Since 1998, when Michael Jordan won his sixth and final championship with the Chicago Bulls, every superstar that has come into the league has been compared to his greatness, especially those that played on the wing. Jordan’s individual production combined with team success in the form of rings makes him the greatest of all time for most basketball fans — with some exceptions.
Kobe Bryant was the first heir apparent to His Airness that was worthy of earnest comparison. However, there are few non-Lakers fans that would dare say Bryant was a better player than Jordan. When it comes to LeBron James, there are more objective observers (as much as anyone that watches sports can be) that are willing to entertain the idea that James has reached the level of Jordan with the chance to surpass him as the greatest.
James’ longevity as an MVP caliber player and absurd individual numbers — you have to go back to his rookie season 13 years ago for the last time he didn’t average 25 points, six rebounds, and six assists in a season and even then he averaged 20.9/5.5/5.9 — make him one of the greatest individual players ever already. The main argument against James is the rings argument, in which Jordan has six and James has three (and potentially counting), but Jeff Van Gundy told ESPN’s Zach Lowe on the Lowe Post Podcast that it’s time to accept that, whether LeBron wins any more titles or not, there is a legitimate argument for him being close to Jordan.