but your just wrong! I know Kobe fans are desperate to find some sort of way to still claim that kobe is better but your argument is nonsense. I’m could go into morn detail but someone who would give the edge to Kobe in these are’s is just way to blind and too much of a hater to even try and convince otherwise. Kobe is a better passer??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA Pathetic arugument from top to bottom.

      • hehateme2 - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        aboogy123456: blind homer

      • dowhatifeellike - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM

        Kobe has proven this year that he can be a passer or a scorer but not the same time. LeBron can do it all in the same game.

      • 24thesho - Feb 14, 2013 at 6:32 AM

        Hey, are you reallu in love with Kobe?

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      Huge Kobe fan here, Kobe can’t do the things LJ can, Kobe has 5 rings, LJ 1, that is the
      only thing Kobe has on him along with his competitive desire.
      Trust me, I’m a huge Kobe fan but I can’t lie.

    • michaeljordanseviltwin - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      Capitalizing ‘arguably’ does nothing to strengthen your point.

      How many years was Kobe the best player in the NBA? Zero. His lone MVP award was a lifetime achievement award. How many championships has he won as the best player on his own team? Two. Kobe’s legacy can never touch MJ’s but LeBron still has a chance.

  3. cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    With the way Carnival cruise ships keep breaking down, Mickey won’t be able to afford LeBron next year.

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      NICE………………….

    • southbeachtalent - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      I’m pretty sure Mickey is doing just fine. But that’s nice of you to worry about someone else’s finances. Maybe you can give Mickey a loan?

      • cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        Mickey has it all figured out. Make cuts on the cruise ships & pay basketball players. So ships break down & strand thousands of people in the middle of nowhere.

      • southbeachtalent - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        Yea, I’m sure Mickey can use some business advice from you.. It’s not like he’s a billionaire or anything…..

      • cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        Isn’t Mickey the same guy that said “Stay White” at the parade 7 years ago? You probably didn’t follow basketball then, like the typical bandwagon Heat fan.

      • southbeachtalent - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        Yes he did, how’s that relevant? It was when the Heat were on the “White Hot” era. Same parade that DWade got called Wade Jones.. I’ve always been a Heat fan and you’ve always been a douche. Quite simple really..

        Apparently you’re a closet Heat fan, get over it your Knicks are pathetic. The only reason they get any press is because there in the Mecca! hahahahaahahahah Mecca of losing maybe!

  4. scoregasmic - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I had an epiphany the other day, I’ve always hated LeBron, but I have now realized I should just stop finding reasons to hate him and start just appreciating the fact that I am watching one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Is he as good as Jordan? I don’t know but I’m going to start really appreciating what I am watching. I’ve always wished I could have been old enough to watch Jordan and really understand what he was doing, I have a chance to do that with lebron and I’m not going to waste it

    • lmoneyfresh - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      I’m leaning that way myself. When he shafted the Cavs and headed to south beach I thought he handled it in about the worst way possible and I turned on him. I don’t know if its the title or the fact that they’re keeping their collective mouths shut now, but I do appreciate what LBJ is doing now more than ever.

      Still can’t stand Wade though. He’s a punk. Haha

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Dude, if you like Basketball just enjoy this run.

  5. prourke22 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    kobe was NEVER an efficient player. He’s a SHOOTER. He has never shot above 47% in a season. Look at his career shooting %. Look at his reb, assist. His “numbers” no where compare to LeBron. Except points per game. Oh wait, that is even less than LeBron

  6. golfrangeman - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Kobe has tremendous skills but he doesn’t make players around him better history shows that. In 17 years the lakers have a better record when he’s not playing as oppose to playing. Look at this year, the less he shoots the more they win!! Why he’s inefficient, less ball movement.
    Great talent, poor teammate doesn’t = great player

    • aboogy123456 - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      Hey you should order this thing called NBA league pass, it would be perfect for you. It allows you to actually watch all the games instead of reading box scores.

      • progress2011 - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:02 PM

        Hey ….I have league pass. I watched the game. I watched kobe go 1 for 8 …THAT’S 13 FRIGGIN PERCENT ……..ahahahah

        I also watched him commit 8 turnovers and score only 4 points !

        Generally, I watched him stink up the place so badly, he should have been benched !

        Is there something else you wanted us to see !

        ahahahah

  7. bigwii - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    I just don’t get people its apples and oranges LeBron will never be the pioneer that Jordan was or achieve much of what Jordan did because Jordan already did it that path has ended. LeBron is great no doubt but he’s on his own path. If you want to compare stats look at LeBron’s career numbers and what he’s doing now, they do not compare to Jordan they compare statistically to Larry Bird look it up if you doubt that they’re almost identical. When his career is over maybe you can talk about it and compare him but athletically he’s in his own category but he compares way more to Bird and Magic, not Jordan. Jordan was and always will be the face of the NBA as well as basketball in general. Right now LeBron is the man but when he’s gone who will we talk about as the face of this industry. As far as talent they were the best and LeBron is the best right now but what Jordan did for the game of basketball in all aspects on and off the court will never be repeated.

    • cosanostra71 - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Somewhat surprising at the number of thumbs down.

      Career stats:
      Bird: 24.3 PPG, 49.6 FG%, 10.0 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.8 BPG
      Bron: 27.6 PPG, 48.8 FG%, 7.2 RPG, 6.9 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.8 BPG

      • chicitybulls - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        Well the thumbs down thing is from fair weather heat fans that can’t look at what you just put up (you know the facts) and let that do the talking. But it is what it is. Smart, logical people can see it for what it is.

      • cosanostra71 - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:57 PM

        I’ve always thought LeBron was most reminiscent of Larry Bird. Their games are very similar (although Bird was a better three point shooter and LeBron is probably a slightly better passer) and the numbers only support that.

      • itsonlyaspeedbump - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        Before seeing that if you would have asked me who was better, I would have said James and that it wasn’t close.

        And I would have been wrong.

        I know you can’t just look at box scores to tell you everything, but I had no idea they were so close. Lebron makes one or two more shots a game, and gets a few less rebounds, otherwise they’re nearly identical.

        Lebron also has similar career stats to Oscar Robertson.

  8. fanofthegame79 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Kurt, I’m glad you acknowledge that there are other great NBA players aside from Michael Jordan. While I fully respect what MJ did for his career, I think (due to short sightedness) we forget what history had before MJ. Wilt, KAJ, Magic, Oscar Robinson, Bird…there are so many great NBA players that are cut short due to the MJ shadow. I think we should talk about best positions, rather than the overall best player. I don’t think MJ could have stopped Wilt….so how can we say he’s the best ever?

    • pudgalvin - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      Well, I don’t think Wilt could have stopped MJ either. Kind of points out why thats a silly argument.

      • fanofthegame79 - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        But that is my point, pudgalvin – I don’t really think any of the “best players” could stop each other. So how can we say that MJ is better than (enter name here)? I can say that MJ was probably the best shooting guard ever. Wilt, best center. LBJ, best small forward. Magic, best point guard. Barkley best power forward (Barkley might be a stretch, but this is my real point).

      • pudgalvin - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:24 PM

        No way, I think Barkley is one of the most underrated players of all time. Jordan robbed him of a title, but he had a great, great year in 93. 25/9/5 while playing with the likes of Kevin Johnson, Dan Marleje, and who, Oliver Miller? And he still took Jordan to the limit in the finals that year.

      • cosanostra71 - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:48 PM

        Kevin Johnson was a great player.

  9. nycalldayz - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Comparing past and present athletes have been going on for years. Honestly I don’t understand it, but that’s the way it is. As far as the Jordan vs Lebron comparisons, that’s weak. They’re two different players. The fact is there will never be another Jordan regardless of Lebron’s future success. Every great player should be allowed to build their own greatness.

  10. pudgalvin - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Just throwing this out there, not to argue, but just to show this astounding run of games Jordan had in 1989 that I found while looking up some stats.

    Over the course of 20 games towards the end of the season, Jordan averaged: 31 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, 3 steals and a block. He shot 57% from the field and 90% from the foul line. He had 10 triple doubles in 11 games, and missed 4 more triple doubles by either less than 2 rebounds or less than 2 assists. As great as Lebron has been over the last 6 games, he hasn’t gotten to double figures in rebounds or assists in any of them. Just a reminder I guess that Nike didn’t make Jordan what he was. Jordan did.

    • Kurt Helin - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      No doubt Jordan is the greatest player of the last 25 years if not all time, but Nike had plenty to do with the mythology around Jordan. As Steve Kerr has said more than once, if there had been cellphone cameras back in the day we would view this Bulls team very differently.

      • pudgalvin - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        No doubt about it. I cringe to think of what Jordan was really like behind the scenes. But at the same time, Nike didn’t rule the sports universe in the late 80′s/early 90′s like they do now. Jordan’s built his mystique with stretches of games where he was absolutely untouchable. When you say Lebron is playing on Jordan’s level, I don’t disagree, but Jordan basically put up the numbers Lebron is being lauded for right now for 6 consecutive years. He built the myth, Nike just helps us romanticize it today.

      • cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        Kurt, please, enough lusting over LeBron. He is gifted, but no where in the same discussion as Michael. If Mike didn’t take time off to play baseball, he easily would have won 8 championships. If Jerry Krause didn’t dismantle the team he might have won 10 rings. He played in an era where they killed you if you drove down the lane. He played against teams with hall of fame centers like Olajuwon, Robinson & Ewing. Now a days you can’t even put a finger on a player, it’s automatic 2 free throws. Maybe the only dominant center now is Dwight Howard & he’s injured most of the time.
        We all know you love LeBron but he has a long way to go to be remotely compared to Michael.
        Besides Michael never lost a Finals series. He never even let it go to 7 games. Michael is the greatest & beat some of the greats (Johnson,Bird, Isiah, Olajuwon).

  11. pantsfreezone - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    LeBron is not as good as Jordan. And Jordan isn’t as good as LeBron. If the two of them, in their primes, played 1-on-1 10 times Jordan would win the series 6-4 because once it was tied 4-4 LeBron would stop playing to sign autographs with Jordan dunking behind him. LeBron wants to win but wants to enjoy his teammates, life and stardom, while Jordan was all about winning and destroying his opponent and gambling.

    If I were a GM and drafting between the two in today’s NBA, I’d take LeBron 1a and Jordan 1b simply because of the physical tools LJ has.

  12. infectorman - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    “He is better and more efficient than peak Kobe Bryant, than anyone since MJ himself.”
    There is NO WAY Helin wrote this.

    The second i read that line I KNEW all the KoME slobknockers would be out in full force decrying that sentiment.
    So DAMN PREDICTABLE you Faker fans are.

    Guess What? KoME on his best day is NOT better than LJ. Get used to it because it is what it is.

  13. philtration - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Why compare them?
    Jordan was the better player and so what?
    LeBron is the best player in the NBA right now and he is playing the best ball of his career.
    The burden has been lifted from his shoulders and now he is just playing the game without the pressure and without the stupid dancing and sideshow nonsense.
    Yes it has been over a 5 or 6 game span while Jordan would go on stretches like this for a month but what difference does it make?
    Chamberlin was the greatest Center of all time.
    Jordan was the greatest Guard of all time.
    LeBron will be the greatest Forward of all time.
    Why not just leave it at that?

    • southbeachtalent - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      “Yes it has been over a 5 or 6 game span while Jordan would go on stretches like this for a month but what difference does it make?”

      Even though I agree with your comment, LeBron just broke the record for efficiency, no one has ever been more efficient within that span.. NO ONE.

  14. davidly - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Oscar Robertson averaged 30.3 points (.486), 10.4 rebounds, 10.7 assists over his first five seasons; maybe a big reason why you only occasionally hear about his one season averaging a triple double–instead of the fact that he did it over the course of five–is because his teams only won one NBA championship.

    • davidly - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      And he did it in shoes that, relative to today’s models, had plywood for arch support.

      • fanofthegame79 - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        We also have to take into consideration that the atheltes of Jordan’s time weren’t as good (or as trained) as the athletes today.

      • baherr2012 - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        what r u saying the dream team wasnt good charle barkley david robinsone patrick ewing karl malone stockton bird majic your telling me the pistons werent good the bad boys pistons the knicks are u srious with that the jazz hahah there were tougher back in that era instead of todays cry baby pussies haha

      • cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:06 PM

        Weren’t as good? Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Hakeem Olajuwon ( the same guy that today’s players are paying to teach them his skills), Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Isiah Thomas, Shaq. Michael beat them all! These are some of the best players ever!!!! You clearly must have started watching the NBA 3 years ago like most of the bandwagon Heat fans.

      • thenmoveback - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:37 PM

        Bandwagon fans? U keep Saying this yet 2 years ago the Knicks couldn’t sell out a card board box. And u ur self are a bandwagon fan, a Knicks and a dolphins fan? Some where along the way u jumped on one of those wagons , I’m guessing you jumped on the dolphins wagon when they drafted Dan Marino in the 80′s or maybe in the 70′s when they were a top franchise. So unless u can bring some real information and not just spewing crap out of ur mouth shut upp! And when u compare LBJ to Kobe or MJ let’s remember the one common both Kobe and mj had, u know the greastest coach of all time, with respect to Spo, if Phil was in miami they would be unstoppable ( which they may already be). And let LBJ finish his career because u may be eating ur words in 8 years.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:58 PM

        Newfound respect for you. You know your theet!

      • scalfor3 - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        If you think guys like Bird, Magic, Stockton, Malone, Robinson, Ewing, Pippen etc wouldn’t be all stars in today’s era, you’re nuts

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:56 PM

        Opinion.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:08 PM

        Not replying to you, scalfor3. Replying to fanofthegame79.

  15. ogbobbydeas - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    He is LJ?? Grandmama !??? Larry Johnson ??

    • southbeachtalent - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      Larry couldn’t hand LeBron his gatorade..

  16. baherr2012 - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    lebron is great kobe is great nut jordan took over games he never lost a champion ship he won three in a row left two years came back and spanked that ass for another three years if he never would have left it would have been an eight peat has lebron done that has kobe done that oh they havnt thats right they have both lost a champion ship and for lebron to be the youngest player ever to get those point it still took him longer than it took jordan to hit those points considering jordan played three to four years in colledge lebron came out of high school so did kobe and the media needs to leave it alone about the comparisons there is none but i guess that gives all us sports fans something to talk about i agrre thgat lebron is great an unstoppable force for sure but jordan is still the greatest i wanna be iwanna be like mike hahaha

  17. cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Just reading some of this nonsense by you bandwagon Heat fans makes me feel sorry for you. You all clearly never witnessed greatness like Michael & Kobe in their primes if you think LeBron is the greatest ever.

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      I’m sure Heat fans take great solace in your pity, since the Knicks are such winners. Yeah, right!

      • cantonbound13 - Feb 14, 2013 at 5:10 AM

        You’re the last person I would take seriously. A fan of Jimmy Johnson? I hope you mean the race car driver & not the guy who quit on the Dolphins & recommended Dave Wannesteadt. Jimmy was the worst thing to ever happen to the Dolphins. Only a fool would admire him!

  18. dowhatifeellike - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    It’s apples and oranges. James makes his teammates better with his play on the court. Jordan made his teammates better because they didn’t want to let him down.

    • biminijoe - Feb 18, 2013 at 6:32 AM

      Jordan made his teammates better because he wouldn’t let them shoot ……………

  19. jimeejohnson - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    LeBron’s clutch, as evidence by his very high field goal percentage. Michael Jordan was, perhaps, the most clutch of any player. That’s the basis for the comparison. You’ve got to win a bunch of championships to compare to Jordan, because basketball is a team sport. Michael Jordan’s talents are still unmatched, although LeBron approaches his highness, MJ, more and more. Jordan’s the true King and LeBron’s the heir to the throne.

  20. thechock305 - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    Canton dude, please go away. Your hate is sad. And yeah band wagon fan since the Hardaway / Mourning teams. Get the F outa here.

    • cantonbound13 - Feb 14, 2013 at 5:12 AM

      The Hardaway/Mourning days when the Knicks constantly kicked your asses.

  21. kavika6 - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    Lebron is even more in love with himself than Jordan is.

  22. doorharp11 - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    I am a twolves fan and i love watching lebron play he dominates the game like the best have always done! He is a humble person who does good for the game on and off the court (something jordan couldnt do). I know the espn special was a joke but what he did for the kids and only doing it for charity purposes. This guy is as good as any of the best basketball players. If jordan had the media attention that is available today we would have treated him like lance armstrong. He was great on the court but off the court he was addicted to gambling, cocaine, and women. Get jordan off the platform the media and chicago puts him on. Lebron is better and when he is done he wil have 6+ rings he is only getting better and thats crazy to say since he is already pushing (michael jordan status).

  23. soopreme - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    I think the better comparison to Kobe is Dwayne Wade.
    If you look at there career numbers their almost exactly the same and Dwade is every bit the closer Kobe is..
    I think Dwade would have won with Shaq just like Kobe so that ring argument doesn’t hold any water with me.
    As a matter of fact Wade did win with Shaq.
    Kobe’s career is almost over and he is no where near Jordan as a player.
    Now Lebron, being 28 with the resume he already has has a chance to get close to Jordan.

    • stone52norris2 - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      Am I the only one who doesn’t think this 6 games of thirty points and 60 percent is so incredible. I mean players average over thirty a game for an entire season. Plenty of them have done that Dominique, Gervin etc. And didn’t Kobe have a string of like 5 straight games of like 50 points in a row or something like three years ago. Anyways to me this lebron thing is way overrated.

  24. thechock305 - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Knicks fan huh Canton? I should have known, I thought I smelled something foul. Don’t worry your crappy Knicks will get there someday… Maybe when LeBron is out of the league.. In like 8 years

  25. thechock305 - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    No wonder Cantoon is so annoying, he’s a Knicks fan. All those years of losing makes ALL New York Pricks fans extremely douchie.

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