Fellow NBA fans, NBA writers covering the Finals, Pippen Peoples, lend me you ears. We are now about to witness the rematch that all of us wanted to see. The Miami Heat defend their title for the second time against the best in the West, the San Antonio Spurs.
The Miami Heat have made the NBA Finals four years straight putting them in rare company. The Miami Heat are only the third NBA franchise in history of accomplish this feat. The other two being the Boston Celtics (twice) and the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James is moving himself in the conversation of the best of all time conversations…again. If the Heat wins three titles in four years, the debates will go on for years to come.
With the Miami Heat showing the Indiana Pacers the route back to the Midwest running them out of Miami in Game six of the Eastern Conference Finals, there are already debates of LeBron being the best small forward ever over Larry Bird. That’s all fine and dandy and everyone is entitled to their opinion. That’s what this is all about… history, opinion and debate. But there is one debate that I refuse to deal with because there is no comparison.
LeBron James will never, EVER be better than Michael Jordan. EVER!
Look Pippen Peoples, this is NOT a LeBron James bashing session. Kevin Durant is the MVP this year, but LeBron James is the best player in the world right now. Period, end of story, on to the next subject. LeBron is the franchise player to the two-time world champions with a great chance to go for a three-peat. He’s won four MVP awards and two NBA Finals MVP awards. He is the face of the NBA and right now a global icon. That’s nice but…so? Michael Jordan is still better. Don’t let ESPN and their Top 10 fool you. Just because King James is the best now doesn’t mean he’s CLOSE to being the best ever. STOP IT!
I don’t deal with numbers on paper when I make analysis of players like these. I deal with simple arithmetic meaning who has more. Let’s break all of this down shall we?
Michael Jordan has six rings…LeBron has two.
Counting fingers and toes. Yep, research done. Michael Jordan has six rings. Based on the new flavor of the month using the word legacy as the way to gauge who’s the better player. It is not even close. Jordan has his hands and a pair of his Air Jordan sneakers on every defining moment of every NBA Finals series he played. How about…
1) Michael Jordan crying his eyes out like a kid clutching the Larry O’Brien trophy after upsetting Magic’s Los Angeles Lakers winning 4-1 in the 1990-91 season. Oh yeah, they were the underdogs. Remember back in those days it wasn’t believed that a scoring champion could win a NBA Finals series.
2) Michael Jordan dropping 35 points in the FIRST HALF in Game one of the NBA Finals series against Portland in the 1991-92 series. That included six three pointers plus a shrug to Marv Albert and Magic Johnson at the broadcast booth. Bulls won the series 4-2.
3) Remember those scoring outbursts against Phoenix? He went over 40 points so many times which included a double nickel (55) in Game four that Paul Westphal the Phoenix head coach was heard saying “Put a body on him! Push him!”
4) The Seattle series. The Space Jam Jordans (Editor’s note Can anyone send me a pair? The black ones. They’re impossible to find.) We all remember the series clincher when Michael Jordan was holding the ball bawling on Father’s Day when you know he had to be thinking about his slain father. Still gives out the chills. Bulls won 4-2.
5) Remember when “The Mailman” Karl Malone won the MVP that year? Well Michael Jordan showed everyone who was the REAL MVP knocking down a game winning shot in Game one after Karl Malone missed two free throws.
If you forgot that it’s probably because of Game five otherwise known as “The Flu Game”. He battled sickness and down Gatorade throughout the night to score 38 points on the road IN UTAH. We all remember the Godfather of this website, Scottie Pippen helping him off the floor to the bench. Epic. That cemented Jordan as one of the greatest performers that ever played in a NBA Finals. The MVP Karl Malone scored 19. Bulls won 4-2
6) The shot…Oh pick one? Try the last shot in a Chicago Bulls uniform.
Okay let’s set it up. Karl Malone gets an entry pass from John Stockton on the left block. Malone has it stolen from Jordan from behind. Jordan brings the ball up goes to the left-wing, dribbles to the left elbow, pushes Bryon Russell to the locker room, does a cross over dribble and knocks down a 17 footer. With a pose. Any questions? Bulls won 4-2.
Oh by the way, Michael Jordan has six MVPs.
Along with Scottie Pippen, they won two-three peats with two different squads.
Here’s the kicker…The man NEVER lost a NBA Finals series.
It is believed that if Jordan didn’t retire to chase curve balls for 18 months it could have been eight straight.
Michael Jordan didn’t leave Chicago to team up with another superstar to win a title.
LeBron James with a series win to get the three peat still won’t have the most rings…on his own team. Remember, Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem will have four thanks to an earlier victory back in 2006.
As badly as LeBron James wants to be in the debate for the best ever, he will never get there. There are things that will always keep him from the “Air Up There”…
He didn’t pay the price Michael Jordan did.
There was a reason why Jordan was crying the first time the Bulls won the championship. He earned it. He went through years of Boston getting the best of him. Sure Jordan scored 63 points in the Boston Garden. The Bulls lost too. The Detroit Pistons beat him up so bad he got in the weight room just to be able to sustain the physical pounding.
Remember the Jordan Rules?
The Pistons came up with a defensive scheme JUST for Jordan. Man the name turned into a best-selling book! Ever heard of a team coming up with the LeBron Rules?
When The Boston Celtics big three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and guess who, Ray Allen kept finding a way to beat LeBron James what did he do? He called up D-Wade and asked “Can I play with you?” PLEEEAAASE?
LeBron has lost twice in the Finals already.
I know Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli and Gregg Popovich can relate to this considering they threw him in a closet and locked it when he was in Cleveland. He only shot 35% for the series. San Antonio showed LeBron a broom back in 2007.
How about 2010 against the Dallas Mavericks? The Mavs beat the Heat 4-2. Now understand here, this was before LeBron could spell post move. It was so bad, Jason Kidd was guarding James in the last five minutes of the game in crunch time. Do you think you can get away with that with Michael Jordan?
To all that want to start the LeBron James against Michael Jordan debate, don’t make that mistake. Jordan Rules!
I told my boy Arthur Griffin (we all call him Tony) once that I would never have this conversation ever. Sorry man! I lied!