Former NBA played Michael Jordan’s talents juxtaposed against The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Lebron James
By McDaniel Hartranft, ’17
He’s MJ, Air Money, Air Jordan. The man who has six NBA championships, completed 15 NBA seasons and scored a total of 32,292 points. Then there is King James, The L-Train, The Akron Hammer. The man who has three NBA championships, completed 14 NBA seasons and has scored 27,288 points according to LandOfBasketball.com.
The success of these two legendary basketball players leads people to juxtapose their talents in order to ascertain who is the “best.”
Senior girl’s varsity basketball player and captain Sydney Ward reflects on Michael Jordan and his career.
“Michael Jordan is said to be the greatest basketball player of all time. He went six for six in the finals and holds countless records,” Ward said. “His right hand man was Scotty Pippen and he at one point quit basketball and went to the MLB then went back to the NBA.”
Senior Bradley Hall shares his opinion on what kind of player Jordan was.
“[Jordan was] one of the greatest if not the best basketball player. He has six [championship] rings,” Hall said.
Despite the announcement that Lebron made in 2010 that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to sign with the Miami Heat, Ward raises him up as a hero.
“Lebron James is the greatest player of all time in my opinion. He is a hometown hero and could easily be the league MVP every year. He has three championships, two with his best friend in Miami and one with Cleveland. He is on track to have the most points scored in a career and he is amazing,” Ward said.
Ward sees different skill sets in Jordan and James.
“Michael Jordan was good because he had a killer instict,” Hall said. “He had no mercy and was a scorer. He had determination that set him apart from everyone.”
Hall saw a talent that was beyond what happened on the court and in the playbook.
“He was a great teammate, and he brought up players around him,” Hall said.
To the millennial generation, Jordan’s career was on the way out the door as they grew up. Lebron is the present; he’s still writing his legacy.
“Lebron is a good player because he is one of the most versatile players to ever play. He can play every position without question and makes everyone around him better,” Ward said. “Not only does he score but he does everything else, block, defend, assist, rebound.”
“He [Lebron] beat the Warriors from their three-to-one lead,” Hall said.
This past summer the Warriors lost the finals to the Cavaliers when they had three wins against Cleveland. Lebron led the Cavaliers to win the finals and beat the Warriors.
Forbes recently nominated Jordan as the head of highest paid athletes list. With the nomination speculation of if highest paid has correlation with talent.
“I think it’s a little excessive. There are professionals in all professions but they don’t get to make nearly as much. But then again they are fortunate that their is a high demand for entertainment so I can see how it could go both ways,” Ward said.
Hall believes that the amount athletes are paid does mean that they are the most talented.
“The best players make the most money. Usually, the better you are the more money you make,” Hall said.
Ward went to see King James in action on Christmas day in a nail biter game against The Golden State Warriors. With James’ stats in the game in comparison with his age is impressive to Ward.
“I think Lebron James is the better player. I’m probably biased but he has done countless things no one else has done. He again is more versatile than MJ. He’s also 32 and shows no sign of slowing down. Along with this, he makes his teammates around him better players,” Ward said.
Every generation has their star and in the minds of millennials who didn’t grow up with Michael Jordan sprinting across their televisions setting up for a slam dunk can they really tell the truth of who is the better player?
The reality may just be that Lebron James could be everything Michael Jordan was to people present day. However, Jordan’s legacy will always be held as one of the greatest.