The LeBron/Jordan Debate Needs To End
There are certain things I'm tired of listening to in sports. The biggest one right now has been the debate over LeBron and Michael Jordan. You've heard people on both sides argue about who is greater and honestly, while it is fun to debate, it actually takes away from at least LeBron's case, how great he really is.
I will admit, I am in the camp of the "Jordan is the greatest player ever." I won't apologize for that. But whatever you want to say about LeBron (and I have myself), there is no denying he has been the best player in the NBA for quite possibly the last decade. Where ever he goes, he wins. It is that simple. And defending him on the court is all but impossible. If you are smaller than LeBron trying to defend him, he's going to pretty much bully you throughout. If you're larger than him, he will resort to his speed to get past you. And honestly, if you're the same height, you aren't as strong as he is. So he has dominated the landscape. And I think we do need to appreciate that and what he has done.
He is the best player of this generation. It is simple as that.
But with comparing LeBron to Michael, enough.
I get it though. I think a lot of it has to do with what we see in the media from places like ESPN (mostly) constantly talk about the records LeBron James breaks from Michael Jordan. And it has that subliminal feel that they want to say LeBron is the greatest player ever. And it ruffles a lot of people who believe Jordan is the greatest. Honestly, it does for me. And I think a lot of people are just tired of hearing it as people who saw Michael Jordan in his prime and everything that he had to go through to be the best in the league as opposed to LeBron ruling over an incredibly watered-down league (as what some-myself included, believe the NBA is right now). Of course LeBron fans will tout and gloat about the numbers as really the sports world is built off of the numbers in a nutshell thanks to "metrics." I don't look at sports as a science really as there is too much human element in it to really make it a complete science. But let's face it, there are points on both sides of the argument.
The problem though is that LeBron now and Jordan in his prime were in two entirely different NBA eras. Jordan had an era where if your opponent threw a punch or tried to take you out of the game, not only do they not get tossed from the game, but there was no suspension at any point. As for the NBA today, it is like rollover minutes with flagrant fouls or technical fouls where if you have a certain amount, you're gone. If you make an inadvertent contact to the head, it is a flagrant in most cases. But we see probably more athletes who are bigger and stronger today than ones 25-30 years ago so that can be an advantage of the NBA today. So to say one is really greater over another is hard to say, but the issue resides is we are getting so bent on who is greater that we do not appreciate what the player is doing now. And that is a sad thing to see.
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat