Blog Entry

Magic: Michael Jordan better than LeBron James

Posted on: June 2, 2011 7:50 pm
Magic Johnson says that Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. Posted by Ben Golliver. magic-michael

Nobody knows exactly why, but former Chicago Bulls forward Scottie Pippen decided to state publicly last week that Miami Heat forward LeBron James "may be the greatest player to ever play the game."

Of course, that comment was taken by virtually everyone as a snub on legendary Bulls guard Michael Jordan, and rightfully so. 

On Wednesday, Los Angeles Lakers guard Magic Johnson, one of the league's all-time greatest players, became the latest to take sides against Pippen's statement publicly. 

"I have tried not to comment on what Scottie Pippen said," Johnson wrote in a message on Twitter. "But Michael is the greatest ever - point blank."
Johnson's voice gets added to a chorus of those disagreeing with Pippen, as the response to his comments came fast and strong.

Former Bulls forward Horace Grant, teammate of Jordan and Pippen, came to Jordan's defense, saying that he "totally disagree[d]" with Pippen and that Jordan was "the best basketball player to ever play the game."

Former Detroit Pistons guard Isiah Thomas jumped into the mix too, stating that James has a chance of eclipsing Jordan but that he isn't there yet.

James himself said that he had "a long way" to go to be mentioned among basketball's greats. 
Look there is no debate here. Jordan is the greatest of all time.

But Johnson's words do carry a special weight, though, because his prime predates Jordan's prime. In the zoomed-out narrative of the NBA, the Larry Bird / Magic Johnson era gives way to the Michael Jordan era. Yes, Jordan and Johnson were colleagues -- the Bulls beat the Lakers in the 1991 Finals, of course -- but Johnson is inarguably Jordan's elder from a historical standpoint. 

Whenever these debates come up, players invariably favor their idols or the guys that came before them. If not that, then they favor their fiercest competitors or the players whom they could never defeat. Rarely do they favor the players that came after them. It's a difficult mental proposition for someone that stood atop the game to reconcile the idea that someone younger than him could be better.

But that's the power of Jordan's greatness. It doesn't matter if you played before him, against him, after him or all of the above. He was the greatest that you ever saw, at least if you're thinking straight and remembering things accurately. Who knows what Pippen's excuse is.

Since: Oct 17, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2013 2:44 pm

Magic: Michael Jordan better than LeBron James

couldn't have said it better Steelrs bud'

I keep saying that all day every day, LBJ is a beast today, but in this era only.  Put him back with previous era, heck, 90's era with the Carles Oakleys, Charles Barkley, Anthony Mason, Davis brothers in IND, Shawn Kemp...  all it would take is one attempt to dunk from LBJ...ATTEMPT... he would hit the ground from a foul, back then it would be a regular foul....  imagine a flagrant!!!  Real talk right there!!!! 

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: July 13, 2011 3:35 pm

Magic: Michael Jordan better than LeBron James

Hey there, I don't agree with Magic Johnson.  Honestly, Jordan played on a far better team and you have to realize that.  please watch my video where I explain this a little bit better.
/watch?v=wREatkmQsQc That's how I feel.  I believe I'm right.  Sorry Jordan fans Cool

Since: Mar 6, 2008
Posted on: June 4, 2011 1:10 pm

Magic: Michael Jordan better than LeBron James

Scottie who?That would be the question every one would be asking if he had not played with Jordan.Unlike LeBron Jordan made
everybody better that played with him.LeBron does'nt.I'm not a Bulls fan but in staying in touch with reality Jordan is the greatest
to ever put his hands on the round ball.If Snottie Pissen never played with Jordan we would be asking Scottie who?

Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: June 3, 2011 11:43 pm

Magic: Michael Jordan better than LeBron James

Its very hard to compare players from different eras.   Its not fair to comare Wilt Chamberlain to Micheal Jordon.  How can anyone say anyone was more dominant than Chamberlain?  Or Kareem?  Personally, Rick Barry and Jerry West rank much higher on my list and I say Bird gets too much credit.  I will take Rick Barry over Bird any day.  And now Dirk.  Dr J.   What about Dr J?   Give me a break.  Dr J has to be mentioned.

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: June 3, 2011 8:02 pm

Magic: Michael Jordan better than LeBron James

Bill Russell before Air Jordan? Wow ... I mean Russell was as great a defender as MJ, but I'm *fairly* certain there'd be a discrepancy on offense ...

Since: Nov 18, 2009
Posted on: June 3, 2011 6:16 pm

Magic: Michael Jordan better than LeBron James

James looked lost last night,Jordan,Bird,Magic would never let that happen,James is not even in the top 10

Since: Aug 25, 2008
Posted on: June 3, 2011 5:41 pm

That whole Lebron comment is a joke...

Who tripple teams Lebron? No one.  Who was taking the big shots last night in the final minutes? Not Lebron.  And who would try and compare Lebron's D to Jordan's?  No one.

That ends the discussion right there.  King James?  Not even close.

Since: Dec 11, 2009
Posted on: June 3, 2011 2:42 pm

Magic: Michael Jordan better than LeBron James

Jordan was arguably the best player ever, arguably. But I think he loses that argument. My process is this: you're choosing up sides, you won the toss to pick first and all the NBA players ever are standing in front of you. Who do you pick 1st, knowing the other guy picks next and so on. To me it's not Jordan 1st, probably Bill Russell, maybe Magic. I'm not sure I don't pick Russell, Magic and Oscar Robertson before I'd pick Jordan. In fact, if I ended up with Russell, Oscar, Magic, Bird and anyone else against Jordan and any other 4, I'd like my chances in a 7 game series. Just sayin'.....

Since: Nov 10, 2008
Posted on: June 3, 2011 2:00 pm

Magic: Michael Jordan better than LeBron James

Sorry comment was meant for Sabres. 

Since: Nov 10, 2008
Posted on: June 3, 2011 1:58 pm

Magic: Michael Jordan better than LeBron James

Good points - Also back in the 80's Lebron would have been killed driving to the hoop and trying to throw down on everyone.  He would have done it once and did his scream - the next time he would have been bounced off the floor.  He would have had to become a shooter because he wouldn't have been getting to the hoop like he does in the "hands off" league.   These "hard Fouls" would be flagrant/ejection/suspension worthy fouls in today's game.

Today's so-called Superstars (Wade-James-Rose-etc) couldn't handle the beating they would have taken back in the day.  Imagine James being guarded by Rodman with the rules back in the 80's, or Wade/James going for a fast break dunk and get hammered like McHale did to Rambis.  Todays players are soft - primadonnas. 

I miss those good ol' days of playoff basketball. 

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