As the legacy of LeBron James grows, it’s become an increasingly popular statement to say he’s surpassed Michael Jordan as the greatest player in NBA history.
James certainly has an absurd number of accolades and incredible statistics to back his case, but it’s nearly impossible to say which of the two has a greater legacy.
This debate reached one of its many high points during the 2018-19 NBA season when James passed Jordan for fourth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Jordan had always been known for his prolific scoring abilities, and James passing him on the scoring list was plenty of ammunition for those who believe the latter is the greatest of all time.
Jordan, however, has no interest in trying to compare himself and James. Not only is this due to the different eras argument, but also because he doesn’t want to do a ‘stand-up measurement,’ via SportsCenter:
Michael Jordan weighs in on the debate. pic.twitter.com/ZiKkeAoCmU
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 24, 2020
While it may seem like Jordan doesn’t want to speak too highly of James, it’s important to remember this likely isn’t a sign of disrespect. Jordan is the Charlotte Hornets owner, and saying things about James and his legacy can technically be considered a tampering violation. This means he’s probably trying to be careful about what he says.
Jordan and James have always shown mutual respect for one another as the NBA is great about having former players support current players and vice versa.
Jordan likely knows James might be the person to dethrone him as the greatest player of all time and also knows it really has no effect on the legacy he built himself.