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Why Michael Jordan is The GOAT of Basketball

Updated on March 21, 2018

The Competetors

Not all the players are in debate
Not all the players are in debate

Kobe Bryant

Now, the way to bring your player from the bottom to the top is not to bring him up but to bring the others down, and that's what I will mainly be doing here, but I will bring Jordan up as well.

Kobe is one of the clutchest players of all time, he has won 5 NBA Finals, he has the most all-star game MVPs with 4, a one time MVP, 15 time All-NBA selection, 12 All-Defensive selection, 2 time scoring champion, an 18 time all-star, and a 2 time NBA Finals MVP. Kobe has been known as one of if not the biggest ball hogs of all time, despite the fact that the only note able scorers he has played are Shaq, Pau Gasol, and maybe Eddie Jones who all averaged above 15 points per game while playing with him. Kobe is the greatest scorer in Lakers history, and there is only one player in competition for that title, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The thing is that Kobe really could only score, of course he could score every single way but Jordan could to. Kobe averaged 4.7 assists for his career while Jordan averaged 5.3. The one thing that proves Jordan is the better passer is that for an 11 game span Jordan played point guard, he averaged 33.6 points, 3.2 steals, 10.6 rebounds, and 11.6 assists in that span.

Kobe never really excelled at defense and those 12 defensive teams could have only happened because of the lack of defensive ability at the shooting guard position when he played, with his only defensive rival being Jimmy Butler from the years 2010 up until he retired in 2016. Kobe averaged 1.4 steals and only 0.5 blocks for his career, while Jordan averaged 2.3 steals and 0.8 blocks and won a defensive player of the year award.

Kobe's playoff career are only slitghly better, while Jordan stepped up his game immensely putting the team on his back.

Kobe's playoff career stats: 25.6 points, 4.7 assists, 5.1 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 0.7 blocks per game.

Jordan's playoff career stats: 33.45 points (playoff record for PPG), 2.1 steals, 0.9 blocks, 5.7 assists, 6.4 rebounds.

Kobe's Regular season career stats: 25 points, 4.7 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 0.5 blocks per game.

Jordan's Regular season career stats: 30.12 points (regular season record for PPG), 5.2 assists, 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 steals, 0.8 blocks.

Also, Jordan played against Magic's Lakers, Bird's Celtics, Price's Cavs, Drexler's Blazers. While Kobe played up against 2002 Scaramento Kings, Howard's Magic, and Duncan's Spurs as his only note able team opponents.


The two main reasons I believe that Magic is not even in debate with Jordan is because he was never an elite level scorer and he played with, who I think is, the third greatest player of all time in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Magic has the record for career assists per game average with 11.2, a 12 time all-star, 10 All-NBA selections, 4 time assists champion, 5 time NBA Champion, 3 time Finals MVP, 2 steal champion, and a 3 time NBA MVP.

Magic has career averages of: 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 11.2 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. He also has the second most career assists behind John Stockton. There is no denying that Magic is great but he was never an elite level scorer, the most points per game he ever averaged in a season is on 23.9. One interesting fact is that Magic never played a full NBA season, he came close when he played 80 games though, but the second most he ever played is only 77. Magic always had a superstar is rely on. Jordan really only had Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen, maybe Robert Parish.

Note able players Magic Johnson played with and their stats playing with him:

Sam Perkins: 1 season 1990-91, 13.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.1 blocks.

Vlade Divac: 1 season 1990-91, 11.2 points, 1.5 blocks, 1.3 steals, 8.1 rebounds.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 28 points and 13 rebounds, 10 seasons

Bryon Scott: 8 seasons 1983-91, 16.5 points, 3 assists, 1.4 steals.

You get the point. Magic Johnson has had so much help with him throughout his career. Oh, and he lost to Jordan in the NBA Finals in 5 games, that should seal Magic's section.

Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt was a 7 foot 1 inch center back when the average height for an NBA CENTER was 6 foot 6, that should be all. Chamberlain could almost never beat Bill Russell, while with Jordan nobody could beat him. Chamberlain also played in a league that on average 12 NBA teams, that means he had almost no talent he had to face if you exclude Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson, who both are also overrated as all hell.

Wilt averaged 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds, (Keep in mind on average he was 7 inches taller than a center) and 4.4 assists.

Wilt has 2 MVPs and 4 championships, keep in mind his only true rival was Bill Russell, maybe Oscar Robertson. Honestly, I cannot stress this enough, Wilt was 7 foot 1 inch center in an era of basketball where the average NBA center was 6 foot 6 inches. It's really all I can say, Jordan was 6 foot 6 as a shooting guard, he would've been a center when Wilt played.

Bill Russell

Bill Russell played in the same era as Wilt Chamberlain, he won 11 championships and was a 6 foot 10 inch tall center. He averaged 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists, he had a PER of 18.9. He won 11 championships and 5 MVPs. Now this is where his team comes into play, for a long strech of his career he played with 7 other hall of famers. The most Jordan either played with at the same time is 2, not including him. In Jordan's entire career he played with 3 other hall of famers, Pippen for his entire career with the Bulls, Dennis Rodman for only 3 seasons, and a washed up Robert Parish for 2 seasons.

Now, I will state that Bill Russell did have 2 HOFs that wouldn't have made it if it weren't for him, but that's still 5 other hall of famers that I believe had the talent to make it in.

Now Bill's defensive ability is not known because the NBA didn't keep track of blocks and steals, although I will be fair and state that he probably averaged around 6 or 7 blocks a game, once again he was 6 foot 10 where the average center was 6 foot 6.

LeBron James

The big one, The King, LeBron James is the second greatest player of all time and by far the greatest small forward of all time. LeBron James has a good amount clutch moments like his shot against the Magic and of course "The Block." Now the main reason I believe that Jordan is better than LeBron is this, LeBron has never won a championship without 2 other stars with him. He won 2 with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh on the Heat, and Ray Allen was also a key part of that team as well. Also, I believe that Dwayne Wade, in his prime, was a number one option on a championship winning team. Pippen, no disrespect, never was. His one championship on the Cavs he had Kyrie Irving, Kevin love, and a high level role player in Tristan Thompson. In the finals that the Cavs won for game 5 Draymond Green was suspended, in game 6 and 7 Curry choked. Just like Dwayne Wade, Kyrie Irving could've been another number one option or maybe just in the middle of a number one and a number 2.

Now I get that LeBron dragged his Cavs team to the finals in his first seasons but he never won, and once again the only competition he had was the Boston Celtics. In 2007, LeBron's first finals appearance, he didn't have to face the Celtics to get there, instead he faced a weak Washington Wizards in the first round, a Vince Carter led New Jersey Nets team in the second round, and a veteran Detroit Pistons team that, in all fairness, was pretty good with Chris Webber and Chauncey Billups. But the finals was where the Cavs were exposed, they faced decent competition in the East but they could never stack up to great teams like the Spurs. LeBron and the Cavs were swept and the Spurs came down with the rings. LeBron averaged 22 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, but shot 35 percent from the field, it's quite obvious that he choked. He didn't play terribly and it is understandable, he was 24 years old and it got to his head, it's understandable. But that's what separates the GOAT from the Greats, in Jordan's first finals he averaged 31.2 points, 11.4 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 1.4 blocks, and 56 percent field goal percentage. In 1991, the year he won his first ring, he was still only 27 years old.

In the Playoffs LeBron has averaged: 28.4 points, 1 block, 1.8 steals, 6.9 assists, and 8.9 rebounds while shooting 48.5 percent from the field.

In the Playoffs Jordan Averaged: 33.4 points (NBA Record), 2.1 steals, 0.9 blocks, 5.7 assists, and 6.4 rebounds while shooting 48.7 percent from the field.

LeBron has a career PER of 27.64 and Jordan has a career PER of 27.91, but in Jordan's 13 seasons with the Bulls he has a PER of 29.1. Which is absolutely legendary.

We know about how LeBron averaged a triple double in the 2016-17 NBA Finals, and thats amazing but the one problem is that he lost. No matter how good you play, all that matters in if you win the game, and Jordan knew that. But for those of you still aren’t convinced, here are the stats:

Lebron: 27 points, 7,2 assists, 7.4 rebounds.

Jordan: 30.1 points, 5.2 assists, 6.2 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 0.8 blocks.

Jordan played in the Golden era of basketball, he played against the players that are considered to be the greatest of all time, Bird, Magic, Kareem, Olajuwon, just to name a few. LeBron played against Duncan, the dynasty warriors, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Kevin Durant. Jordan is a better all around scorer and even passer, for 11 games Jordan played point guard for the Bulls, he averaged 33.6 points, 11 rebounds, 3.1 steals, and 10.6 assists in that span. And LeBron may be listed as a small forward, but he is obviously a point guard if you want him play. There is not debate that Jordan was the better defender and scorer, but he may have also been the better passer. The only one LeBron has is rebounds.

Jordan is the greatest of all time, and if LeBron beats the Warriors with the Cavs, it won’t be him to take him over.

Is LeBron the GOAT?

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Is Kobe that GOAT?

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    • JesseUnk profile image

      Jesse Unk 

      7 months ago from Ohio

      Augustus, come on man. Lebron wasn't slapped twice by the warriors. He took the first series to 6 with Delly and Iman Shumpert as his supporting cast. Injury decimated that team and he almost did it himself. He beat both the Spurs and warriors once each. 07 Cavs are a top 3 worst finals team ever and all Popvich did to win was triple team lebron and watch the other shots miss. If kyrie and love dont get hurt the Cavs have 2 rings. And no, bird and Johnson were certainly not "gold". Bird played 2 years once Jordan won his first ring and only 105 games in those years. Johnson was out for all but 1 because of HIV! Hakeem got into his prime and Jordan retired, and the year after that retirement the Bulls record improved!!!

    • profile imageAUTHOR


      7 months ago

      Jesse Unk, Jordan played in the greatest era of basketball, Magic and Bird may have been old but they were still gold. Plus a young Hakeem Olajuwon, Bad boy Pistons, Sidney Moncreif, and Patrick Ewing's Knicks. So no, Jordan still played in the greatest era of basketball. Also, LeBron may have run into multiple dynasties but he never beat them. He was slapped by the warriors twice, and the only reason why he won his ring in Cleveland is because Draymond Green was suspended in game 5 and Curry just completely choked. Also, LeBron is not a defensive superstar, he has never come even close to it, while Jordan was an absolute BEAST on defense.

    • JesseUnk profile image

      Jesse Unk 

      8 months ago from Ohio

      Augusta no, lebron carried a team to the finals that had garbage on it. He won 2 games with Delly as his second best player. He never lost in the first round. He only has a losing record because he ran into 2 top 5 dynasties of all time multiple times. Jordan has a winning record because he played in a league with multiple expansion teams and against past their prime finals opponents

    • profile imageAUTHOR


      8 months ago

      Jesse Unk, Jordan may have never won without Pippen but LeBron never won without Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, AND Ray Allen. When he did win without them he still had Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Make sure to check what players LeBron won with before making the "Jordan never won without Pippen" debate.

    • JesseUnk profile image

      Jesse Unk 

      8 months ago from Ohio

      At any given time in Jordan's career, there were 3 expansion teams. He never beat a prime opponent. Bird and magic were old by the time he won. He never won without Pippen. He lost in the first round of the playoffs. The list goes on and on. LeBron played a weak conference, but Jordan played a weak league.


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