T Nation

Michael Jordan vs. Lebron James

1)Who is the better basketball player will stay INCONCLUSIVE until Lebron has retired. At that point, we will be able to really have the debate. The real point of this post is #2.

2)“Lebron is bigger, faster, stronger… the better athlete.” I have heard this NONSENSE time and time again as of late. Lebron is clearly bigger and stronger. Jordan had the greater vertical leap (4-8" greater depending on the source). Greater vertical=superior lower body power to weight ratio, quicker first step. Who is the better athlete is also INCONCLUSIVE–they both have their relative strengths.

MJ is the GOAT for a reason.

He is, and always will be, the best. LeBron is a great player but he is no Jordan.

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:
1)Who is the better basketball player will stay INCONCLUSIVE until Lebron has retired. At that point, we will be able to really have the debate. The real point of this post is #2.

2)“Lebron is bigger, faster, stronger… the better athlete.” I have heard this NONSENSE time and time again as of late. Lebron is clearly bigger and stronger. Jordan had the greater vertical leap (4-8" greater depending on the source). Greater vertical=superior lower body power to weight ratio, quicker first step. Who is the better athlete is also INCONCLUSIVE–they both have their relative strengths. [/quote]

'Bron is best athlete the NBA has ever seen. MJ is the best basketball player.

…at this point MJ is still far ahead.
This season may be a turning point.

does white flash still post havent seen him in ages

If you factor in the mental side of things, it’s not even a discussion.

[quote]Gettnitdone wrote:

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:
1)Who is the better basketball player will stay INCONCLUSIVE until Lebron has retired. At that point, we will be able to really have the debate. The real point of this post is #2.

2)“Lebron is bigger, faster, stronger… the better athlete.” I have heard this NONSENSE time and time again as of late. Lebron is clearly bigger and stronger. Jordan had the greater vertical leap (4-8" greater depending on the source). Greater vertical=superior lower body power to weight ratio, quicker first step. Who is the better athlete is also INCONCLUSIVE–they both have their relative strengths. [/quote]

'Bron is best athlete the NBA has ever seen. MJ is the best basketball player.[/quote]

I just said why lebron and michael have comparable athleticism. If you want to say otherwise, you have to include some rationale. that’s how making a point works.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
…at this point MJ is still far ahead.
This season may be a turning point. [/quote]

He’s got plenty of work left to do!

Watch a game featuring LeBron James (and then watch a Jordan game if you need to). LeBron moves effortlessly on the court then you factor in he’s 6’8 260 and you can’t really name a better athlete in many other sports, let alone the NBA. I said this in the NBA thread and I’ll say it again here, the guy looks like he’s hardly breaking a sweat out there. He also apparently cycles to every home game. He’s a freak – an unfathomable mixture of strength, size, speed and endurance.

If you want to get all scientific, Force = Mass * Acceleration. LeBron produces more force which every way you look at it, even if you say Jordan could accelerate slightly faster than LeBron.

I haven’t seen as much of jordan as I have lebron but Im pretty sure James is the better athlete, similar verticals, similar speed but lebron is bigger and alot stronger, I think lebron is one of the best athletes in the world in any sport, his quickness for his size is ridiculous.

#1) Jordan is the better basketball player.

#2) Lebron overall is the better athlete. Jordan was quicker but Lebron is stronger and covers more ground faster. Jordan didn’t cover as much ground as him on steals and fast breaks. It almost seems like it takes 3 steps for Lebron to get from half court to a dunk (obviously I don’t mean this literally).

Here’s an example of how they differ. Lebron takes it to the basket , gets hit and the hit barely affects the shot and he ends up with an “and one” or no call at all. Jordan takes the contact , it affects his shot but he still manages to put it in using his freaky skill and focus. Same result, different methods.

Lebron can’t create the space the way Jordan used to. He just doesn’t have that quickness and skill that Jordan had. Watch the old Jordan highlight reels and even when the defender is in his face all it takes is a jab step and couple dribbles and he ends up with an open look. Lebron relies and getting the first step, or just using his strength and size to get his shot off. It’s a mismatch no matter who guards him. Guards are to small and weak, forwards are to slow and still sometimes too weak. Despite what the commentators say, Lebron can’t score at will the way Jordan did. Even Durant is better than Lebron in that respect.

Oh, and Jordan is also a better than defender than Lebron is or will ever be. Lebron is a good defender but he doesn’t consistently shut down opponents the way Jordan did. Jordan was one of the best in that aspect too.

[quote]PJS2010 wrote:
I haven’t seen as much of jordan as I have lebron but Im pretty sure James is the better athlete, similar verticals, similar speed but lebron is bigger and alot stronger, I think lebron is one of the best athletes in the world in any sport, his quickness for his size is ridiculous.[/quote]

Depends on how you judge speed. I bet Lebron would beat a Jordan in his prime in the 40 yard dash but Jordan was quicker with the ball in the half court set. He could stop on a dime and change direction better. He does a jab step and the defender is 4 feet off him. That’s a different type of quickness.

This topic has been beaten to death about a million times throughout the various NBA threads in GAL.

It a comes down to how you define “greatest athlete.”

Is the greatest athlete the guy with the fastest 40 time? The guy with the highest vert? The guy with the fastest 3 cone drill time? The guy who runs the fastest mile? Or is it the guy who is the best at his chosen sport?

Jordan is the GOAT and would beat LeBron in a 1 on 1 game every day of the week. LeBron is amazing but he is no Jordan.

Interesting fact: ESPN and Sports Science are doing a bracket for the Greatest Athlete of All Time. LeBron didn’t even make the top 16.

now we have some legit points being made!!!

Lebron’s quickness for his size is insane. I’d love to see him play TE for my Broncos. (sorry Tamme and Dreessen)
Jordan’s quickness was a little better, but he was not as big and strong. The athleticism gap is nebulous at best.

Best BIG athlete on the planet… Julius Peppers in his prime might have had something to say about that.

Also the game was much different back then. They don’t let defenses mug guys like they used to. If MJ played in today’s game he’d average a lot more than he did.

^^this kind of points back to Sam’s post about Bron bouncing off contact. He is getting hit no where near as hard as guys were backin the day.

[quote]sam_sneed wrote:
Lebron can’t create the space the way Jordan used to. He just doesn’t have that quickness and skill that Jordan had. Watch the old Jordan highlight reels and even when the defender is in his face all it takes is a jab step and couple dribbles and he ends up with an open look. Lebron relies and getting the first step, or just using his strength and size to get his shot off. It’s a mismatch no matter who guards him. Guards are to small and weak, forwards are to slow and still sometimes too weak. Despite what the commentators say, Lebron can’t score at will the way Jordan did. Even Durant is better than Lebron in that respect. [/quote]

Worth pointing out that James has never been about being a pure scorer and is clearly ahead of Jordan and Durant as both playmaker/passer and rebounder.

Now this one’s tougher. Sure, MJ has two DPOYs but he could never guard four different positions the way James can/does, and effectively at that.

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:
1)Who is the better basketball player will stay INCONCLUSIVE until Lebron has retired. At that point, we will be able to really have the debate. The real point of this post is #2.

2)“Lebron is bigger, faster, stronger… the better athlete.” I have heard this NONSENSE time and time again as of late. Lebron is clearly bigger and stronger. Jordan had the greater vertical leap (4-8" greater depending on the source). Greater vertical=superior lower body power to weight ratio, quicker first step. Who is the better athlete is also INCONCLUSIVE–they both have their relative strengths. [/quote]

I’m not sure about that. I think Lebron is just as explosive, if not more than Jordan. However, Jordan’s game and attire are more aesthetic. So he is still the greatest.

Larry Fucking Bird

[quote]chillain wrote:

[quote]sam_sneed wrote:
Lebron can’t create the space the way Jordan used to. He just doesn’t have that quickness and skill that Jordan had. Watch the old Jordan highlight reels and even when the defender is in his face all it takes is a jab step and couple dribbles and he ends up with an open look. Lebron relies and getting the first step, or just using his strength and size to get his shot off. It’s a mismatch no matter who guards him. Guards are to small and weak, forwards are to slow and still sometimes too weak. Despite what the commentators say, Lebron can’t score at will the way Jordan did. Even Durant is better than Lebron in that respect. [/quote]

Worth pointing out that James has never been about being a pure scorer and is clearly ahead of Jordan and Durant as both playmaker/passer and rebounder.

Now this one’s tougher. Sure, MJ has two DPOYs but he could never guard four different positions the way James can/does, and effectively at that. [/quote]

You might be surprised at how close they are in EVERY metric. Jordan passed and rebounded better than he got credit for… (also his sillyness with the wizards deflates these stats)

http://www.aneki.com/greatest_basketball_players.php?player_1=Michael+Jordan&player_2=LeBron+James

sam _sneed

the OP’s question was whos the better basketball player. you said jordan.

whats the better athlete got to do with the question? who cares if james can swim faster, ride a bike better, run the 10k faster, lift more weights, beat his ass in an mma fight, bowl better, shoot pool better. all that matters is who in your opinion is better at basketball…

rick berry was a top 50 basketball player of all time, and good enough to be on the pro tennis circut and pro golf circut and pro bowling circut… great athlete, but all that has nothing to do with his basketball playing…