The LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate has been beat to death. Resurrected and is currently being battered to a bloody pulp once more. After every quarter or every game, some inexperienced pundit is on social media discussing why a said stat makes LeBron better or worse than MJ. It’s exhausting. Extremely exhausting.
What’s even more exhausting is the lengths that ESPN goes to try to prove how great he is. I am not a LeBron hater at all. I’m not a huge fan either. My disdain comes from the insistence of the LeBron-nites to champion every single thing he does to the point that any time a fact is stated that appears to remotely detract from his untouchable throne, they get in an uproar.
You have your undeniable LBJ fan boys that are paid to talk about sports in the media. I won’t name specific names, but I will say this: y’all gotta chill. I mean, it’s just too much. The reach for LeBron stats is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
Throughout these playoffs, we have been given more alleged “stats” to prove LeBron’s worth than I have ever seen. Look at some of these:
A LeBron James team has now swept an opponent in 6 straight postseasons
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 8, 2018
Why not just say the Cavs? Why separate LeBron and teammates of LeBron?
LeBron James has led Cleveland outright—that is, no players tied—in both points and assists in each of his last nine playoff games, starting with the last game of the 2017 NBA Finals. The record is 10 straight by Oscar Robertson.#Cavs at #Raptors
6 pm ET on @ESPN
— Elias Sports Bureau (@EliasSports) May 3, 2018
Ok? This would be surprising had this not been LeBron James on a team that has no true starting point guard on the roster.
LeBron James averages 31.6 PPG in the game following an overtime playoff game.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2018
They had to dig for this stat.
LeBron James made 7 fadeaway jumpers in Game 2.
That is tied for the most by any player in a playoff game since the data became available in 2001-02.
Klay Thompson had 7 in 2015 per NBA Advanced Stats. pic.twitter.com/c1a1fxNApO
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 4, 2018
This one takes the cake. Come on, man. That’s not a real stat at all. And what constitutes a fadeaway?
This is just a small glimpse into the rabbit hole of LeBron James “stats” that are used to try to validate his greatness. The thing is, it’s not necessary. It is common knowledge that LeBron is – and has been – one of the greatest players ever. Some may argue that he is THE greatest. For me, that’s to be debated. However, LBJ fans like to point to the fact that he took a bad team to the Finals back in 2007 as the determining factor in making him number one on the G.O.A.T list.
The constant stretches to compliment on the part of talking heads and sports networks has been alarming. It’s blatant promoting and forces us to choose a side. I don’t hate LeBron at all. I happen to think Michael Jordan is the greatest player to ever touch a court, and these flimsy pseudo-stats don’t help.
What I’m saying is enjoy LeBron for who and what he is. Take advantage of being able to see the career of an all-time great. I know it is the job of the ESPN Stats & Info and Elias Sports Bureaus of the Twitter Universe to give us stats. Let’s just make sure they are actual stats. LeBron is not some embattled guy that needs reassurance. He said he was the best player on the planet years ago. That should be good enough.