With 38 points against the Thunder on February 7th, LeBron James added another notch to his claim of being the best NBA player of all time, as he is now the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
The moment LeBron James became the all-time highest NBA scorer, a record of 38,387pts set by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1989 that few thought would ever be broken. Incredible achievement by an incredible athlete.
Congrats @KingJames pic.twitter.com/XNS5wFXB8r
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 8, 2023
Going into the game, LeBron needed 36 points to break Kareem’s record of 38,387 points, and with a fadeaway late into the third quarter, Lebron crowned himself the new scoring king.
Lebron James breaks the NBA’s all time scoring record pic.twitter.com/zkrd8ONUPU
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 8, 2023
This sent social media into a frenzy, as LeBron’s accomplishment quickly became the number one trending subject in the world that night. There was obviously a ton of media coverage surrounding LeBron breaking the record. Many sports media outlets and talk shows such as ESPN had trackers that you could follow along, with as they counted down the points LeBron needed to break the record.
LeBron James: “A lot of people wanted me to go to the sky hook to break the record or one of my signature dunks. But my fadeaway is the signature play as well.”
-LeBron James on his record-breaking shotpic.twitter.com/eTkJ6wyi4S
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) February 8, 2023
But as you can expect, LeBron breaking the record was only the tip of the media coverage iceberg, because literally moments after breaking the record, the debates started. Is LeBron the greatest of all time? Has this cemented LeBrons legacy? Who’s the GOAT LeBron or Jordan?
Lebron James holding the scoring title cements him as the “greatest” ever.
Jordan can be the best. There’s a difference. pic.twitter.com/slHI3koGer
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) February 8, 2023
When you look at it, it’s a very interesting and complex debate. With time, the NBA has changed and the game has evolved so much since Jordan played. LeBron is playing in a much different NBA. To credit the constant evolution of the NBA even for LeBron, the NBA he played in for the first part of his career isn’t the same NBA he’s played in during the past eight to nine seasons.
Lebron James is one of the GREATEST OFFENSIVE WEAPONS basketball as ever seen. His evolution as a scorer over 20 years is INCREDIBLE. As his mid range and 3 point game improved, his ability to finish ABOVE THE RIM remained. Congrats to the ALL TIME LEADING SCORER IN NBA HISTORY.
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) February 8, 2023
As time has gone on, the game has gotten less physical and more up-tempo. The league is no longer dominated by the traditional back-to-the-basket big man and has switched to spacing the floor and three-point shooting.
This is overlooked when talking about the evolution of the game. Coaching has come a LONG ways in the nba. Just allowing your best player to have the ball in their hands more seems like a simple concept, but it wasn’t implemented until recently. https://t.co/3UgnyjWAu1
— Christian Weaver (@Cweaver1037) February 12, 2023
So back to the debate that pits one generation against the other Jordan vs. LeBron, let’s see if I can get a clear-cut answer. It’s very hard to separate the two players statistically. They are neck and neck and not far apart from each other in almost every per-game stat. LeBron’s career per-game stat line comes out to 27.2 points, 7.3 assists, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 0.8 blocks. While Jordan’s career per game stat line is very similar with 30.1 points, 5.3 assists, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 steals, and 0.8 blocks.
🐐 GOAT vs. GOAT 🐐
We pit LeBron James against Michael Jordan at pretty much everything. pic.twitter.com/Cj0ICLsFfE
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) February 8, 2023
So with both players being nearly identical in terms of stats, let’s look at individual awards. Jordan has five regular season MVPs to LeBron’s four. Jordan also has six NBA Finals MVPs to Lebron’s four. Jordan has ten regular season scoring titles to Lebron’s one. Lastly, Jordan has nine All-Defensive First Team selections to LeBron’s five. LeBron on the other hand edges out Jordan in both All-NBA First Team selections with thirteen to Jordan’s ten, and LeBron also edges out Jordan in All-Star game selections with nineteen to Jordan’s fourteen. So out of the awards that I have in consideration for this comparison, Jordan clearly edges out LeBron in this category.
It’s laughable that you said James is the GOAT when he has a losing record in the greatest game of the sport. The points record was broken on a night the Lakers lose. Sad.
Jordan is the GOAT and ALWAYS will be the GOAT. 6-0 finals record vs Lebron 4-6. There’s no debate. pic.twitter.com/7TVcRvNaWJ
— MC (@corvette72778) February 8, 2023
Now for the final showdown… championships. I’ll keep this comparison short and sweet for you. Jordan has a clear edge in championships. Jordan is 6-0 in the finals with two separate three-peats. While LeBron on the other hand is 4-6 in the NBA Finals, and might I add he also played on better teams than the squads that Jordan won his championships on.
The great debate ! Jordan Vs Lebron! pic.twitter.com/lXBafupDDV
— Mosin Pictures (@MosinPictures) February 10, 2023
So to wrap this up let’s not get this twisted. By no means am I saying that LeBron isn’t a great player. He most definitely is. To me, he’s not a top-five NBA player of all time, but rather a top two… behind Jordan of course.
This is exactly how Lebron vs Jordan GOAT debate be 💯💀 pic.twitter.com/jYPrDUk3RL
— Devin. (@DevDock) February 16, 2023