Over the last few years, the Michael Jordan and LeBron James comparisons have been ‘a thing and Jordan winning six championships have become the measuring stick for James’ greatness in today’s NBA game.
Last month, former New York Knick, John Starks said that Michael Jordan has a stronger legacy because MJ played for just one franchise for the majority of his career and didn’t go somewhere else to form a superteam:
“Mike did all his championships on one team and guys wanted to play for him,” John Starks told me on Scoop B Radio
“Scottie [Pippen] and Horace [Grant], he kind of raised those guys. Later on when he got back, other guys like [Dennis] Rodman and [Ron] Harper joined the team.”
“Mike didn’t move around, didn’t want to move around. He wanted to play against the best. He felt like he didn’t need to go chase players to join his team to beat the best because he felt like he was the best, and I think that’s the difference. I think that’s probably going to hurt LeBron when you look at it in that perspective against Michael, [Larry] Bird and Magic[Johnson]. Those guys stayed with one team, and they won with that team.”
Apparently debates like these arent new. “I think it has always happened,” NBA Hall of Famer, Julius Erving told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“I think people always make comparisons to people who are done. LeBron may play another six years LeBron may play one year we don’t really know.”
Erving doesn’t think NBA players should state who is the latest and greatest.
“I think it’s the fans argument, not the players argument,” he said. “So I stay away from it. My all time greatest player is Kareem Abdul Jabbar.”
Added Dr. J:
“I think when you add up the numbers and add up the years nobody has contributed more to the NBA history or pro basketball history. It’s very subjective. You say: ‘Michael or LeBron who was better’ or who was the greatest, the GOAT, that is for the fans to argue about.”
Erving also says that these ‘best ever’ arguments have gone on forever. He remembers those conversations being had even when he played.
“My early years I was inspired by players and comparisons were made with Elgin Baylor, probably number one, Connie Hawkins; next in that lineage,” he said.
“There were other guys that were high jumpers, “Jumpin’ Johnny” Green, those were the three that came up the most often in terms of the comparisons; wasn’t exactly the same as theirs [MJ and LeBron] but there were definitely real comparisons to be made.”