The LeBron James comparisons to Michael Jordan are finally justified

Since he entered the league, LeBron James has been compared to Michael Jordan. He was the next best player, wore number 23 and was crowed “King James” and “The Chosen One”. It wasn’t fair to compare somebody that young to Michael Jordan, but LeBron James had a lot of hype around him.

Looking forward almost exactly 9 years from the day he was drafted, LeBron James is now an NBA Champion. While he’s still not Michael, the comparisons are now reasonable.

Many people seem to think that Michael Jordan had success right away. I never understood the criticism of LeBron James and the praise for Jordan in this certain way. It took Jordan 7 years to win his first championship, at the age of 28. LeBron has now won his first NBA championship 9 years into his NBA career, at the age of 27. While LeBron has 2 years on Jordan due to skipping out on college, it is still impressive for him to win at that age.

At the time of his first NBA championship in 1991, Michael Jordan had been the NBA’s MVP twice. Once in 1988 and again in 1991, the year of his first title. LeBron James has three MVP awards at the time of his first title, with an MVP in 2009, 2010 and in his first championship year in 2012.

You can see the similarities, but it doesn’t stop there. Many people praise Jordans ability to play defense as well as offense. At the time of his first championship(again, in 1991), Jordan had been on the NBA All Defensive First team 4 times from 1988-1991. How many All Defensive first teams has LeBron James made? You know the answer is four, from 2009 until now in 2012.

Finally, when you look at their stats for their years leading up to their first championship the two NBA greats are close again. In his first 9 years, LeBron has averaged 27.6 PPG, 6.9 APG with 7.9 RPG. Looking at Michael Jordans first 7 years, he averaged 31.5 PPG, 5.6 APG and about 6 rebounds. As you can see, Michael scored more points per game but didn’t contribute in the rebounding and distributing the way that LeBron does.

Both LeBron and Michael Jordan won the Rookie of the year award, but it took both of them quite some time to win their first NBA championship. We’ve always put so much space in between Michael Jordan and the rest of the field, but if LeBron James can continue what he’s started in his career we may need to close that gap some.


7 Responses to The LeBron James comparisons to Michael Jordan are finally justified

  1. Giacomo Ghiraldo says:

    Great article! One of the best I have ever read about LBJ, just numbers! I love it!

  2. garry says:

    LBJ deserves this kind of attention! .. gone are the haters! .. to me, by comparison? .. i thnk he’s a cross breed of the two mj’s – MICHAEL JORDAN and MAGIC JOHNSON!!! .. long live THE KING!!!

  3. Justin Diaz says:

    Different eras of game play. After Jordan, the NBA completely watered down defense rules, making it way easier for the offense to score. So If you go with the idea that Lebron’s as good as Jordan then Lebron should be averaging way higher numbers then Jordan at this point. Not knocking Lebron, he’s a great player and I definately think he can be one of the greats, but from a realistic standpoint, the NBA isn’t even close to the difficulty level it was back then.

    The whole thing is over hyped. Lebron is a great player, but to compare him to Jordan is ridiculous. The main people who keep making these overboard comparisons and want others to take it seriously are people looking for ratings (ie-the NBA, the media) and the uninformed.

    • stephenchott says:

      You know, the NBA didn’t start with Jordan either. There’s more to the game than scoring and Jordan isn’t the best scorer either. So if that’s what you want to base it off, than your argument isn’t too solid either. Besides, I think LeBron is a much better all around player than Jordan. It may be because LeBron is bigger and more athletic, but he can play more positions on the court and plays better defense than Jordan. He also distributes and rebounds just as good if not better.

  4. lebron james will be better with the stats and awards…..

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