The GOAT debate between Michael Jordan and LeBron James might be a fiery dispute that often results in MJ's favor, but when you are talking about who you would rather have on your team, the conversation gets a bit more interesting.
Two different mindsets
Despite being arguably two of the greatest basketball players to ever play, Jordan and LeBron have completely different mindsets when it comes to playing the game and leading their team.
Michael was always more of a scorer and individual than a distributor, averaging 30.1 ppg and 5.3 apg for his career. Although he had some good seasons when it came to passing the ball, especially in his later years, Michael was always looking for his shot first, being the unquestioned alpha.
LeBron, on the other side, is the complete opposite, regarded as one of the best passers in NBA history. Basically, a point guard in a 6'8'',250 lbs body, James used his court vision to separate himself from the rest. LeBron is averaging 7.4 apg for his career, even leading the NBA in assists just two years ago with 10.2 per game.
LeBron himself views his game in that manner, always trying to make his teammates better and stuff the stat sheet in various ways. That's why his leadership style maybe is a bit easier to play with, but it lacks that killer mentality and toughness MJ imposed on his guys.
You could argue Jordan's way brings you more rings, but LeBron makes it more fun to play. That's why Dan Patrick once asked Karl Malone, who of these two greats would be a better teammate for him:
"LeBron James. Because he plays like me. And I'll tell you what. We don't start playing until we get hit. So imma say, LeBron James. Let the debate begin, and I don't give a rat's ass if they do. I'm just telling you who I would like. That's all!"
Karl Malone, The Dan Patrick Show
Did the "Mailman" go with LeBron solely because Jordan beat him in back-to-back Finals, stripping him away from the best chance to become a champion, or does he believe LeBron would utilize him better is up for debate. But you can definitely convince me in either one of those solutions, if not both. It's definitely a great question that is more debatable than the GOAT talk.