The comparisons between Michael Jordan and LeBron James started the minute James was drafted back in 2004. But with reports that the Heat are going to try and lure Carmelo Anthony to their squad when free agency begins this summer, the argument over who is the best player all-time would all but officially be over.
LeBron James is clearly the most dominant player in the NBA right now. Fair or not, this has lead to the inevitable comparisons to Michael Jordan, even though James still has many more years left to carve out his career. And while many analysts are quick to rush to James’ side in the Jordan vs King James argument, it’s important to be reminded of one important fact as to why people are so down on him to begin with: he did this to himself.
Lebron James created this self-perpetuated notion that he needed the help of the NBA’s elite talent to get over the championship hump. Yes, Jordan had Scottie Pippen, a Hall-of-Famer, as his wingman. Yes, Michael had key contributions from role players like Horace Grant and Dennis Rodman, each high level talents in their own right. But Jordan never conspired to play with them. He left it to management to make key trades, draft wisely and acquire the pieces through free agency that helped build his championship rosters.
When LeBron James went on national television four years ago to announce his “decision” for free agency, he immediately tarnished his reputation amongst fans and colleagues alike who felt like he had stacked the deck in his favor. And though his pairing with Chris Bosh and Dywane Wade has yielded two NBA championships so far, with a potential for a third this year, if Carmelo Anthony ends up on the Heat roster next year, the perception that his championships are tainted when compared to the greats of the basketball world will only be magnified.
And while CBSSports.com is reporting that Chris Bosh thinks the Carmelo to the Heat move is “very, very unlikely,” the possibility of them joining forces is still very much real. ESPN‘s Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein reported as much days earlier:
“Sources told ESPN.com that Heat officials and the team’s leading players have already started to explore their options for creating sufficient financial flexibility to make an ambitious run at adding New York Knicks scoring machine Carmelo Anthony this summer in free agency.”
And if Carmelo Anthony does indeed join the Heat, the only comparison left between Michael Jordan and LeBron James will become, “Who is the bigger billionaire?” As reported by Inquistr, Jordan has just recently entered the billionaire’s club while LeBron James has made it known of his own billionaire aspirations when his playing career is over.
Comparing Lebron James’s checkbook to Michael Jordan’s however, just doesn’t feel the same.