Is player A better than player B? If yes, in what facet of the game and why? These are the two basic questions that get the blood of every NBA fan boiling, as arguments of all kinds and stats from every season pop up in heated debates.
This is quite possibly the absolute best thrill, regardless if it’s the middle of the NBA Finals or just another quiet day during the offseason. And when it comes to player vs. player arguments, there is no debate more frequent than the one which features the likes of Michael Jordan pitted against present day star, LeBron James.
Although this may seem like a debate worthy of having, especially now, when LeBron is entering his 7th straight NBA Finals and eyeing his 4th ring, it’s more detrimental than good, and we’ll explain why.
Most people tend to focus on hypothetical scenarios, and even though they are fun, there is one thing that doesn’t bring justice to either Jordan or LeBron – the fact that LeBron’s career is yet to be finished.
A lot of people will say that Jordan is the greatest simply because they have the perception of his entire career, from his rookie year, all the way towards the tail end of it. But they haven’t see the entirety of LeBron’s basketball prowess and that’s why you can’t compare two players when the dust hasn’t settled.
Biasedness and the shattering of illusions
Let’s face it, some people will never admit that LeBron is better than Jordan, even in some facets of the game, simply because their whole childhood and later life have been based on idolizing His Airness.
The same thing can be said about younger generations – they are so mesmerized by LeBron’s performances that they simply can’t fathom the possibility that there could have been a player even better than him.
Admitting that one is better than the other will be the end of the world of some people, as it is very hard to step away from childhood illusions. That’s why you can’t compare two incredibly great players, simply because you are inclined to be biased and to lack a critical opinion.
Let’s say if you compare Rod Strickland and Jerry Stackhouse – even though both players were bonafide stars, they weren’t idolized so much and the majority of fans had a critical outlook on their game.
The focus is moved away from simple appreciation
Watching the best basketball league in the world should be just about appreciating it, not trying to the winner of a debate with your friends at the pub. If you isolated both Jordan and LeBron, you would have more time and focus on appreciating the games of both legends.
Maybe LeBron lost in the Finals four times, but Jordan couldn’t get out of the first round for a good part of his career. Maybe Jordan wasn’t an all-around player like LeBron is, but was LeBron ever as good of a defender as Jordan was?
We can go on and on about these two, but there is only one thing that we should do – sit down, relax and appreciate the fact that we have the chance of having two legendary athletes in such a short time span. LeBron is still 32 and there is a lot to be done. But, for now, it’s best to be thankful and just enjoy the show.