Off Topic Subject

We have some dead time between now and training camp so I want to bring an interesting subject up here on TST. Through the years a debate has raged on between basketball heads and that question has been whether or not Lebron James is or will ever be better than Micheal Jordan, You have a variety of answers to this question but for the most part I have heard no logical reasons for each part. The only reason why I bring this question to a football blog is because there seems to be some pretty knowledgeable people here about basketball and the fact that we got over a hundred comments on some Finals threads proves the interest.

Lets be clear, Jordan despite conventional wisdom isn't untouchable. From my debates the most favorite argument for Jordan that I've heard is that he has 6 rings and Lebron only has one. This is indeed a valid point because it is fact and looking on Google will tell you this but in turn I hate this argument for a couple of reason.

1. Jordan did not win all those rings by himself and in turn he had a pretty good team around him to help. He had future HOFers such as Pippen to help him. The myth that he did it by himself is laughable at best and gets annoying at times. Basketball is a team sport and should be treated as such.

2. Even if we're ignoring reason one, If I'm not mistaken Derek Fisher has 5 rings from when he was with the Lakers, does this in turn make him a top 5 player? Does this fact that he has 5 rings in turn make him better than Lebron James and almost on par with the likes of his long time teammate Kobe, no.

3. If we're really going by how many rings a player has, Jordan isn't the greatest, Bill Russel is with 11..

Let me be clear, rings are a huge part of a legend's resume but it is not a tell all be all end of a debate of who is the greatest of all time.

Now my answer to the question that I asked earlier, is and will Lebron ever be better than Jordan, well there's two sides to that coin and I hold both equally. We have to take exhibit A into consideration:

Scottie Pippen Says Lebron James Is The Greatest Player Of All Time!2 (via dolomite205)

The man that Jordan played with for all those years says that Lebron might just be the greatest player of all time. Now before we scream out hater lets look at his reasoning for saying so. He gives Jordan respect by saying that he's the greatest scorer of all time but then he basically says that Lebron can not only score but he can get other players involved. That not only himself but every other player on the court is a threat to score when he's on the court which is true. Lebron is arguably one of the great all around players of all time. He can affect the game in so many ways and damn near guard any position and play any position that he pleases maybe excluding Center. The main criticism of Lebron is that he's not clutch enough but we have seen him crush this theory time and time again. Would you consider putting your team on your back in a game 6 elimination game clutch?

The King goes BIG in game 6! (via NBA)

But then we look at the other side of that coin and I think there's no other way to put it then this:

But I think the reason you hate LeBron James the most is that he just doesn't seem to suffer his failures as much as you'd like him to. You want him to brood like Kobe after losses, glare like Jordan when things don't go his way, scream at teammates like Tom Brady when they're behind.

That's not James. His spirit is too light. He's too much fun. He's a 6-foot-8 pixie, a 27-year-old kid who's addicted to kidding. He's a genuinely sweet person. You think of the great athletes of our generation -- Jordan, Woods, Lance Armstrong. They all had a bit of the jerk gene in them. James is missing it. He is loved by his teammates, not feared. So sue.

That's probably going to work against him in the long run. It will keep him from being Jordan or Kobe or Kareem. It will keep him from being enough.

This was written by Rick Reilly of ESPN

I believe this to be spot on to part of the reason why he will most likely never be viewed as the greatest of all time. The other part of it is he doesn't have to killer instinct that these other guys that was mention have. All of these guys have a certain "clutch gene" that separates them from the rest. Lebron on the other hand doesn't have it. Sure we've seen him take over games like the one posted above but overall his flaw is in turn in his strength, he's a team player. Hell lets lower the level a bit, who would you rather have in crunch time Kobe or Lebron? Nine times out of ten you're going to pick Kobe, why? Well it's not because he's just lights out in the clutch, but it's because he has the confidence to take the shot and be confident that in turn he's going to make the shot. He realizes that he is indeed the best player on the team and that in turn gives him the best possibility to make the shot. That's where his cockiness serves him right and it's even double for Jordan. These two understood/understand the pressure and welcome it, Lebron on the other hand has shied away from said pressure.

Lebron James Passes Up Last Shot vs Utah Jazz (HD) (via MegaHighlightReel5)

My point is you would never see this from Jordan and Kobe, that's why they are in turn clutch and he is not.

Now to try for a second time to answer this question, is or will Lebron ever be better than Jordan? If Lebron accepts that he is the best player for the Heat and accepts this role. That means he takes the last shot and feels comfortable that he has the best chance of making it then yes I could see him being better than Jordan. If this does not happen then no because his clutch gene will forever be brought up but I do however believe he'll end up being a top 5 player of all time at the least..

Do you agree with my assessment, do you think Lebron will ever be better than Jordan or do you think he already is?

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