Former NBA player and current head coach of the Memphis Tigers, Penny Hardaway, made a guest appearance on Undisputed. Among several topics, he touched upon the never-ending debate about the comparisons between Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Penny has extensive experience and knowledge about the game, so it’s definitely worth listening to what he says about this topic. Fans nowadays are taking different positions in this debate, often being too subjective in their reasoning and arguments.
Penny played against Jordan on multiple occasions, so he got a pretty good understanding of what made Jordan special and unique. On the other hand, he is a big fan of LeBron and everything he’s done in his career so far. He gave an interesting comparison between the two suggesting that people need to consider how different their approach is when playing the game and influencing their teammates and opponents.
They’re both winners for sure. Whatever team you put them on, you will win. Obviously, to me, Jordan had a more aggressive mentality; he wanted to take your heart out. He just wanted to pull your heart out and feed it to you, and Bron is just going to be more of an orchestrator. He will be more like I can take your heart out, but I can also make my teammates take your heart out. Michael Jordan wouldn’t allow his teammates to do that because he would do it. LeBron is so great at making everybody feel like they’re the man even though he knew that he was. Michael wasn’t caring about that. He would just get the win and didn’t care what anybody feels about it.Penny Hardaway, via Undisputed
Like many others, Penny hates comparing the two legends because their playing style is different and the way they impact the game. He loves LeBron and says he is his favorite player in the NBA now, but when it comes to the GOAT debate for him, Jordan is still that guy.
I hate to compare guys, but right now, to me, Michael is the GOAT, and LeBron is not far behind, and that is my opinion. LeBron is my favorite, and that is why it’s so tough for me.Penny Hardaway, via Undisputed
It’s always interesting to hear what former players, especially superstars like Penny have to say about this heated debate because they often bring valid arguments that are not subjective. He acknowledges Jordan is still the GOAT but understands that might change after LeBron’s career is over because he still has more in his tank. If he wins one or two more championships, the narrative about Jordan being the GOAT might change in LeBron’s favor; however, we won’t know for sure until LeBron’s career is over. Until then, many will think Jordan is the GOAT, and rightfully so, but LeBron is up there close, and his legacy is still being written with a lot of more individual and team success coming his way.