The rant continues to develop. In the meantime, as promised yesterday, here is a comparison of LeBron’s performance this year with Michael Jordan’s accomplishments. For those who don’t feel like reading a bunch of stats, here’s a quick summary of the comparison: There’s no comparison. None whatsoever.
Those who want to see the numbers are encouraged to continue reading.
Where to begin? Well, the notion, endorsed by LeBron defenders, that LeBron’s accomplishments are comparable to Jordan’s is based on the idea that Jordan “had Pippen and Grant.” Pippen and Grant, Wade and Bosh. 6 of one, half-dozen of another. Or so the thinking goes.
Before either of them ever played with LeBron, Bosh and Wade each had a long list of accomplishments. To name a few:
Wade: Led Marquette to the Final Four (2003), won NBA Finals MVP (2006), NBA Scoring Champion (2009), 6 time NBA All-Star (2005-2010), 2-time All-NBA First Team (2009, 2010), 2-time All-NBA Second Team (2005, 2006), All-NBA Third-Team (2007), 3-time All-Defense Second Team (2005, 2009, 2010). (Again, thank you wikipedia for the info.)
Bosh: 5-time NBA All-Star (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), All-NBA Second Team (2007). (Info here.)
In contrast, when Jordan first got Pippen as a teammate, Pippen’s big accomplishment was that he was a consensus NAIA All-American at Central Arkansas. Horace Grant’s big accomplishment when he first became Jordan’s teammate was that he played at Clemson University.
Measuring the accomplishments of Wade / Bosh before they teamed with LeBron against the accomplishments of Pippen / Grant before they teamed with Jordan isn’t completely fair, because Pippen and Grant joined Jordan’s team as rookies. So, let’s take a broader view. Horace Grant’s highest scoring average for any season during his career is 15.1 ppg. (Here are his stats.) He averaged 10 rebounds or more twice. Bosh has already averaged more than 15.1 ppg 7 times, and more than 10 rebounds per game 3 times. (Here.) Wade has averaged more points per game than 15.1 every single year of his nine-year career. (Here.)
Scottie Pippen averaged more than 20 ppg four different times. (Here are his stats.) He averaged more than 8 rebounds per game twice. He averaged more than 6 assists three times. Bosh has already averaged more than 20 ppg five times, and more than 8 rebounds seven times. Wade has already averaged more than 20 ppg eight times, and more than 6 assists six times.
And, yes, I know all about Pippen’s defensive prowess. Wade’s pretty good at D, too, don’t ya’ think?
Enough about the accomplishments of the teammates. Let’s look at MJ and LeBron themselves. There are so many different ways to demonstrate that MJ’s accomplishments dwarf LeBron’s that it’s hard to know which numbers to look at. I’ll do it this way: look at MJ’s numbers during his first championship run, and compare them to LeBron’s run this year.
During his first championship run, the lowest point total Jordan had in a single playoff game was 22. I kid you not. Check it here. He had 25 or more 16 times. As for assists, his lowest game was 5. He had 7 or more 12 times.
Looking at LeBron’s Game Log from this year’s playoffs, we see that his lowest point total is 15. He had fewer than 22 points – Jordan’s low, remember – 4 times. He had 25 or more 7 times. As for assists, his lowest game was 2. He had 7 or more twice.
I could do this for hours, but, at this point, it’s just piling on. Game, set, match.
Hopefully nobody’s going to say that LeBron is approaching Jordan’s greatness, or I’m going to have to pick this back up.