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View Full Version : Phil Jackson's Comparative Assessment on Michael Jordan vs LeBron James



KB-Pau-DH2012
10-08-2012, 05:54 PM
http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/eye-on-basketball/20512364/phil-jackson-lebron-james-has-all-the-physical-attributes-to-be-better-than-michael-jordan


Phil Jackson, legendary coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, told an ESPN Chicago radio station that Miami Heat forward LeBron James has the potential to be better than NBA legend Michael Jordan, as long as he stays healthy for the rest of his career.

SportsRadioInterviews.com has Jackson's comparative assessment between the NBA's current best and the Greatest Of All Time.

“He's got all the physical attributes. I think we all question the prepping that went into LeBron. His defense was shaky when he was a younger player and finding his way through that direction. He is a player that can play four positions. Except for perhaps the center spot, which he hasn't given a shot at yet, he can play those other four positions quite well. This is unique; Michael could play three and was very good at all three of those. But as a power player that LeBron can become, I think he has an opportunity to explore and advance some of the status that he has already gained.

"Winning six championships is an elusive thing out there, and they haven't won two yet. But he's kinda got the smell of it and even the Olympic experience this summer, he was the granted leader of that team and was the critical player when they needed something to happen in the final games. I think he's there. I think he's at that position. He's got good things ahead of him, and a lot of it depends upon if he's gonna be healthy for the remainder of his career.

“I have a hard time judging that best player, but I do think that Michael had more moves in the post and he had more of a, perhaps, shooting touch with his back to the basket and all these kind of things that were part of his game. LeBron has this train out of control when he gets the ball in transition that he can go coast to coast without anyone getting in his way. And if they do, he's going to over run them. And he's got the power with the body, and he's developed a left hand that's extremely good.

"There's a lot of things that you are seeing in the development of this player that leads towards that, but the ideal and the whole reason behind this is what kind of championships are you gonna get from a player like this? Can he match what Michael has done?”

P Harvy
10-08-2012, 06:00 PM
Are people going to bash Phil now like they bashed Barkely? Or are they going to realize that there is the possibility that LBJ could be better than Michael? Like he said he has a long way to go and staying healthy is the key but there's a chance.

Andrew32
10-08-2012, 06:02 PM
I am sick of how this new generation is brain washed into thinking players should be judged by Championships.

Championships are a team accomplishment and how many a player eventually gets is way more effected by his career circumstances, supporting casts and simple luck then by his own individual play.

Why is Hakeem in the Top 10?
Why is Russell not #1 on everyones GOAT list?
Why is Wilt on anyones Top 10 list?

Why is Havlichek not in everyones Top 10 list?
Why is Pippen outside the Top 20?

Chronz
10-08-2012, 06:08 PM
Slowly but surely JB is running out of heros who see this as a no contest comparison. Phil didnt say anything we shouldn't already know but Bron has too many haters to appreciate his talents.

P Harvy
10-08-2012, 06:17 PM
I am sick of how this new generation is brain washed into thinking players should be judged by Championships.

Championships are a team accomplishment and how many a player eventually gets is way more effected by his career circumstances, supporting casts and simple luck then by his own individual play.

Why is Hakeem in the Top 10?
Why is Russell not #1 on everyones GOAT list?
Why is Wilt on anyones Top 10 list?

Why is Havlichek not in everyones Top 10 list?
Why is Pippen outside the Top 20?

Things I will never understand my friend.

godolphins
10-08-2012, 06:18 PM
Slowly but surely JB is running out of heros who see this as a no contest comparison. Phil didnt say anything we shouldn't already know but Bron has too many haters to appreciate his talents.
Lebron never took an organization that never won anything to a title prior to him arriving :cool:

Ebbs
10-08-2012, 06:25 PM
Lebron never took an organization that never won anything to a title prior to him arriving :cool:

:laugh: there isn't one credible source who believes there is 0 chance LeBron reaches that level

naps
10-08-2012, 06:35 PM
Will be interesting to see how a specific player's fans react here since they couldn't sleep 24/7 when Barkley said the same thing.


Slowly but surely JB is running out of heros who see this as a no contest comparison. Phil didnt say anything we shouldn't already know but Bron has too many haters to appreciate his talents.

HCA says hi

Hawkeye15
10-08-2012, 06:41 PM
Slowly but surely JB is running out of heros who see this as a no contest comparison. Phil didnt say anything we shouldn't already know but Bron has too many haters to appreciate his talents.

So did Michael at Bron's stage. How many at that time said he was nothing but scoring flash, and would never surpass Bird, Magic, Kareem, Wilt, and others?

LeBron, if he stays healthy, can easily be a top 3 player to ever play. Where he lands specifically is up to him, and up to his health, as well as his teammates health.

Hawkeye15
10-08-2012, 06:42 PM
Lebron never took an organization that never won anything to a title prior to him arriving :cool:

haha. Literally the dumbest argument I have read from him. But whatever.

LAKERMANIA
10-08-2012, 06:42 PM
I don't understand what the problem is when people say Lebron has the ability/opportunity to be better than MJ.. It's possible..

Hawkeye15
10-08-2012, 06:45 PM
I don't understand what the problem is when people say Lebron has the ability/opportunity to be better than MJ.. It's possible..

well, you get an assortment of people who hate him. Kobephiles, those who think Jordan is just untouchable, those who hate LeBron and want anything but him becoming the greatest to ever play, etc. All of the greats have their enemies in the media and fanbases. Obviously in today's world, the media is so gigantic compared to the older days, its magnified, but it's always been the same.

stawka
10-08-2012, 07:17 PM
Slowly but surely JB is running out of heros who see this as a no contest comparison. Phil didnt say anything we shouldn't already know but Bron has too many haters to appreciate his talents.

HCA bruh!

KB-Pau-DH2012
10-08-2012, 07:28 PM
Will be interesting to see how a specific player's fans react here since they couldn't sleep 24/7 when Barkley said the same thing.


You may want to see who actually made this thread before you start generalizing and accusing and stirring up ****.

Once a troll, always a troll.

KB-Pau-DH2012
10-08-2012, 07:29 PM
HCA bruh!

llullz, you guys gang up on JB way too much. :laugh2:

lilchuckdoubles
10-08-2012, 07:33 PM
So did Michael at Bron's stage. How many at that time said he was nothing but scoring flash, and would never surpass Bird, Magic, Kareem, Wilt, and others?

LeBron, if he stays healthy, can easily be a top 3 player to ever play. Where he lands specifically is up to him, and up to his health, as well as his teammates health.

I think the heat front office will have to continue to do a good job surrounding him with talent too. How many more years does wade have of being a top ten player? To me not only does bron have to catch m.j's title count but his stats aren't as good as Jordans was either. I agree he has a chance to catch mike, i'm just not sure that he will.

Andrew32
10-08-2012, 07:33 PM
My view.

Lebron hasn't been nearly as good as guys like Shaq, Jordan, Kareem, Magic and a few others were over their first 6-7 years.

He's only accrued maybe 3-5 Super-Star level years where he didn't choke.
He needs 10-12 of those years before we can even start comparing him to Jordan, Shaq, Kareem, Magic or Russell.

And since his 10-12 years might not be on par with them (his first 7 haven't been) he may need an extra 2-3 before we can really start arguing him to be equal or above them.

So thats 5-7 more years + 3 so 8-10 more years of his current level of play without hardly any individual failures if he wants to be a GOAT candidate.

I think my math is correct.

KB-Pau-DH2012
10-08-2012, 07:36 PM
My view.

Lebron hasn't been nearly as good as guys like Shaq, Jordan, Kareem, Magic and a few others were over their first 6-7 years.

He's only accrued maybe 3-5 Super-Star level years where he didn't choke.
He needs 10-12 of those years before we can even start comparing him to Jordan, Shaq, Kareem, Magic or Russell.

And since his 10-12 years might not be on par with them (his first 7 haven't been) he may need an extra 2-3 before we can really start arguing him to be equal or above them.

So thats 5-7 more years + 3 so 8-10 more years of his current level of play without hardly any individual failures if he wants to be a GOAT candidate.

I think my math is correct.

But LBJ has a better PER than all of those guys, surely that sure merit an automatic spot in the GOAT debate over any of those guys.

Rndy
10-08-2012, 07:39 PM
Lebron could be better because it's a different game and easier for Offense. In MJ era his fta were absurd now it's just above average.

Andrew32
10-08-2012, 07:42 PM
But LBJ has a better PER than all of those guys, surely that sure merit an automatic spot in the GOAT debate over any of those guys.
No he doesn't! :speechless:


#1.
Jordan : Post Season - PER
Peak : 32
Top 5 : 30.16
Top 7 : 29.61

------------------------------------------------------------

#2.
Shaq : Post Season - PER
Peak : 31
Top 5 : 30
Top 7 : 29.56

------------------------------------------------------------

#4.
Duncan : Post Season - PER
Peak : 28.4
Top 5 : 26.96
Top 7 : 27.49

------------------------------------------------------------

#5.
Kareem : Post Season - PER
Peak : 32.4
Top 5 : 27.4
Top 7 : 26.64

------------------------------------------------------------

#6.
Lebron : Post Season - PER
Peak : 37.4
Top 5 : 27.58
Top 7 : 27.1

------------------------------------------------------------

#15.
Kobe : Post Season - PER
Peak : 26.8
Top 5 : 24
Top 7 : 23

------------------------------------------------------------

bbiq
10-08-2012, 07:56 PM
doesn`t matter that phil coached mike we all seen the greatest player ever to lace up a pair of sneakers its always someone who want to compare to him,but few ever measure up and to show every one how great he was and that it was all about him he took off from the game after a three peat and then came back and three peat so forget kobe forget lebron (different positions) i`m sure we will see lj do some incredible things ,but be real do you see all defensive player of the year in him ,if so how many, how about scoring champ,how about life time avg of 31ppg, and these accomplishments were done when the nba was a lot more physical,and as far as lj he had better always be able to jump over his opponets cause his jump shot is a non factor ,i`ve watched and i don`t see anything close to jordan

Greedy22
10-08-2012, 08:01 PM
Phil is right, Lebron has all the tools to become GOAT. The one thing i'm interested to see is how his game evolves as he ages and loses explosiveness.

joeystats
10-08-2012, 08:01 PM
He can be be better... can

--23--
10-08-2012, 09:31 PM
I am sick of how this new generation is brain washed into thinking players should be judged by Championships.

Championships are a team accomplishment and how many a player eventually gets is way more effected by his career circumstances, supporting casts and simple luck then by his own individual play.

Why is Hakeem in the Top 10?
Why is Russell not #1 on everyones GOAT list?
Why is Wilt on anyones Top 10 list?

Why is Havlichek not in everyones Top 10 list?
Why is Pippen outside the Top 20?


:clap: i couldn't have said it any better.

DODGERS&LAKERS
10-08-2012, 09:55 PM
Slowly but surely JB is running out of heros who see this as a no contest comparison. Phil didnt say anything we shouldn't already know but Bron has too many haters to appreciate his talents.

JB did NOT post that crap in your sig! You had to edit his words to make fun of him. At least I hope that's what happened

KB-Pau-DH2012
10-08-2012, 09:57 PM
JB did NOT post that crap in your sig! You had to edit his words to make fun of him. At least I hope that's what happened

Atleast JB never begged Paul Pierce to come to the Clippers and promise that he'd suck his dick. :laugh2:

DODGERS&LAKERS
10-08-2012, 09:58 PM
I hope he gets close because that means i could have watched two of the greatest ever to do it. But I hope he doesnt get another ring until three years from now.

JordansBulls
10-08-2012, 09:59 PM
I said this in the other thread


Time for me to stop hating on Lebron. But I think he may be Jordan #2 just not as good as the original but close enough.

As for the topic, I don't use just rings when rating which is why guys like Gretzky and Ruth are my GOAT's in Hockey and Baseball despite not having the most rings. I compare the whole package.

Jordan didn't need 11 rings because he was on a completely different level than Russell statistically (and also Russell won 25 series to get 11 rings, MJ had to win 24 series to just get 6 rings, so the situation was not comparable here.)

MJ didn't need to average 50 ppg like Wilt because he was on a completely different level than Wilt in terms of accolades/titles (at least 100% more of the important accolades/titles - MVP's/FMVP's/titles etc.).

Lebron, however, cannot possibly be on another level from Jordan statistically
(he may end up being as good (right now MJ is #1 all time in PER in the season and playoffs and #1 all time in WS/PER 48 minutes in the season and playoffs) if he keeps up current/similar production in the regular and postseasons for another 6-8 years; it would be a marginal difference, however, unlike Russell/MJ).
Lebron also cannot amass enough accolades/titles to put himself on another level from MJ (5 MVP's, 10-11 top 3 MVP finishes, 6 FMVP's, 6 titles, defensive recognition etc.), so he would have to differentiate himself some other way - namely, statistically - but as we've seen, he really can't do that either. So yeah, he does have to basically match or exceed Jordan in all of these areas (accolades/titles, production, defensive impact), since it's unlikely that he can do enough in one of those categories to completely shatter what Jordan did in that category so as to make his sum total case for GOAT stronger overall.

Few people really grasp the enormity of what Jordan accomplished.

So to me things if the debate ever got close, MJ going 24-0 in series with HCA and always winning as the man and not having anyone on his teams who won league or finals mvp and also taking a franchise that never won before prior to him arriving and turning it into a dynasty is what I would consider a tie breaker sort to speak.

Remember the HCA, Taking an organization that never won before, etc only matters if the players are close to the same level.
So Isiah Thomas doing it on the Pistons doesn't mean much when comparing him to Magic Johnson or Larry Bird, but in comparison to someone like Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, etc it does.

DODGERS&LAKERS
10-08-2012, 10:04 PM
Atleast JB never begged Paul Pierce to come to the Clippers and promise that he'd suck his dick. :laugh2:

Lol! When I first saw that I already knew it wasnt an actual quote. But then I saw Chronz tell him to remove it cause he never said it. I was relieved because I wouldn't think anyone would waste a good dick sucking on Paul Pierce.

jam
10-08-2012, 10:20 PM
I don't understand what the problem is when people say Lebron has the ability/opportunity to be better than MJ.. It's possible..

The problem is that Jackson didn't say he has the ability to be better than MJ. He only ASKS if LeBron can be better than MJ.

"...what kind of championships are you gonna get from (LeBron)? Can he match what Michael has done?”

The only statement that Jackson makes definitively at this point is that LeBron is reaching his prime.

But then again, since no one actually read the article before posting, we can say whatever we want.

tht_one_guy
10-09-2012, 12:43 AM
i hope lebron does surpass michael i got so much early Lebron memorabilia i could make a nice peice of change if Lebrons stuff got tht expensive heck i might even buy a Lebaron just so i can take out the A and say it was a car made after lebron

beliges
10-09-2012, 12:54 AM
I am sick of how this new generation is brain washed into thinking players should be judged by Championships.

Championships are a team accomplishment and how many a player eventually gets is way more effected by his career circumstances, supporting casts and simple luck then by his own individual play.

Why is Hakeem in the Top 10?
Why is Russell not #1 on everyones GOAT list?
Why is Wilt on anyones Top 10 list?

Why is Havlichek not in everyones Top 10 list?
Why is Pippen outside the Top 20?

Hakeem, Russel and Wilt all won MULTIPLE titles while dominating the league throughout their careers. Theres a reason why you never find a player with zero championships on anybody's top 10. In fact, everyone in every top 10 you ever see has MULTIPLE championships. Sorry, but championships are the ultimate goal in the sport of basketball, where just one single player can have a bigger impact on the outcome of the game than any other major North American sport. The true greats ALWAYS win championship. Its no coincidence.

naps
10-09-2012, 02:03 AM
You may want to see who actually made this thread before you start generalizing and accusing and stirring up ****.

Once a troll, always a troll.

LMFAO! Where in my post did I mention you Mr. kobephile? Stop being so sensitive. Grow some thick skin.

Chronz
10-09-2012, 02:22 AM
JB did NOT post that crap in your sig! You had to edit his words to make fun of him. At least I hope that's what happened

Its his "truth", dont you agree that the players are all comparable?

KB-Pau-DH2012
10-09-2012, 02:36 AM
LMFAO! Where in my post did I mention you Mr.kobephile? Stop being so sensitive. Grow some thick skin.

I can't, I have legitimate dermal issues.

naps
10-09-2012, 02:40 AM
I can't, I have legitimate dermal issues.

Then go and see a dermatologist.

KB-Pau-DH2012
10-09-2012, 02:43 AM
Then go and see a dermatologist.

Insurance doesn't cover it. :rimshot:

LAKERMANIA
10-09-2012, 02:50 AM
The problem is that Jackson didn't say he has the ability to be better than MJ. He only ASKS if LeBron can be better than MJ.

"...what kind of championships are you gonna get from (LeBron)? Can he match what Michael has done?”

The only statement that Jackson makes definitively at this point is that LeBron is reaching his prime.

But then again, since no one actually read the article before posting, we can say whatever we want.

What I said wasn't necessarily towards what Phil said, it was more to nba fans in general.

whitemamba33
10-09-2012, 02:52 AM
I'm confused...did I miss something?

Phil said Michael had more post moves and a better shooting touch, and more championships. He complimented LeBron's physical attributes and coast-to-coast scoring, but stopped short of saying any of those were superior to Michael.

Not sure where the huge pro-LeBron argument is at in the article, but I'm dissapointed that people still continue to compare him to MJ. Let it go.

Steelers23_06
10-09-2012, 03:00 AM
I'm confused...did I miss something?

Phil said Michael had more post moves and a better shooting touch, and more championships. He complimented LeBron's physical attributes and coast-to-coast scoring, but stopped short of saying any of those were superior to Michael.

Not sure where the huge pro-LeBron argument is at in the article, but I'm dissapointed that people still continue to compare him to MJ. Let it go.

noone is comparing. you cant they are completely different players. they arent saying they are alike at all they say he can challenge him for GOAT. can you compare MJ to Magic? no they are completely different players but jordan was the better player because he is the greatest.

whitemamba33
10-09-2012, 03:05 AM
noone is comparing. you cant they are completely different players. they arent saying they are alike at all they say he can challenge him for GOAT. can you compare MJ to Magic? no they are completely different players but jordan was the better player because he is the greatest.

Saying "Michael has more moves in the post" or "Michael has a better shooting touch", or "Michael has more championships"...that's a comparison.

naps
10-09-2012, 03:11 AM
Insurance doesn't cover it. :rimshot:

Come work for me. Can't hold on to the ball for too long though. The more you'll pass the ball the more I'll pay you ;)

Steelers23_06
10-09-2012, 03:15 AM
Saying "Michael has more moves in the post" or "Michael has a better shooting touch", or "Michael has more championships"...that's a comparison.

DUH! did u miss the session on school when they went over what a comparison is? well when you are saying the positives of when and matching them against the positives of another thats a comparison (just in case you didnt know;)) well idk about the school u went to but atleast where im from thats a comparison lol

TrueFan420
10-09-2012, 04:16 AM
Bron has the tools to be better and only time will tell. If everything lines up he could eventually be view as the goat. A lot of things have to go right tho. Also there is one thing that no other player will be ale to do that mj did... Be the first to transcend the sport and be an icon.

whitemamba33
10-09-2012, 10:32 AM
DUH! did u miss the session on school when they went over what a comparison is? well when you are saying the positives of when and matching them against the positives of another thats a comparison (just in case you didnt know;)) well idk about the school u went to but atleast where im from thats a comparison lol

...so I write a post explaining to you why it was a comparison, and your reply is "did you miss the session ON school whent he went over what a comparison is"?

For the record, you were the one who said that this is NOT a comparison, so I don't know where this is coming from.

ink
10-09-2012, 11:15 AM
...so I write a post explaining to you why it was a comparison, and your reply is "did you miss the session ON school whent he went over what a comparison is"?

For the record, you were the one who said that this is NOT a comparison, so I don't know where this is coming from.

You should compare his post where he said it WASN'T a comparison with the one where he explained it WAS a comparison. lol.

JordansBulls
10-09-2012, 11:29 AM
This thread has gone completely off topic. Not even about bball anymore.

ink
10-09-2012, 11:32 AM
This thread has gone completely off topic. Not even about bball anymore.

Agreed. And PJ's only real comment about how good Lebron could be was actually a question.

SirSkyHook
10-09-2012, 11:58 AM
I am sick of how this new generation is brain washed into thinking players should be judged by Championships.

Championships are a team accomplishment and how many a player eventually gets is way more effected by his career circumstances, supporting casts and simple luck then by his own individual play.

Why is Hakeem in the Top 10?
Why is Russell not #1 on everyones GOAT list?
Why is Wilt on anyones Top 10 list?

Why is Havlichek not in everyones Top 10 list?
Why is Pippen outside the Top 20?

New Generation!?!?!?!!? :speechless: Thats all that was every impotant was chsmpionships. mid 80's is when regular stats came into play when fans wanted to judge who was better between Magic and Bird and that went through the 90's, but championships were still the number one indicator.

New age is this advance stat crap. All of a sudden awards are worth nothing, championships the reason why players play are worth nothing because avance stats says. Thats what horrible. People dont judge the level of the competiton played against or anything. Its just advance stat says.

You say championships shows team success but without Magic the Lakers dont reach the Finals, same with MJ, Shaq, and same with Kobe's teams. Its this generations that is being raised up on discrediting greatness. You can have all the stats in the world but if you can't win the big prize you just werent good enough to get it done PERIOD!

oballers
10-09-2012, 12:10 PM
THERE IS NOTHING SIMILAR ABOUT LEBRON AND MICHAEL'S GAME!

I am tired of the comparisons. They don't compare. Different type of players playing different positions. The most telling comments Phil Jackson makes are these...

He is a player that can play four positions. Except for perhaps the center spot, which he hasn't given a shot at yet, he can play those other four positions quite well. This is unique; Michael could play three and was very good at all three of those.

I do think that Michael had more moves in the post and he had more of a, perhaps, shooting touch with his back to the basket and all these kind of things that were part of his game. LeBron has this train out of control when he gets the ball in transition that he can go coast to coast without anyone getting in his way. And if they do, he's going to over run them.

MJ is an SG that played 3 positions well but really SG well. Lebron is an SF that plays PG very well (not really an SG at all) and possibly could play C. Who does LeBron really remind us of???

The obvious answer is Magic Johnson he played between 6-9 255 (according to NBA.com) and 6-8 215 (basketball reference.com). Lebron is 6-8 240 - 249 depending on who you ask. They play the exact same positions well at similar sizes. Passing and court vision are their best attributes and the comparisons continue from there.

There are really only 2 significant differences to their games. Magic is a PG who could slot in at F. LeBron is an F that can slot in at PG.

Magic played with a bit more fluidity and grace. Lebron due to his suped up athleticism and size plays like a bull in a china shop or as PJ said a 'train out of control'.

LeBron certainly has the tools to be the G.O.A.T if not one of the greatest... but let's stop comparing him to Jordan it just doesn't make sense. Magic is the closest comparison.

blacknell
10-09-2012, 12:15 PM
I said this after in his 2nd season in the NBA that Lebron was going to the be the best player of all time when he retires. Jordan was my 2nd favorite player of all time behind Shawn kemp

Im_in_Mia_bish
10-09-2012, 04:14 PM
Agreed. And PJ's only real comment about how good Lebron could be was actually a question.

....

phil said he believes lebron is there, and asked the question whether lebron could match jordan's ring count.

thats the only reason why this topic was a big deal, he said lebron is THERE.

lol