Michael Jordan is touted as one of the best players, if not the best, in NBA history. After playing a few years in North Carolina, where his Tar Heels were victorious over Patrick Ewing’s Georgetwon Hoyas in the NCAA Tournament Final Game, Jordan decided to make the jump into the NBA – the operative word being jump. During his first few years, as other young players struggled, Jordan quickly proved he was a force to be reckoned with. With his insane athleticism and poised demeanor under pressure, he built a name for himself – Superman
Fast forward 20 years to the present. Now, it is Lebron’s turn. Instead of playing college ball, Lebron James went straight from high school into the NBA. However, for the past 4 years, he has electrified every basketball fan, on every stage, in every city. He is the complete package. He can shoot, he can get to the basket, he can pass and he can play defense. In short, he can flat out play.
But, you may be asking yourself, ‘Can Lebron really be compared to Michael Jordan just because he is also a good player?’
The answer is yes. The following is a list of similarities between the two that should convince you why.
(1) They both are number 23. Now, this may a simple coincidence, but honestly, it’s very interesting that the player with the most skill and future potential who has entered the league since Jordan’s departure just happens to wear the same number.
(2) They both have been given names that connote having abilities which place them on a higher plateau than the rest of the field. Michael Jordan was named Superman, Lebron, King James. Now, why has only Lebron been bestowed with such a title? Other good players such as Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Tim Duncan have entered the league, torching the competition. But they lack the esteem that has been given to Lebron James. Makes you wonder a little.
(3) Both Lebron James and Michael Jordan have the uncanny ability to take over a game at will. Much like Jordan did during the 90’s, Lebron scored 29 out the last 30 Cavaliers’ points against one of the stingiests defenses in the league. There is no way that can be a fluke. Aside from that, Lebron James and Michael Jordan also make the players around them better. Unlike some of the other premier players in the league (ahem, Kobe Bryant, ahem), when players play with Lebron, for some reason or other, they have career years. You may be thinking that Steve Nash also does this so he is like Jordan. While it is true that Nash makes everyone around him better, he cannot take over the game with consistence like Lebron and Jordan. Lebron is the only player in the game right now who can be a ball hog and play maker on the same night, day in and day out.
(4) Lastly, do you remember Jordan’s ascent into the NBA’s top eschelon? He made the playoffs early in his career, but it took him awhile to actually win the championship. Similarly, Lebron has led his team to the playoffs almost every year of his career, only to be thwarted by opposition. And who has that opposition been year after year? The Pistons. Wait, who did Jordan have trouble with early in his playoff career? Oh, yeah, the Pistons. And who did Jordan and Lebron finally beat to get to the championship? The Pistons. Pretty similar, don’t you think?
Now, does this mean that Lebron James is going to mirror Jordan’s career and become one of the best players in history? Maybe, maybe not. But their early careers are so similar that I would not be surprised if Lebron does, in fact, go on to do great things like Jordan.
Nishan Wilde is the VP of Sales at Robbins Sports and Athletics, an online provider of Basketball Uniforms and Gym Bags
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