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Is LeBron James a better athlete than Michael Jordan?

  • Lebron is a better ATHLETE.

    While Michael Jordan is the best to ever play the game, you have to compare Jordan in his prime and Lebron in his prime, Lebron's post game is phenominal, Jordan could work in the post just not like Lebron and he is only 28, and still has time left. Lebron could score at will. Jordan could score, just not at will.

  • 250+ man with a 44 inch vertical jump.

    Like others have said, including Charles Barkley numerous times, Lebron James is a bigger and faster version of Michael Jordan. Although his finesse is not as refined, the raw athletic ability of Lebron is far greater than that of MJ. At this point Lebron is probably around 265 lbs considering his rookie weight was listed as 249, and the fact that he can accelerate so fast and jump so high is simply amazing. He may not be a better basketball player yet, but he is a greater athlete.

  • TEAM Sport People!

    Because basketball is a team sport, Michael's success even with the Bulls dynasty cannot be compared to the success Lebron had with the Cavs. Michael had the best #2/co-star ever in Pippen, as well as a few of the better shooters of his era and some great hustle players and rebounders like Rodman, probably the best hustle player/rebounder ever, and Grant. Not to mention, Phil Jackson coaching his teams and putting MJ in situations to win. Lebron still hasn't played with a coach and team that properly utilizes him.

  • Lebron is a point-power-foward

    Lebron james has the ability to defend all positions with ease and can certainly play all positions. Lebron james is a better athlete than jordan because he has speed size and strength all on his side while most players only has two lebron james has all three. Jordan was a better player but there is no way he compares to a 6'8 250 pound freight train.

  • He is a strong forward with many talents.

    You can call LeBron the man of the hour. He is amazing and has many talents, whether it may be under the rim or on the arc. In his forward position, he is a strong attacker with a good shot. LeBron is obviously an all-around player and one of the best current NBA stars.

  • Yes, Lebron James is a better athlete than Michael Jordan regardless of the number of rings he wins.

    Lebron James is bigger, faster, and stronger than Michael Jordan. Lebron James can guard a point guard such as Chris Paul while switching over to defend a seven-foot center such as Deondre Jordan. Michael Jordan revolutionized the game but he was skinny and would lose in a one-on-one game with James. Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman while Lebron took a Cavaliers team to the finals with absolutely nobody.

  • Look at Him

    IF you meet LeBron James, he will be one of the tallest guys you have ever seen, one of the fastest guys you've ever seen as he and chris paul run at about the same speed, and he is 260 pounds and absolutely shredded, there's a reason that LeBron has not showed any sign of slowing down in his career and Jordan only played 16 years as I think that LeBron will play 20 years maybe more

  • He is just better

    LeBron is faster,taller and just bigger not even considering that Lebron is completely muscle. Unlike MJ ,Lebron had competition that Michael ever had.Also MJ had all the great playerstate on his team not taking anything away from Kure Irving,Kevin Love,Dwayne Wade,or Chris Bosh,but you have to consider that MJ had players Pippin and Rodman who could do it all and a roster of all stars and that is why Lebron is better than MJ

  • He is just better

    LeBron is faster,taller and just bigger not even considering that Lebron is completely muscle. Unlike MJ ,Lebron had competition that Michael ever had.Also MJ had all the great playerstate on his team not taking anything away from Kure Irving,Kevin Love,Dwayne Wade,or Chris Bosh,but you have to consider that MJ had players Pippin and Rodman who could do it all and a roster of all stars and that is why Lebron is better than MJ

  • He is just better

    LeBron is faster,taller and just bigger not even considering that Lebron is completely muscle. Unlike MJ ,Lebron had competition that Michael ever had.Also MJ had all the great playerstate on his team not taking anything away from Kure Irving,Kevin Love,Dwayne Wade,or Chris Bosh,but you have to consider that MJ had players Pippin and Rodman who could do it all and a roster of all stars and that is why Lebron is better than MJ

  • Higher vertical, faster

    Michael has a higher verified vertical than Lebron. He had a faster forty yard dash, quicker reflexes, based on his steal and tip numbers. He had better hand eyes coordination evidenced by his outside shot and dribble control. Mike also had better balance as you can see in his cuts and body control. Lebron is a great athlete, but Mike was greater.

  • The stupidity of the remarks from the yes side

    Lebron James is big, so what. Mj is more of a fantastic athlete, he was a 1992 Dream Team star, and I'm not even sure Lebron would of even been picked for the dream team if he was in the 90s. Lebron's size doesn't compare to Michael's ability. Lebron would be "average" in the 90s. Lebron may have some defense on him, however, Jordan could perhaps easily dunk on James. And perhaps Jordan could block Lebron as well. The thing I don't get is : Jordan didn't even play for a good team, so he stayed with the bulls and won 6 championships. However, Lebron did the opposite, he got drafted to a bad team, and his best idea was to go to someone who was good so he could win a ring, which took him 6 years to do. Sure, Lebron is a good all around player, infact I think Jordan has a great all around ability as well, 37.1 ppg and UNSTOPPABLE is how I describe Jordan. Lebron is no Jordan, I think James is just of a good era. Lebron may be kind of fast, however, I saw him run a 40 yard NFL style dash, it was 4.90 and that is what I call a high school run. If you want to know who the greater guy is, it's the one with the true heart of a champion, and for the record that's not Lebron, champions don't need carried out for a freaking LEG CRAMP, nor do they dissapear in the 2011 NBA FINALS 4th QUARTER. And a champion doesn't need a trade to win. For all I know, it's not Lebron's finals trophy. It's all Wade, Anderson, Miller, Bosh, James, Spoelstra, and all those others who participateds trophy. Miami heat win, not James.

  • My two cents ( reposing from my response to the 'yes' side)

    People need to look beyond the physical appearance to determine what strength really is, especially when it comes to basketball. The strength of ankles, hands, knees and the rest of the core body strength have always been ignored in this type of debate. Muscle is the most deceptive thing about strength..Lebron's style of play suggests that he is not even close in that department when you consider all these as strength.
    Lebron doesn't have the quick first step, lebron doesnt have the palm strength to allow him to get ahead in off the ball first step, let alone all these crazy english that jordan had with his strong hand. Lebron doesn't have that ability( agility) to move around traffic with his dribble ( there is too part of dribbling, the handling with the hand and the ability to move around left and right with both feet in a synchronized fashion with the upper body). Lebron doesn't have that quick jumping ability that jordan had (this and the previous reason are why jordan had a lot more facial dunks through traffic than lebron). Jordan big hand is also a plus for layup and quick dunk that lebron can only dream about.

    Jordan also read and react to defense a A LOT quicker than lebron, which makes him almost impossible to guard. That instinct didn't go away too much when he was playing for wizards. Lebron of 2014 is still making a lot of excessive dribbles to allow defenders to clog up onto him.

    The only thing that lebron constantly show that i would say is above jordan is his maximum height when he is jumping with a running start. I have seen lebron jumping above the rim numerous times for a dunk or rebound. While it is definitely an intimidating ability in a fast break situation, it doesn't not make lebron a better rebounder, consider the key of rebounding is timing. When you factor in the fast jumping ablity that jordan had with his timing and large hands it is hard to say lebron would beat jordan in that department.

    There is only a few times i have seen jordan's head being very close to the rim, but the quality of the videos were too rough to determine whether he actually put his head above it or not.

    All these i wrote above are just merely the more subtle physical difference between the two.

  • Body control decides it

    LeBron is an absolute freak athlete, but I give the edge to MJ based on body control. This is huge in basketball, where change of direction can determine whether you get a step on your opponent. I think Lebron would be considered the better athlete in a more power based, straight line sport like football. With only 94 ft to operate quickness and body control often become deciding factors over strength and straight-line speed (and frankly, I'm not sure LeBron has the edge in basket to basket speed either).

  • Are you kidding me

    Is this even a question? Lebron james has nothing on michael jordan. His ego is bigger than his ability. Michael jordan is going to remain king of the court. I know this is a huge debate, but for all of those in favor of lebron james.... He still has a really long way to go

  • The edge goes to Jordan.

    Body control is where Jordan has the edge. The superior dexterity and fluid movement of Jordan are noticeable. Jordan's ability to change direction, adapt in the air, and create shots one on one are what separate him.

    Lebron is an elite athlete for his size, but his size is a significant reason why he dominates the game. Guys that are quick enough to guard him usually give up height/weight, which allows him to shoot over them or post them up. Conversely, guys that are big enough, usually give up too much lateral quickness so he is able to drive around them. Jordan didn't have that kind of height/weight advantage against his opponents, and simply had to be quicker and more dynamic. This is why Jordan gets the edge.

  • Michael Jordan matches up with Lebron

    First and foremost Michael Jordan is one of the best defenders in NBA history. He had a 48 inch vertical, the second highest after Wilt Chamberlain. Michael Jordan is definitely quicker than Lebron at 6'6", 220 lbs. His first step is impeccable, with his agility and body control that he had. At 6'6" 220 he was pretty strong for his frame which makes him a better athlete for the array of attributes he had. And even at the age of twenty he can still dunk and Michael Kid Gilchrist in a one on one.

  • Close but slight edge Jordan and here is why

    1) Speed = the same or very close to one another
    2) Quickness = Jordan. He clearly has a better first step than Lebron,
    3) Strength = Lebron. 250, 260 all muscle...Not much more to be said.
    4) Jumping ability = same. Lebron seems to get as high as Jordan (maybe higher off one foot) but Jordan could jump better off two. Do not forget Jordans dunks from the free throw lineeither. Hang time JOrdan
    5) Body control = Jordan contorts his body in the air better than Lebron.

    Quickness also trumps speed in basketball.

  • Close, but no cigar, how quickly we forget

    LeBron is an incredible athlete, stronger than Jordan, but Jordan is quicker, more agile, and has slightly better leaping ability. Watching Jordan's highlights from the 80's are amazing. He also used to block people from on fast breaks from behind routinely. Lebron's athleticism is slightly overrate just because of his size. People are amazed someone his size can be that athletic, but size isn't an aspect of athleticism. A lot of Jordan's success is of course attributable to his maniacal desire, but let's be clear: desire is not enough, Jordan used to embarrass the league with his athleticism, had practically no body fat, and had hands down the most incredible in-the-air agility of anyone who has ever played in NBA.

  • Not a chance

    LeBron has advantage in strength, but Jordan was considered one of the strongest for someone his size too. So it's more a byproduct of the difference in their size. LeBron might be as fast as Jordan, but Jordan was much more mobile and his quickness is a level or two above LeBron's. Another point, Kobe destroyed LeBron in one-on-one situation (to be fair, LeBron's team won most of those games), and Kobe is nowhere near Jordan's level in term of athletic gifts. I think of LeBron not so much as the bigger stronger Jordan (as Barkley once said), but more like smaller less powerful Shaq. I don't think it's a slight to LeBron, Shaq was a specimen himself and could move with more grace than a body that size should be able to move. Shaq and Lebron are/were freaks of nature but by no means they are the most athletic. In term of raw power and speed, they are unequal, but sometime quickness and body coordination count as much if not more. Just as Wilt was considered a better athlete than Shaq - Jordan is/was a better athlete than LeBron.


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