The reason why LeBron is greater than Michael Jordan
James’ greatest weapon is his versatility and part of that versatility is his ability to play point guard at his size
He’s bigger than Draymond Green, who plays point-center for the Golden State Warriors on a consistent basis. He’s the possessor of Steve Nash-like court vision and a Jason Kidd-like understanding of the game.
Yet, he’s explosive, agile and nimble as Paul George, who plays for the Thunder. He’s as dominant a force with a full-head of steam as we’ve seen in the NBA, with defenders falling off of him like he’s a mini-Shaq. If he’s hitting his outside jump shots, and this year he’s been incredible from the midrange and behind-the-line, he’s unstoppable.
It’s simply unfair.
That’s why Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat called James “1-5” and has him playing center on defense and point guard on offense in the middle of the NBA Finals. Do you remember this highlight-reel block James had on Tiago Splitter in Game 2 of the 2013 NBA Finals?
Well the whole sequence involved that block, then an assist from James to Ray Allen on the other end. Once back on defense, he jumped the passing lane for a steal with Mike Miller corralled and threw ahead to James for the fastbreak slam.
Field goal percentage
(Lebron 50% Jordan 49.7%)
Both of these players were efficient shooting the ball in their career, but James has a slight edge here. James has hit almost exactly half of his shots in his career, while Jordan is just a hair behind.
(Lebron 7.3 Jordan 6.2)
Jordan actually has a slight edge in offensive rebounding, a skill he is often underrated in. But James has a significant edge in defensive rebounding, thanks in part to his height and overall size advantage.
(Lebron 7.1 Jordan 5.3)
James is often called the best passer in basketball, despite playing a small forward. He has the most total assists for a small forward in NBA history. While Jordan was solid passer in his own right, he did not quite have the ability to find teammates like James does. In terms of offensive game, this is the area where most experts agree that James has a significant advantage over Jordan.
Three-point field goal percentage
James is often criticized for not being efficient from the perimeter. While most agree that Jordan has more touch on his jump shot, he was actually even less efficient than James. Neither of these players will be remembered for three-point proficiency, but James does actually have an edge here, which may surprise some.
(LeBron 34.2%, Jordan 32.7%)
Box Plus-Minus (BPM)
This stat measures how much a player contributes per 100 possessions above (or below) a league average player. These two players rank first and second all-time, but James has the upper hand by a fairly significant margin. It should be noted that this stat can be broken down in to offensive BPM, and defensive BPM—and James leads in both.
(LeBron 9.1, Jordan 8.1)
Value Over Replacement Player (VORP)
This is probably the most complex, but arguably most telling, stat on the list. VORP is an estimate of the points per 100 team possessions that a player contributed above a replacement-level player, translated to an average team and prorated to an 82-game season. James and Jordan again are the top two all-time, with James having the overall record.
(LeBron 121.88, Jordan 104. 4)
( Lebron 66 Jordan 28)
Effective field-goal percentage
These next two statistics are a reflection of how advanced shooting statistics have become. Effective field-goal percentage is basically an adjusted field percentage, that accounts for the fact that a three-pointer is worth 50% more than a two-pointer—and weighs it accordingly. It thus diminishes the value of three-point shooting on overall field goal percentage, resulting in a higher percentage (usually). The adjustment, in this case, results in a big gap between James and Jordan.
(LeBron 53.9%, Jordan 50.9%)
This is a shooting statistic that takes into account not just twos and threes, but also free throw attempts. While Jordan has an edge in foul shooting, James has still has an edge into this advanced statistic.
(LeBron 58.4%, Jordan 56.9%)
Free Throw Attempt Rate (FTr)
Free-throw rate measures how many free throws a player takes for every field goal he attempts. When comparing two similar-type players, this statistic can help show which player is more aggressive. Some experts say that Jordan was the more aggressive player. While this stat does not prove which one is more aggressive, James’ edge here at least is a strong rebuttal to the claim that he is unwilling to drive to the bucket and get fouled.
(LeBron .421, Jordan .358)
(LeBron 144 Jordan 119)
Playoff win shares
This statistic is an estimate of the amount of wins that a player is individually responsible for. As was the case in a few of the other stats we have looked at, James and Jordan are the top-two in that category all-time. Again though, James has gaped Jordan, being the only player in NBA history with at least 40 playoff win shares.
(LeBron 45.84, Jordan 39.8)
For people that argue Jordan is the greatest player ever, “Six-for-six” is usually their main argument. That is, Jordan is a perfect 6-0 in Finals series in his career. As impressive as it is, one can argue that James had tougher competition in his Finals appearances, and also had worse teams. The fact that James has been to many NBA Finals, with perhaps several more, is mind-boggling. Even more impressive is the fact that James has been to seven consecutive Finals (and counting); Jordan never made to more than three in a row.
(LeBron 8, Jordan 6)
First-round playoff losses
Jordan was unblemished in the NBA Finals, but he did not get out of the first round of the playoffs until his fourth tri. James is an astonishing 11-0 in the first round all-time.
(LeBron 0, Jordan 3)
James’s edge in rebounding over Jordan is more significant in the playoffs than it is in the regular season, showing how James elevates his aggression level when more is on the line.
(LeBron 8.9, Jordan 6.4)
Despite often having to take on a bigger share of the scoring responsibility in the playoffs, James has still been able to get his teams involved in the postseason, at a higher clip than Jordan was able to.
(LeBron 6.9, Jordan 5.7)
James’ big edge in this category looks even bigger when you look at just the playoffs. This is simply a deeper illustration of LeBron’s more versatile offensive game.
(LeBron 19, Jordan 2)
Both of these players have higher BPM in the playoffs than they do in the regular season, but James still holds an edge, especially on defense.
(LeBron 10.7, Jordan 10.1)
Last edited by AirBonner : 02-26-2018 at 02:06 AM.
Re: The reason why LeBron is greater than Michael Jordan
James not only has more value above replacement-level players in the regular season, but also holds a significant edge in the playoffs.
(LeBron 29.38, Jordan 22.85)
Playoff defensive rating
This stat is an estimate of how many points are allowed per 100 possessions when a player is on the floor. These two have practically identical numbers in the regular season, but James is ahead in this category when it matters most.
(LeBron 101, Jordan 104)
James’ chase-down block in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals may be the most defining play of his career. It is true that James has played more playoff games than Jordan, but this stat still shows James’ defensive prowess.
(LeBron 209, Jordan 158)
LeBron is the only player in NBA history to compile at least 27,000 points, 7,000 rebounds, and 7,000 assists; he is also the only player ever to average at least 27.0 points per game, 7.0 rebounds, and 7.0 assists for his entire career.
Re: The reason why LeBron is greater than Michael Jordan
Jordan averaged more assists for a title run that Bron ever has and he did it at a much better AST-TO ratio not to mention that MJ is a far better scorer, who put up a higher TS% for his first 3 titles with about 6 more points per game. Could Lebron play off-ball like MJ and win titles? Jordan's averaged 1.5 or more blocks twice while also scoring at a very high rate while Bron has never averaged more than 2.2 stls and 1.1 blocks.