Who is the GOAT: LeBron or MJ?

Josias Fernandez

The National Basketball Association is one of the most prominent basketball leagues in the world. Most of its success has been in part because of the tremendous talent displayed across the decades.

Babe Ruth is regarded as the greatest baseball player, Tom Brady as the greatest football player of all time and Messi as the greatest soccer player. In the NBA, the debate isn’t clear anymore.

Since the 1990s, Michael Jordan, the mythic Chicago Bulls player, has been proclaimed by millions of basketball fans and analyzers as the greatest basketball player of all time. However, Jordan’s throne has been in shambles since the 2003 NBA draft, when a young 6-foot 9-inch forward got drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron James.

James’s career can be defined by one word: longevity. Since his early years, James’ dominance has taken the league by storm. He went to the NBA Finals for eight straight years with Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

James is a 19-time All-Star, 18-time All-NBA team, four-time Most Valuable Player, four-time NBA champion and four-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.

James has conquered all in the NBA. Moreover, he is the all-time leading scorer in both the regular season and playoffs. James is fourth in the all-time assists list, and top ten in three pointers made.

James has also faced some criticism in his career. Since LeBron joined the Miami Heat in 2011, the LeBron versus Jordan debate heated up when NBA fans were refusing to recognize James as an all-time great because of his “ring chase” in Miami.

Jordan is regarded as the greatest because of one thing, his winning record. Michael Jordan won six of his six NBA Finals trips in the 1990s. Jordan won a three-peat in 1991-1993, then decided to retire from basketball.

Jordan’s father died before he could watch his son living his dream, playing baseball. He left the Bulls and joined the Southern League team Birmingham Barons.

Jordan came back in 1995 and won his second three-peat in 1996-1998. Jordan’s accolades are five-time Most Valuable Player, 14-time All-Star, NBA Defensive Player of the Year, 11-time All-NBA team.

Since James won his third NBA championship against the Golden State Warriors, coming back from a 3-1 deficit and defeating the 73-9 team, his legacy has been standing on Jordan’s throne.

Jordan influenced many generations, and he showed the true necessity of winning at all costs. Jordan’s style, fancy dunks and incredible fadeaways left millions of fans across the globe in awe.

Jordan’s influence went further than just basketball, as he managed to sign a shoe deal with Nike in the 1980s. The rest is history.

The Jordan Brand is a global phenomenon. No matter how many years pass, one will be seen wearing Jordans at almost any occasion.

In 2023, the debate seems clear: Jordan is the most influential player of all time. His basketball attributes made him a name in a league that was growing in the international market. Jordan is the basketball face outside of the U.S.

James’s agility, scoring ability, physical gift, longevity and domination make him the best basketball player that ever existed. James is near perfection in basketball terms, Jordan is near perfection in influence.

Jordan and James are the two greatest to ever play basketball. Both have tremendous talent, and both can showcase their names across the world.