Skip to main content

Oscar Robertson on how LeBron James compares to Michael Jordan

lbj-mj-big-o-min

The MJ-LeBron debate is a conversation that has been stirring up arguments for the past ten years, as fans, analysts, current and former players all like to chip in on the matter and share their opinion — even the greats like Charles Barkley and Oscar Robertson.

Going to Miami was a weak move?

LeBron was universally loved during the first part of his career. Entering the NBA as an 18-year old, lifting a small franchise in Cleveland to a legit contender, and becoming a global superstar, shattering all the expectations ahead of him, LeBron was the NBA's golden child. But as the Cavaliers failed year after year to construct a championship team around LeBron, change was imminent, and James became the villain over the night, joining forces with Wade and Bosh in Miami. A move that caused a ton of hate coming LeBron's way, calling him a coward for taking the easy way out. But not only from fans, but even former players.

Charles hated it, while Oscar Robertson defended him

The Hall-of-Famer and notorious TNT analyst, Charles Barkley, known for his funny, non-filtered, and controversial statements, shared how going to Miami forever removed LeBron from the MJ comparison. As Sir Charles sees it, Jordan never left his team to join other stars, rather than doing it by himself. An opinion most of the NBA world shared with Barkley.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

But another NBA Hall-of-Famer, Oscar Robertson, came into LeBron's defense and responded to Barkley's comments, saying how he can indeed be compared to MJ.

"He thinks Lebron is not as good as Michael Jordan? Come on. LeBron's in a class by himself. Wherever he goes, he'll be the face of the team."

Oscar Robertson, The Universe Galaxy

The "Big O" would continue his point by talking about the pointlessness of the term legacy for active players and how LeBron simply needs to block out the noise, do his thing and dominate.

"What is legacy anyway? A guy can play, or he can't play. Legacy is after you're through with the game and gone; they look back at your career. All this legacy stuff people talk about before a guy even finished playing is just TV talk...When they talk about you, burn your jersey, just grit your teeth and go harder, keep going as hard as you can and wear them out."

Oscar Robertson, The Universe Galaxy

LeBron listened to "Big O's" advice

After finally breaking through and winning his first ring in 2012, the pressure would be lifted off LeBron's shoulders, as he managed to get four rings in his career so far, establishing his place in the NBA hierarchy even more since 2010 when Oscar talked about this topic. In his mind, LeBron is the greatest of all time, even though a lot of fans wouldn't agree with that. But all that doesn't matter for "The King," as he decided to use hate as fuel to propel him to all the success and accolades. After all, it's not about how everybody else sees you but how you view yourself and your legacy. And I'm pretty sure LeBron thinks of himself pretty highly.

Isiah Thomas & Karl Malone

Isiah Thomas opens up about a surprising phone call he received from Karl Malone - "He almost started crying on the phone"

Isiah Thomas shares what happened when he got a surprising call from Karl Malone, who wanted to apologize for an incident that happened 30 years ago between the two legends

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson

"Then what happens? They’re gonna consider him a bust" — Vince Carter gave Zion Williamson helpful advice

Like Zion, Carter was also branded as primarily a dunker when he entered the league and everybody expected him to throw it down all the time.

Stone Cold Steve Austin celebrates with beer during WrestleMania in 2022 and LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009

"I've forgotten so many things but I remember that vividly" — Steve Austin on LeBron James taking photos of him via flip phone

Stone Cold didn't need to check his social media or the internet as he vividly remembers the King's support.

Michael Jordan in 2022 at the NBA 75th Anniversary Team induction ceremony

“You're a loser! You've always been a loser!” - how Michael Jordan trash-talked his teammate into retirement

When MJ said he doesn't care, he really meant it - even if his teammate once retired because of his cruel trash talk.

Kerry Kittles in 2021 at a Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame press conference.

"Mostly they’re talking about scoring and scoring" — Kerry Kittles on today's NBA

Kerry Kittles doesn't like the lack of defense in today's game but admittedly would've loved to play in this era.

Former Kansas Jayhawks player Scot Pollard

“It’s a common expression here” - Scot Pollard revealed the code the Sacramento Kings used for too much dribbling

As it turned out, every single player on "The Greatest Show on the Court" Kings was about team basketball.