Every NBA fan has done it. When talking about LeBron James, someone always brings up how he compares to Michael Jordan. In the 2020 NBA Paris game between the Charlotte Hornets and the Milwaukee Bucks last Friday, Jordan gave his view on the matter.
The six-time NBA Champion, Hall-of-Famer, and Charlotte Hornets owner said, "We play in different eras. He's [LeBron James] one of the best players in the world. It's a natural tendency to compare eras to eras... I think he's made his mark. He will continue to do so."
That is undoubtedly true. But is it apples and oranges? It's more like apples raised on the same farm 30 years ago, and a new breed of apples grew and evolved from the same source. According to Yardbarker.com, LeBron James already gave his own opinion on the matter. He once suggested that he is chasing the "ghost" of MJ. He was also flattered when MJ congratulated him after passing the latter in the all-time scoring list. It's clear that James feels he is in Jordan's "shadow," so let's see how close he is to chasing Jordan's so-called ghost.
James won three NBA Championships, and Jordans has six. That's a long way to go, but since James is still playing, It remains to be seen if he can catch up. Six Championships is a tall order, it is the most won by any NBA player who is not part of Bill Russell's 60's Celtics and the anomaly, Robert Horry, who has seven championships playing for three different teams. In fairness to Horry, If you actually watched those seasons, he deserves those rings.
Jordan has 5 regular season MVP and 6 Finals MVP awards. James has 4 regular season MVP and 3 finals MVP. That's also a bit far but not impossible. Both players were named rookie of the year and won the All-star MVP three times. James has a chance to beat Jordan here this coming February.
Here's where things change: James was named in the All-defensive team five times, but received no individual award. Jordan was in it nine times and won the steals leader three times.
James won the NBA scoring champion award in 2008. Jordan won it ten times from 1987 to 1993, then again from 1996 to 1998. He didn't play in 1994 and 1995, which explains the gap. Discounting his time playing for Charlotte, the only time Jordan didn't win the scoring champion award as an NBA player was in 1985, his rookie year, and the year after that.
Is it apples and oranges or two apples? You be the Judge.