If you’re sick and tired of the ongoing debate about who the greatest basketball player ever is – LeBron James or Michael Jordan – you might want to avoid the internet for a week if the Cavs win Game 4 tonight. No team has ever come from down 3-1 in the Finals to win a title.
But for those who actually enjoy the discussion, here’s more fuel for the LeBron-is-the-GOAT crowd: In the last 30 years, nobody who has played in the NBA Finals has been responsible for more of his team’s points than LeBron has against the Warriors.
With his top wingmen Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love injured, LeBron has to do everything himself, and he’s accounted for an astonishing 66% of the Cavs points through the first three games of the series.
Next on the list – actually spots #2 and #3 – is Michael Jordan (vs the Lakers in 1991 and then vs the Jazz in 1997), at 56% and 55%, respectively. There’s no way LeBron can keep up this historic pace … right?
Rounding out the top 5: Magic Johnson (vs Detroit in 1988, 54%) and Jordan (vs. Phoenix in 1993, 52%).
So let’s see … LeBron’s had weaker supporting casts than Jordan … and LeBron has faced tougher opposition in the Finals than Jordan … and in these Finals, LeBron’s been more responsible for his team’s scoring in the Finals than Jordan ever was.
And at the age of 30, he’s got more MVPs (4-3) than Jordan, and is on the cusp of tying Jordan for three titles and three NBA Finals MVPs at the same age. (Yes, Jordan went to college; LeBron did not.)
Regardless of what happens in this series, I’ve got LeBron ahead of Jordan at the age of 30. I think LeBron’s got far too much wear on his tires to continue this level of play for 5-6 more years … but then again, why doubt LeBron? [Graphic via WSJ]