At the age of 35, it’s hard to imagine that LeBron James will match the amount of titles that Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan reeled in.
The recent airing of the 10-part documentary series spotlighting the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls title-winning team “The Last Dance” brought about a lot of conversations involving all-time great shooting guard Michael Jordan. In a side-by-side comparison with the current Los Angeles Lakers superstar forward LeBron James, there are some that would make the case that the active player is the all-time greatest in NBA history.
But most would likely not agree with the statement that LeBron has surpassed MJ in the GOAT debate. Especially not those in the Windy City. MJ did win more titles than LeBron, at least so far, and even the advanced metrics favor the Bulls legend.
Among those who would not agree with the statement that LeBron has surpassed MJ is the Bulls long-time owner Jerry Reinsdorf. In a recent interview with K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, Reinsdorf opened up on his feelings about the GOAT debate involving MJ and LeBron. Here’s what Reinsdorf had to say on the matter.
"“This is history. It makes for fascinating stuff,” Reinsdorf said. “And ‘The Last Dance’ obviously should establish in the mind of any person with normal eyesight that Michael was beyond a doubt the greatest of all-time. In my mind, anytime anybody wants to talk to me about comparing Michael to LeBron (James), I’m going to tell them to please don’t waste my time.“I’m really pleased it showed how great Michael was to people who hadn’t seen him play. I’m truly tired of people trying to compare LeBron to Michael when it’s not even close. They should try to compare LeBron with Oscar Robertson or Magic Johnson. Michael was so head and shoulders over everybody, and that really came out in this documentary. He was a phenomenon. We may never see another like him.”"
Reinsdorf seems to be settled with the way the Bulls dynasty years ended, as shown in The Last Dance too. That was also made clear when former Bulls general manager Jerry Krause was looking to attempt a full on rebuild in the late 1990’s while the team was still winning titles.
If nothing else, he at least stood up for Jordan here. LeBron has an accomplished NBA career on his hands, but this is a difficult conversation to give him the edge on. If he and superstar big man Anthony Davis lead the Lakers to a title this year, LeBron would still be two rings short of MJ. And he would have six more losses in the NBA Finals than MJ.
LeBron and the Lakers will be returning to game action either in late July or early August. The Bulls will not be taking part in the NBA’s season restart, beginning on July 31 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. There will be 22 teams taking part in the NBA’s restart plan, including LeBron and the Lakers in the Western Conference.