It isn't better to lose in the first round than the Finals, but it IS better to lose with a bad team/low seed than a good team/high seed
MJ only lost with a high seed 1 time in 1990 - his 2-seed lost to the dynasty pistons because young pippen had a legendary choke
Otoh, Lebron lost with high seeds in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2017
So lebron lost with a lot of good teams with decent odds or even the favorite, whereas MJ only lost once with a good team, and never the favorite
Lebron is a loser compared to MJ.. 3 rings in 15 years, versus MJ's 6 in 15... So to argue lebron over MJ, you must argue that winning doesn't matter..
.. I'll take the guy that doesn't have to make that argument....
(who also has the best stats - only MJ is top 2 in VORP, BPM, PER, WS/48, and he set record for plus-minus in 96'.. and he owns boxscore stats with 4 PPG advantage over everyone in history)