As LeBron James is currently leading his team to improbable victories against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, he is reshaping and redefining his greatness. When The King is aggressive he is virtually unstoppable and this year’s MVP, Steph Curry is finding that out the hard way. At this point in the series the Cleveland Cavaliers are up 2-1 without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. There is still a lot of basketball to play in this series but no matter the outcome, you cannot discount what LeBron is doing right now. He is in the midst of silencing many of his critics. His stat line is not only amazing, but it is record breaking. If you didn’t know LeBron James has scored, assisted, or created 200 of the Cavaliers’ 291 points through the first 3 games of the NBA Finals. That my friends is unreal!
That stat line alone proves that LeBron is the premiere player in today’s league. He is the consummate triple threat as he scores, assists, and rebounds like no other. The comparisons to Michael Jordan have been off the charts during this current playoff series due to The Kings play. The comparisons are warranted but here comes my but. First and foremost, LeBron’s game is more comparable to that of Magic Johnson because LeBron James possesses uncanny court vision and his teammates benefit immensely from his overall greatness. Not only that, LBJ is an athletic freak of nature. If LeBron somehow pulls out this series with all the Cavaliers have been through, it will definitely add to his lore but will that make him surpass Jordan as the G.O.A.T?
First let me point you to another article I wrote about this very topic. ( 5 Reasons Why LeBron Will Never Be Better than Jordan) Now that we got that out the way, there is the one thing Michael Jordan doesn’t get credit for. People know him as dominant scorer and defender. When you think of MJ you don’t tend to think of him in the same way you would think of an Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, or LeBron James because he is not known as a triple threat. Yes, MJ rebounded, assisted, and of course scored but not in the way you view the other aforementioned players. Well that is the misconception. Michael Jordan didn’t rebound or assist as much as he could have because he didn’t have to. That wasn’t his role. He was the dominant scorer and wing defender the Bulls needed at the time. Scottie played the role of point forward, similar to how LeBron plays his position. In the championship years, Jordan was surrounded by the right role players where he could focus on what he does best, SCORE! Before you start thinking this is a strong hypothetical scenario I’m creating just to prove my point about MJ, there is actually evidence to prove this theory.
In 1989 Michael Jordan was presented with a challenge by then head coach, Doug Collins. In an experimental move by Doug Collins, the Bulls transitioned Jordan to play the point guard position for part of the season and as only His Airness can deliver, he responded with 10 triples doubles in 11 games during the short-lived experiment. Did you hear what I said? 10 triple doubles in 11 games! Now that is nothing compared to Oscar Robertson, who averaged a triple double for an entire season but again, that was Oscar’s role. In that incredible eleven game run, Jordan averaged 33.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 11.4 assists. This feat hasn’t been accomplished since Jordan did it. There is your triple threat! When Jordan was challenged or asked to do it, he delivered in an epic fashion.
Once again, this is not to discredit LeBron James because he is truly phenomenal. He deserves to be called The King or King James but not the G.O.A.T just yet.