LeBron James won his fourth NBA title last night with the Los Angeles Lakers and immediately after the game, the question of who is the greatest player in NBA history was brought up once again. Michael (Jordan) or LeBron?
Those that know me know that I think Michael Jordan is the greatest player in NBA history. While I appreciate LeBron’s greatness and see him as the second greatest player of all time, he is not better than Jordan in my opinion.
The MJ, LeBron debate has been a topic of conversation for the past five years. However it really isn’t a debate. Jordan was 6-0 in the finals while LeBron is 4-6.
That is why I think we should apply the same criteria to the Jordan, LeBron debate that we applied to the Joe Montana, Tom Brady debate years ago. Montana is the greatest quarterback of all-time until Tom Brady wins more Super Bowls.
Once Brady passed Montana after beating the Falcons, people universally accepted him as the greatest quarterback of all time.
If James wins three more titles and passes Jordan, I will gladly refer to him as the greatest player in NBA history. I have no qualms about doing that. Until then, people who say it’s LeBron are solely basing it on statistics and nothing else.
Bottom line, championships along with statistics and impact on the game are the determining factor in who is the greatest athlete in any sport.
Some have said that based on the championship criteria, Bill Russell is the greatest NBA player of all time because he won 11 championships. I guess that would make sense but it’s about more than championships.
LeBron and Russell might be larger than life figures who mean a great deal to the game but they didn’t have the overall impact on the game that Jordan did. That is why people universally refer to him the greatest of all time.
LeBron is an all time great player but until he gets to seven championships, the debate isn’t a debate as to who is the greatest player of all time in NBA history. It’s a waste of time.