HoopsHype has sort of been the bible of pro basketball since its inception in about 2000, so that makes its list of the top 77 players in NBA history worth noting.
This, of course, is an argument no one will win. They played in different eras and will never square off in a game.
Few have dominated the NBA like Jordan, who scored with a killer instinct and was considered one the best defenders of his day. He rarely missed a game too — unless it was the result of a serious injury. And sometimes, even that didn’t hold him back. (Who can forget how he scored 63 vs. the Celtics in a 1986 series that the Bulls didn’t even want him to play because of a foot injury?)
“Jordan’s mid-range game — face-ups, jab-steps, pull-ups, turnarounds, fadeaway, all of it — was second to none, and he was also a freakish athlete who could finish through contact and over length,” the website wrote. “And then there was the aspect of his clutchness, as Jordan was so often successful in nailing game-winners in the most high-pressure situations imaginable. Oh, and he was a top-tier defender, too.”
As for James, well, he’s definitely a more accomplished passer and rebounder than Jordan. He was also an excellent defender in his prime — though not quite at the level of MJ.
Unlike Jordan, James has bounced around, winning four titles with three different teams. Jordan’s six all came with the Bulls.
Not that that really matters. James deserves credit for more or less spearheading superstars switching teams and creating the best possible situations by not being afraid to exercise their rights in free agency. Some people don’t like that idea, but the bottom line is, that both James and Jordan deserve applause for being more than just great players. They’re basketball trendsetters.
“James came into the NBA with unreal expectations and somehow managed to surpass all of them — and then some,” HoopsHype wrote. “James is clutch, he can score at a ridiculous level, rebounds well and is a fantastic playmaker, his most impressive trait. Few players have ever matched James’ absurd basketball IQ, one that he could use to continue to dominate for the next few seasons as his career winds down.”
Michael Jordan? LeBron James? HoopsHype made its pick. Now, what about yours?
The top 10 shaped up like this:
- Michael Jordan
- LeBron James
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- Magic Johnson
- Bill Russell
- Wilt Chamberlain
- Larry Bird
- Kobe Bryant
- Shaquille O’Neal
- Tim Duncan