LeBron James and Michael Jordan are arguably the two greatest basketball players of all-time and the arguments are hot and heavy between their fans.
LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan
For Michael Jordan fans, the fact that he won six NBA titles and was the MVP of every one of those series is all it takes to name him the greatest of all-time.
For LeBron James, his fans point out his eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances and nine total. He did not win the majority of them, but he was in the big game more often than Jordan.
Now, LeBron fans can point out his scoring offense, as LeBron passed Michael Jordan in all-time scoring in the Los Angeles Lakers loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.
Michael Jordan fans might argue that it doesn’t matter because all that matters are titles, but LeBron James had an interesting comment about that thought process.
LeBron on passing Michael Jordan in scoring
LeBron James said that he believes that passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list is just as big in his career as winning a championship.
“Of all the stuff I’ve done in my career, this ranks right up there at the top with winning a championship,” James told ESPN. “I watched him from afar, wanted to be like MJ … I wanted kids to look up to me at some point like MJ and it’s just crazy, to be honest. It’s beyond crazy.”
Before the game on Wednesday night, LeBron James knew he was going to pass Michael Jordan. He wore his LeBron 16s, which were designed in the style of the Air Jordan III. He also wrote “Thank you M.J. 23” on the side of the sneakers.
Can’t even front. This is going to be UNREAL!! Wow man
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 7, 2019
This obviously meant a lot to LeBron James and while his haters will dismiss every achievement of his career, he clearly sees this as a landmark moment for him personally.
“Me and my best friends this is all we talked about was MJ. All we talked about was MJ. Outdoor courts, we used to play outdoor ball and you know in the snow in the rain in northeast Ohio and we all wanted to be MJ. We all wanted to be MJ, every last one of us. It’s crazy. My high school best friends, they text me and they just can’t believe it, I can’t believe it, because we just remember walking up and down the Akron streets with a basketball, singing, ‘I wanna be, I wanna be like Mike.'”
Even Michael Jordan was impressed, saying “I want to congratulate LeBron on achieving another great milestone during his amazing career.”
Congratulations to @KingJames for passing Michael Jordan’s 32,292 points to become fourth leading scorer of all-time!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) March 7, 2019
Michael Jordan has LeBron James beat in career scoring average (30.1 points per game to 27.1).
However, LeBron has MJ beat for both rebounds (7.4 to 6.2) and assists (7.2 to 5.3). The rebounds are interesting since Jordan fans always point out that he was a better defensive player than James.
LeBron James also reached the scoring mark on 1,240 fewer field goal attempts than Jordan. LeBron now has 32,311 career points. The only players ahead of him are Kobe Bryant (33,643), Karl Malone (36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387).