michael jordan vs lebron james? who's the g.o.a.t.??
Written By: Elliot Allen
The current hottest debate in the sport of basketball involves Michael Jordan and Lebron James. Which one is better? I believe these debates are very unfair to both individuals as well as numerous other players who have reached immortal status as a basketball player. At the same time, I do understand the need to explore the comparisons. I’ve been watching basketball for 39 years! I have witnessed many Hall Of Fame careers during this time. I have great respect for domination in any life situation. Athletes, more specifically basketball players in this case, have to have sustained dominance over a long period of time. This feat is not easily obtainable. So which players have done this and how?
In all my years of watching the sport of basketball I have witnessed so many players with absolutely supreme physical ability. However, all those players do not turn out to be Hall of Fame caliber players. There are players with similar physical abilities of Michael Jordan and Lebron James, but what makes these two guys standout in a discussion of being among the best to ever play the game?
When speaking of both of these men’s physical talent, it’s clearly undeniable. I actually believe it’s somewhat silly to compare their physical gifts. Both men are off the charts with the amazing feats they can physically perform on a basketball court. Can we be picky and say one guy is faster, stronger, or can jump higher than the other? Of course we can, but ultimately they cancel each other with different physical advantages they have over each other.
With that being said, what makes Jordan/James standout above the rest? I believe the overwhelming factor is their Mental Strength! These men are in another class when it comes to their Mental Conditioning. Interestingly because they are so physically talented it is not easy to recognize how much of a role their mental dominance plays in their greatness. If not for their mental advantage, other players in the league would be very competitive with them night in and night out.
First and foremost let me establish that I am a diehard NY Knick fan. Yes I am proud of it despite what’s currently going on. Anyway, I say that to say, that Michael Jordan has broken my heart on many occasions. I wanted him and the Chicago Bulls to fall short of their goals every year! Unfortunately it never happened. It became a vendetta just to see anybody dominate Jordan and Bulls. As I watched year after year and player after player try to challenge his dominance it was a moot point. As new players came into the league, as other superstar players got better, it was undebatable that Jordan was absolutely the best player in the league! I did have the opportunity to watch the Chicago Bulls play quite often during the infamous 70 win season. I watched every night hoping they would lose. That was when I really got a chance to witness firsthand the mental dominance of Jordan. His determination to win every game was astonishing. It didn’t matter if they were playing a team with an outstanding record or a team with the worst record in the league, he would attack with the same fire and venom. That takes strong mental strength. The execution was the same regardless of his opponent. What made it even more incredible was the manner in which he elevated his play to translate into his teammates. The Bulls had great talent, but he made sure the team performed on the level they had to nightly regardless of opponent. On the given nights where the team wasn’t performing up to that standard, he had an uncanny ability to recognize that and take it upon himself to do whatever necessary to win. This is a phenomenal mental feat to be able to recognize and physically turn up that intensity to match. Jordan’s ability to do this whether it was a regular season game against the worse team in the league or in a championship deciding game makes him mentally an all-time great who can be considered the best!!!!
Lebron James is still in the process of writing the script of his legacy. However, the narrative that has been written thus far is so good that if I didn’t witness it myself I would assume it was a fairytale. Obviously this man’s physicality is legendary. Just as Jordan, Lebron’s mental strength is something that even legends have to admire. The story plays out quite different in some ways than Jordan. James has been on multiple teams and has had a wide array of teammates. Many have different opinions on that. Despite those opinions one thing is evident. No matter the team or the teammates, he has been able to elevate the level of play from day one when he entered the league. He has gone to and won the finals with outstanding teammates and he has done the same with less than stellar teammates! I believe this speaks volumes about this man’s mental strength. Over the years there are countless players, even Hall of Famers who score points and elevate their play on teams that are less than stellar. However, it’s hard pressed to find a player mentally who took those type of teams to an elite level and provided a winning mentality in the fashion that Lebron James has. This makes him unquestionably a player to be considered an all-time great who can be considered the best!!!