NBA Legends: Comparing LeBron James and Michael Jordan
It’s time to update the never-ending comparison of LeBron James and Michael Jordan. We all know about Jordan’s 6 championship rings, which doubles James’ 3 rings, but how do all the other statistics match up?
Let’s start with the most obvious: points. Michael Jordan amassed 32,392 points in 15 seasons between the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards which translates to 30.1 points per game. LeBron is closing in on Jordan, but isn’t there yet with 26, 833 scored so far, or 27.2 per game. James is more than likely going to pass MJ in the next three seasons as he averages close to 2,000 points per season — barring any major injuries of course.
Looking at NBA Scoring
If you break down the scoring, LeBron as actually a much better shooter from distance than he gets credit for — especially compared to Jordan. LeBron has already knocked down 1,343 three pointers in his career with a 34% shooting percentage. Jordan, on the other hand, only managed 581 career makes from three with a 32.7% average. James has almost made as many threes as Jordan took his entire career. Obviously, the game has changed a bit since Jordan played, but credit is due here for LeBron’s long range shot.
When it comes to passing and assists, James is going to go down as one of the best ever. With nearly 7,000 assists to his name already, James has long surpassed Jordan’s mark of 5,633. The same goes for rebounds. LeBron has grabbed 7,067 boards compared to MJ’s 6,672. It would appear already that LeBron James is statistically much more well rounded than Jordan was on offense.
Defense Wins Championships
Defense is where Michael stands apart though. His 893 career blocks is still 120 more than LeBron’s 773 – though LeBron will likely catch him if he continues to average 50 blocks a season. Steals on the other hand, may never go LeBron’s way. Jordan’s tenacious defense earned him over 2500 career steals while LeBron sits at 1657, a difference of nearly 900. It’s incredible to think of how impactful LeBron has been on defense lately and then see how much greater Jordan was. It really puts things into perspective.
Clearly, these two will be neck and neck for the greatest player of all-time. LeBron still has some work to do to get there, but he’s on pace right now. Lucky for us, we still get to watch.