The comparison between Michael Jordan and LeBron James is one of the most extensive and heated discussions in the NBA world. The two arguably best basketball players ever have such substantial fan bases behind him, glorifying their legacies and making their cases that it has divided the NBA fandom. Every individual has their personal preference in the matter, as even current and former players often chip in to share their pick in the discussion.
Former NBA player Carlos Boozer, who had a tremendous 13-year career and the opportunity to play alongside LeBron in his rookie season in Cleveland, shared his opinion on the LBJ-MJ debate on The Dan Patrick Show a few years ago, firmly stating that MJ is the GOAT in his eyes:
“I think Michael is the GOAT; I think he inspired so many players. He set the bar; he got inspired by Dr. J. and other guys that came before him, and then he inspired the next generation, think about the Kobe Bryant’s and the T-Mac’s.”Carlos Boozer, The Dan Patrick Show
But even though he praised MJ, calling him the GOAT, Boozer had to admit that LeBron is still the more complete player, being able to do more things on the court and at a better rate than Jordan, especially distributing the ball and making your team better:
“LeBron is that great; he’s a combination of Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Because we all know he can lead the league in scoring if he wanted to, but he’s very unselfish, a great playmaker, and you can tell by what he’s doing right now, he making his teammates better…I think he might be one of the most complete players ever.”Carlos Boozer, The Dan Patrick Show
Not to say Jordan was a bad teammate or passer. Still, he simply isn’t on LeBron’s level regarding vision on the court and will to make the extra pass. LeBron’s ability to handle the offense, alongside being such a physical force, propelled him through his career. Still, it also got him the label of a player that doesn’t have a killer instinct.
LeBron has always been and still is a fundamental player, ready to make the right basketball play even in the most clutch situations. A trait many fans faulted him for due to his superstar status and one of the biggest arguments Jordan fans have over him. You knew Jordan was going to take that last shot no matter the situation on the court, living and dying by him. That sort of mentality made him loved in the whole basketball world and a six-time champion that never lost in the Finals.
On the other hand, LeBron has won four rings and lost six times, having many fans argue he doesn’t have that GOAT mentality to close things out. But hey, if he didn’t have a winner’s mentality, he would be in the Finals ten times. Another argument Boozer made was that LeBron faced some incredible teams in the Finals while playing with underdogs most of the time. Just remember the 2007 Cavs team, arguably the worst team to make it to that stage ever.
As you can see, the points are endless, and arguments could be made for days, debating who is the better player. But at the end of the day, both of these men are some of the greatest athletes to grace the court, and they should be appreciated in their own way individually.
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