MJ vs LJ: 4 Reasons LeBron James’ Brand is Now Beyond Comparison

Stats alone should put comparison talk to rest

LeBron James of the Miami Heat (Image: File)

Wednesday, Miami Heat’s star player LeBron James tweeted “I’m not MJ, I’m LJ” in response to sports critics comparing his career to the great Michael Jordan. Early in his career, James rocked the same No. 23 jersey, and later decided to change to No. 6, but it’s clear that the comparison continues to follow him. Below we’ve rounded up four good reasons James’ NBA brand surely has its own lane and why the comparison talk may be getting a bit old.

1. LeBron entered the NBA right after high school. Entering the professional league straight out of high school provides a far different career experience for players who entered the league after college. At age of 28, LeBron already has ten years in the league under his belt versus Jordan who didn’t enter the league until he was 21.

2. LeBron already has over 20,000 career points. In a January 2013 game against Golden State Warriors, James became the youngest player in NBA history to score over 20,000 points. The previous youngest was Kobe Bryant, who at 29-years-old was a year older than LeBron when he broke the record.

3. LeBron’s shot at least 60% from the field in 6 straight games: Breaking another record against the Portland Trail Blazers on Feb. 12, James is the first player in NBA history to shoot at least 60 percent from the field and score at least 30 points in 6 straight games tweets the NBA.

4. LeBron’s appeared on the cover of Vogue. If you snag a cover on the fashion Bible, then it’s safe to say you have been accepted into the fashion world. In a 2008 controversial cover with model Gisele Bundchen, LeBron became the first African-American male to ever grace the cover of America’s biggest fashion magazine.

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  • Joe

    Seriously? This is a crap article for this debate.

    1) MJ competed in college and also won the NCAA Championship and was POTY (2 things LeBron will never be able to have to compare). While LeBron was busy getting swept by the Spurs straight out of high school, MJ was hitting the game winning shot with 15 seconds left to win the National Championship

    2) While he may have been the youngest player, it took him more games than others to get 20,000 points. (http://www.nba.com/2013/news/01/15/lebron-approaching-20000-points.ap/index.html) Oh, and Jordan scored over 3,000 points in a single season…coming off of a broken foot the year before. Jordan also averaged 41 points per game in the ’93 finals.

    3) This is your one valid argument, and even then, I point to the fact that MJ still had an overall better career FG% than LBJ in his first 10 years in the league (51.1% compared to LBJ’s 48.8%) as well as over his entire career.

    4) Who the heck cares if LBJ was on a fashion magazine? We are talking about basketball. Not fashion. Appearing on the cover of Vogue? Ooooooo yippee-freaking-do. That shows absolutely nothing when it comes to how the guy plays. If your article is going to be about stats putting the debate to rest then use stats that matter.

    (Side note on LeBron being #6 now instead of #23…..Miami retired Jordan’s #23 thus making it not an option for LBJ to pick and partially showing the impact of the greatness of Jordan…a team that he never played for retired his number)