The Last Dance documentary by ESPN and has created more discussion ever about Michael Jordan being the best player to ever play basketball. I admit MJ used to be my favorite player and I owned just about every pair of Air Jordans that were created before 2003. But even I can admit that Lebron James is the GOAT. People credit Jordan the most for everything. But what did he accomplish before Pippen and Phil? How many championships did he have? Phil changed the way MJ played a bit when he took over as head coach and used Pippen more and moved the ball around to his teammates. Armstrong, Kerr or Paxson hit a game winning shots why does no one say MJ was saved like Bron. Or when Pippen saved him against the Knicks after MJ missed a clutch shot?
Who is the best coach LBJ played for? I’ll wait. MJ had arguably the greatest coach of all time. Based on the documentary most former Bulls listed Scottie as their favorite teammate. He was the one that picked up the pieces after MJ kicked his teammates asses. Scottie was just as important to MJ. No on else could have taken that role and been as good as him. To think Pippen had his best season without MJ, finishing third in MVP voting and leading the Bulls to 55 wins after MJ retired. What do you think would happen if Bron went to a team that won 55 games before he arrived? How have Bron teams fared in his absence? How many of his teammates has Bron left and they were 3rd in MVP voting. Again, I will wait. Pippen may have been lucky to play with MJ but MJ was also lucky to play with Pippen. Scottie is one of only three players, along with Jordan and Olajuwon, to record 200 steals and 100 blocks in the same season. I am not going to get into the other quality players the Bulls had on those teams. But Jordan has 6 rings and never lost in the finals. There were also 7 other seasons that MJ never advanced to the Finals.
Lebron is a triple-double machine. He had the first triple-double in Olympic competition. He is the all-time leading scorer in U.S. men’s basketball history and joins MJ as the only players to win an MVP award, NBA championship, NBA Finals MVP and the Olympic gold medal in the same year. The only thing that stopped LBJ from winning this year was Covid-19. At only 20 years old he was playing grown men while averaging 27 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds. Lebron is third in all-time points and eighth in all-time assists.
Let’s talk about how Bron is not clutch. When he was 22 years old he went crazy against the Detroit Pistons team that he was not supposed to beat. Dropping a consecutive 25 points against the best defensive team in the NBA. Let’s not talk about the biggest clutch block to ever happen in a NBA finals against the Warriors where he chased down Iggy to save the game. He has a NBA record 10 triple-doubles in the NBA Finals. Bron has the most buzzer beaters in the playoffs of any player and since his rookie year no player has made more game-tying and go-ahead shots in the final 24 seconds of a playoff game. He is 7 of 16 which puts his percentage at 43.8. In 2015-2016 Bron had back-to-back 41 point games in Games 5 and 6, leading the Cavaliers to two consecutive wins to fight off elimination. In Game 7, the King posted a triple-double and made a number of key plays, coming back from a 3–1 deficit to a 73 win team. He had series averages of 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 2.6 steals per game, becoming the first player in NBA history to lead both teams in all five statistical categories in the playoffs, points, rebound, assists, blocks and rebounds. In 2016-2017 Bron put up 41 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists against the Pacers, leading Cleveland to a win after trailing by 25 points at halftime, representing the largest halftime deficit overcome in NBA playoff history. In Game 5 of the Conference Finals against the Celtic, Bron scored 35 points and surpassed Michael Jordan as the NBA playoffs all-time postseason scoring leader. In 2017-2018 In the first game of the Finals against the Warriors, James scored a playoff career-high 51 points, but Cleveland was defeated no thanks to J.R. Smith. The Cavaliers lost the series in four games, with the King averaging 34 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 10 assists per game for the Finals while playing without Kevin Love.
Let’s talk rings. Lebron James teams were favored to win the NBA championship only twice. He won 3 out of then. The Warriors teams he faced were some of the greatest of all-time. He actually beat the winning-est team in NBA history. In 2011-12 with the Miami Heat he put up a 26-point, 11-rebound, 13-assist triple-double performance in a series-clinching Game 5 averaged 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.4 assist during the series. In 2012-2013 LeBron averaged 25.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and seven assists per game to win back-to-back against the Spurs. In 2014-2015 Bron averaged a crazy 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game in a loss without Love and Kyrie to one of the greatest teams of all-time. He became the only player ever to lead both teams in those major categories. Bron is the only player to score 123 points in 1st 3 games in Finals. He also had a 40 point triple-double, 14 rebound and 11 assists game. King James averaged of 33.6 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists per game in the 2016-2017 NBA finals against the KD led Warriors. Bron became the first player to average a triple-double in the Finals, but Cleveland lost in five games.
Let’s talk about life without Bron. Remember the Bulls won 55 games after MJ retired to play baseball. Phil Jackson and the Bulls moved on without Jordan and still were successful. Before the King arrived in Cleveland the Cavs won 17 games and in Bron’s rookie year they won 35 games. In 2009 Cleveland won 61 games and the following year when he went to Miami they only won 19 games. In James last year in Miami the Heat won 54 games ad dropped to 37 the following year. The year before he went back to Cleveland the Cavs won 33 games compared to the 53 games when Bron came back to the Land. In Bron’s final year in Cleveland the Cavs won 50 games and after he left for LA they only won 19 games. So who was more valuable to their teams than Bron?
This post wasn’t meant to bash Mike but to state some facts around the MJ mythology and about King James.