Tonisha Chapman


June 25, 2021

In sports, we always like to discuss “Who is the Greatest of all Time.” However, the discussion often goes more in the world of basketball these days. Ever since LeBron James stepped on the basketball scene and proclaimed himself “King James,” the comparison discussion has begun about Lebron vs. Michael.

This particular discussion brings out everyone’s point of view and their criteria for determining who deserves the title “The Greatest of All Time.” For example, some people look at how many championships an individual has, while others want to throw statistics and off-court actions into the mix.

On the note of statistics and off-the-court actions, those are not valid in my opinion because you are talking about two highly different times when it comes to the climate of the NBA. When Jordan entered the league, the norm was for players to go to college for at least three years and then enter the NBA draft.

These days, you can go after one year of college or directly from high school. So when people want to start trying to compare LeBron & Michel’s stats, I say, “not valid, because LeBron has five years minimum on Michael Jordan.” Remember Michael Jordan when to college for three years, and took a 2 ½ season break after the killing of this father and then retired in 1998, then he came back two years later in 2000. So LeBron has seven years on Michael as far as years in the league, so it does make sense that LeBron would surpass Michael Jordan in some, if not all, stats.

The other criteria factors what LeBron & Michael have done off the court with their “athlete celebrity status.” Some believe that LeBron surpasses Michael because of everything he has done in the community, especially with the racial injustice situations worldwide in the past couple of years.

Some believe that Michael Jordan was a sell-out off the court, especially after his infamous comment, “Republicans buy shoes also.” However, when you look at the climate of the NBA then and now, you can tell that there is a big difference. When Jordan was playing, the owners had more control over basketball operations and the player’s actions off the court. Players did not have the power to be able to vocal like they do today.

Before the players gained control of the league, they had to choose their battles carefully because each move could have affected them financially in a big way. Now the players have more control of the league. Now they can dictate where they go, who they wish to play with, and what organization. Also, I do think social media has given the players more power as well. On another note about player power and control, I heard some compare what Aaron Rodgers is doing in Green Bay to how Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen handled things in Chicago when they discovered that the general manager wanted to replace them.

It was commented on that what Michael and Scottie did was a bad thing. However, it was not because they did not have the control to get rid of the general manager like they do today. So before people judge Michael for his off-the-court contributions or lack thereof. His statistics at the end of his career and how he handled certain situations with management. Remember this he didn’t have the control and power that LeBron, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, etc., has today. Back then, the front office controlled daily operations, and now it seems a player has more control. These days, players have the power to be vocal and have the ability of social media to assist their causes. Just remember this:


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