LeBron James is a tremendous basketball player. I like the way he plays basketball and makes his teammates better. James is the most talented player in the NBA today, and I think it is safe to say he has more raw talent than Michael Jordan ever had. Having said all of this, there is no way at this point in his career that LeBron James is nearly as good of a basketball player as Michael Jordan was. People have been looking for the next MJ for years, and in the past few months I’ve heard many talk of how James is now better than Jordan. Here are three reasons LeBron James just isn’t as good as Michael Jordan.
3. Free Throw Shooting- LeBron James is great at getting to the line, but he just doesn’t convert nearly enough of his free throws. According to ESPN.com career statistics, James is shooting 74% from the free throw line for his career thus far. In his career, Jordan shot 84% from the line. Jordan was remarkably consistent from the line each year, never shooting below 78.4%. James best season is 78% and his worst is 69.8%. While it may not seem like a huge difference between 74% and 84%, that is a whole lot of opportunities missed for LeBron.
2. Settles for the Outside Shot- Michael Jordan was never a prolific three point shooter in his career, and he knew that. LeBron James is not that great of a three point shooter, but he tends to settle for the trey far too often. Take a close look at the statistics and you’ll see that Jordan averaged 1.7 three point attempts per game in his career, while James is at 4.3 so far in his career. In 2009-2010, James actually attempted 5.1 three pointers per game. James and Jordan both shoot 33% from distance for their career, but Michael Jordan knew his strengths better than LeBron does.
1. LeBron Doesn’t Have the Same Fire- Michael Jordan was the most competitive person I have ever seen play a major sport in my life. MJ simply did not let his team slack off in an important game, ever. Even if his shot wasn’t falling, he was doing everything else and leading his team with every ounce of energy he had. LeBron James is a great team player, but at times when the team needs a win badly he has seemed lackadaisical. Michael Jordan was the ultimate winner, who simply didn’t take losing well at all. Teammates of Jordan have often spoke of his tough treatment of them, because he expected huge things from every player. LeBron doesn’t have the same “it” factor that Jordan had, at least not yet.
LeBron James is a tremendous basketball player and some of the plays he makes are ridiculously amazing. Michael Jordan was an even better basketball player, especially when it came to crunch time!
LeBron James Career Statistics ESPN.com
Michael Jordan Career Statistics ESPN.com