The LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan GOAT debates are about to his a different stratosphere, folks. I get it, there's no sports right now and we need something to talk about. It's why I've had to deal with OBJ trade rumors for an entire week. But man, I really didn't think that the premiere of The Last Dance documentary was going to send the LeBron vs. Jordan debates to this level. The damn thing hasn't even aired yet and social media is a warzone. I knew the debates were coming, but holy, this is already on another level and will only gain steam as the series goes on.
The battle is diving into the details of competition and who had the better teams around them during the title runs. Jordan fans will always remind you that he never lost an NBA Finals series. Not once. LeBron fans will be quick to counter with his 2016 performance, when he knocked off the 72-win Golden State Warriors on the road after being down 3-1. You could go back and forth for hours, and because we have nothing else to do, it almost certainly will.
I'd estimate that a solid majority of NBA fans under the age of 30 have likely never seen Michael Jordan actually play. Like really play. They've seen the highlights. They've seen the clips. They've seen the shot vs. the Jazz. Or the game-winner against the Cavs, but they've never seen the MJ Bulls at this depth. They've never seen why so many people have him down as the greatest ever, even with what LeBron has done. Will this sway the way people think? It honestly might.
There's nothing that could compare to seeing something happen and grow in front of your eyes, but this documentary is going to add to the scope of MJ's greatness. It will certainly open eyes of younger fans to how tough the Bulls run actually was. Will that make people go from saying LeBron is the best ever to MJ? I don't know. I do know that it's going to add to MJ's career narrative immensely. A lot of eyes are going to be opened to stuff they've never seen before.
As someone who has watched LeBron play from high school all the way up to now, it's hard for me to not say he's the best ever. As a Cavs fan, I'm biased. He brought me the greatest joy ever in 2016. LeBron himself said that that title made him the greatest ever. Coincidentally, MJ reportedly finally put this documentary in motion as LeBron and the Cavs marched through Cleveland during their championship parade. LeBron is still three rings short of Michael. With five more NBA Finals series loses than MJ. It's not crazy to think LeBron could catch MJ in rings. It definitely hurts that this year's season is in jeopardy due to the Coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world. The Lakers looked like they could do it and bring Bron his fourth. That's some shitty luck.
What we're about to watch for the next five weeks is about to show a whole generation that everything wasn't easy for the Bulls, despite how breezy they made it look. That right there is what could sway an entire flock of people into MJ's corner. It's a fun debate and one that will never go away. It's about to get a whole lot crazier over the next month as America tunes into The Last Dance to see just how special Jordan and that Bulls team were.
And while the book isn't closed on LeBron's career and he looks far, far from done in the NBA, he's right there with us on the couch, to no fault of his own. In 2016, we saw LeBron reach for the ultimate title of greatest of all-time. He just knocked off one of the best teams ever. Few were arguing with his claim. Four years later, Michael Jordan is back to remind everyone exactly who he is. I, for one, hope we get to see LeBron's (on-court) response sooner rather than later.