Chicago Bulls: Breaking down the Jordan vs. LeBron debate

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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(Photo credit should read STEVEN R. SCHAEFER/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo credit should read STEVEN R. SCHAEFER/AFP via Getty Images) /

Beyond the standard advanced stats

The NBA entered the new age of advanced metrics well within the last decade. And while the Bulls were late to the game up in their front office when it was under the direction of John Paxson and Gar Forman, Jordan was definitely no slouch to these metrics back in his day.

According to 538’s RAPTOR GOAT Rating, Jordan is the top player in the NBA history (tied with one other) in terms of plus/minus rating. He is tied with Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul (somehow… I don’t know) in RAPTOR’s GOAT Rating with a 6.9 offensive plus/minus and 1.6 defensive plus/minus. Meanwhile, Jordan registered a 6.4 offensive plus/minus and 2.2 defensive plus/minus.

Jordan shows out in RAPTOR’s Rating as one of the best two-way guards in NBA history too. Whereas, LeBron registers as fifth best player in NBA history comparatively in combined plus/minus.

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An important marker too for Jordan’s overall efficiency in the games he did play in was his similarity scores (per Basketball-Reference), given that his total body of work didn’t last as long as LeBron’s. Oscar Robertson and CP3 are again for some reason the only two players that come close to matching Jordan’s win shares over the course of less than 15 years in the regular season and playoffs. LeBron was in the realm of players like Dirk Nowitzki and Charles Barkley.

Edge: Michael Jordan (in this slide and overall)