Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James After 11 Seasons

Before the beginning of the 2014-15 NBA season, I would like to make a comparison between 2 basketball legends: Michael Jordan, the Greatest of all time, and LeBron James, who will certainly enter the top 5 at the end of his career.

I see some comparisons between them but I don’t think it’s smart to take all MJ’s career to make it. That’s why I took his 11 first seasons in the league.

Let’s do this!

Accomplishments

Championships:

MJ: 4 in 4 appearances

LBJ: 2 in 5 appearances

Finals MVPs:

MJ: 4

LBJ: 2

2012 NBA Finals PortraitsMVPs:

MJ: 4 (’88, ’91, ’92 & ’96)

LBJ: 4 (’09, ’10, ’12 & ’13)

All-Star MVPs:

MJ: 2

LBJ: 2

All-Star Games:

MJ: 10

LBJ: 10

Rookie of the Year:

MJ: 1

LBJ: 1

Defensive Player of the Year:

MJ: 1

LBJ: 0

All NBA 1st Team:

MJ: 8

LBJ: 8

All NBA Defensive 1st Team:

MJ: 7

LBJ: 5

Michael Jordan #23Slam Dunk Contests:

MJ: 2

LBJ: 0

Scoring Titles:

MJ: 8

LBJ: 1

Steals Titles:

MJ: 3

LBJ: 0

PER Titles:

MJ: 7

LBJ: 6

Win Shares Titles:

MJ: 8

LBJ: 5

As we can see, Michael Jordan won more championships than LeBron James even if he played 1 less NBA Finals. Individually, Jordan dominates in scoring, steals, defense, PER & win shares.

LeBron James NEVER does it better than Mike.

Regular Season

Note: All the statistics are “per game”

Points:

MJ: 32.0

LBJ: 27.5

Rebounds:

MJ: 6.4

LBJ: 7.2

140507-jordan-0419_9c7ff3cf5b7db48241b72793c341e64aAssists:

MJ: 5.7

LBJ: 6.9

Steals:

MJ: 2.6

LBJ: 1.7

Blocks:

MJ: 1.0

LBJ: 0.8

Turnovers:

MJ: 2.9

LBJ: 3.3

Minutes:

MJ: 38.6

LBJ: 39.5

imagesField Goals %:

MJ: 51.2%

LBJ: 49.7%

3PT Field Goals %:

MJ: 33.2%

LBJ: 34.1%

Free Throws %:

MJ: 84.3%

LBJ: 74.7%

Advanced Stats:

PER 30+:

MJ: 4

LBJ: 4

PER 29+:

MJ: 7

LBJ: 6

PER 28+:

MJ: 7

LBJ: 7

PER 27+:

MJ: 9

LBJ: 8

Win Shares:

MJ: 170.4

LBJ: 168.5

Offensive WS:

MJ: 122.1

LBJ: 117.0

Defensive WS:

MJ: 48.3

LBJ: 51.5

We can note that LeBron James plays 1 more minute per game than Michael Jordan. LBJ is a better rebounder, passer & 3PT shooter. He also dominates MJ in defensive win shares. For the rest, Michael Jordan is up than the Chosen One. There is a gap in scoring, MJ averages 4.5+ points per game than LBJ.

Now, let’s take a look on Playoffs stats.

Playoffs

In 11 seasons, Michael Jordan reached the playoffs 11 times. LeBron James 9. But the fact is that LBJ played 158 games so, 19+ more games than Jordan (139).

Note: All the statistics are “per game”

Points:

MJ: 33.9

LBJ: 28.0

Rebounds:

MJ: 6.4

LBJ: 8.4

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York KnicksAssists:

MJ: 6.2

LBJ: 6.4

Steals:

MJ: 2.3

LBJ: 1.7

Blocks:

MJ: 0.9

LBJ: 0.9

Turnovers:

MJ: 3.3

LBJ: 3.4

Minutes:

MJ: 41.7

LBJ: 42.5

Field Goals %:

MJ: 49.5%

LBJ: 48.2%

3PT Field Goals %:

MJ: 36.3%

LBJ: 33.3%

Free Throws %:

MJ: 83.1%

LBJ: 75.5%

Hall of Fame BasketballAdvanced Stats:

PER 30+:

MJ: 4

LBJ: 3

PER 29+:

MJ: 5

LBJ: 3

PER 28+:

MJ: 7

LBJ: 5

PER 27+:

MJ: 8

LBJ: 5

Win Shares:

MJ: 31.3

LBJ: 33.8

Offensive WS:

MJ: 21.2

LBJ: 22.9

Defensive WS:

MJ: 9.5

LBJ: 10.5

You can see that Michael Jordan increases his scoring, passing and 3PT shooting. LeBron James has 0.5+ points in scoring, takes more rebounds and dominates MJ in win shares (total, offensive & defensive).

Michael Jordan stays a more efficient player than LeBron in the post-season.

NBA Finals

We will closely look at the NBA Finals stats to see who’s the clutch player.

Note: All the statistics are “per game”

Points:

MJ: 34.0

LBJ: 24.3

Michael Jordan #23Rebounds:

MJ: 6.3

LBJ: 8.8

Assists:

MJ: 6.9

LBJ: 6.4

Steals:

MJ: 1.9

LBJ: 1.8

Blocks:

MJ: 0.6

LBJ: 0.6

lebron13-0204Turnovers:

MJ: 3.3

LBJ: 3.8

Field Goals %:

MJ: 50.1%

LBJ: 46.3%

3PT Field Goals %:

MJ: 39.5%

LBJ: 36.5%

Free Throws %:

MJ: 80.7%

LBJ: 76.1%

There is no competition. Michael Jordan is better than LeBron James all the way except in rebounding. MJ is 6’6″ and LBJ is 6’8″ so it’s logical.

What is choking: Michael Jordan scores almost 10+ more points per game than the actual best NBA player. MJ is up to 50% in shooting which is a big performance for a SG.

Miami Heat v Charlotte Bobcats - Game Four

Each MJ’s NBA Final had something special.

In 1991, he played point guard and faced Magic Johnson. Michael Jordan recorded 31.2ppg which is normal for him but he had 11.4apg! 5+ more assists than his career average.

The next year, he averaged 35.8ppg with an excellent 42.9% from behind the arc. In game 1, he scored 35 points in the first half with 6 three pointers.

In 1993, Jordan & the Chicago Bulls had to beat the Suns of the NBA MVP Charles Barkley. His Airness recorded 41.0ppg. Yes he did. Amazing.

And for the 4th championship, Michael Jordan “struggled” a little bit averaging 27.3ppg in front of the Defensive Player of the Year Gary Payton.

tumblr_lv6f5w1FFQ1qaepjeo1_1280

Conclusion

In my opinion, LeBron James is a really gifted basketball player but still far behind the Greatest Michael Jordan. As I said it at the beginning, LBJ will be part of the top 5 in the all-time list, no doubt. LeBron is only 29 and has the time to win more championships.

One thought on “Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James After 11 Seasons

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