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St.

John Fisher School


Bacoor City, Cavite

Dialectic Method

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements


in English 10

Joshua Viar L. Dilema


Oct 1, 2019
Thesis
LeBron's Statistical Advantage

While Jordan might be considered a better scorer with a more accomplished career in terms of NBA
Championships, LeBron is the best all-around player, and their individual statistics only reinforce this notion.
Michael has the advantage in NBA Championships, league MVPs, points per game and free-throw percentage.
LeBron on the other hand beats Michael in All-NBA First-Team selections and per-game statistics for rebounds,
assists, blocks and overall field goal percentage. Not to mention LeBron James is the only player in NBA history
with 30,000 points, 8,000 assists and 8,000 rebounds.

LeBron's efficiency and dominance cannot be swept under the rug. His "bully ball" style on offense
proves to be unstoppable, and he has continued to be a force to be reckoned with on defense; just ask Andre
Iguodala and Terry Rozier, who have been on the receiving end of his trademark chase-down blocks. LeBron’s
ability to not only play but dominate all five positions is reminiscent of the great Magic Johnson. The case can be
made that even though
Jordan

averaged more points than LeBron, LeBron was a more efficient scorer in that he averaged only 2.9 fewer points on
3.3
fewer shot attempts. That is 6 to 9 points that LeBron relinquishes by not taking those shots.

Their Teams’ Performance Following Their Departure

When Michael Jordan decided to hang up his sneakers (for the first time) in exchange for professional baseball in
1994, nobody would have predicted the Bulls would have similar success. MJ was considered to be the athlete who
set a new standard of excellence and perfection in his craft. On paper, the void that his absence had created would be
a tough hurdle to overcome. The truth was quite the contrary, as the Jordan-less Bulls of 1993-94 went on to
produce a 55-27 season, just two wins short of the previous season, when MJ was a part of the team.

Jordan’s More Physical but Diluted Era

While it is hotly debated that the NBA and game officials allowed for a more physical style of play when Jordan was
playing, athletes nowadays are larger, faster and stronger than their predecessors. Nutrition has advanced, and James
was recently on record saying he spends more than $1.5 million annually on his 6-9, 260-pound body — his most
valuable asset.

The other factor that is commonly overlooked is the fact that Jordan was a beneficiary of the NBA’s expansion
teams — twice. From 1988 to 1989, the NBA added four teams (Heat, Hornets, Timberwolves, Magic) to the
league, but where would they get their world-class players from overnight? In order to fulfill the need for these
rosters, the NBA more or less made the impulse decision to load the new teams up with who they thought were the
best available players. This essentially diluted the talent pool, primarily in MJ’s conference (three of the teams were
from the East), whom he would play a majority of his games against, throughout the season and postseason.

Following their era of dominance in the '80s, the Lakers and the Celtics naturally found themselves in rebuilding
mode in the early '90s because of the ebbs and flows of sports. Michael Jordan’s teams were able to take advantage
of the lack of these powerhouses and won their first three-peat from 1990-93.

The NBA decided to add two more teams into the league (Grizzlies and Raptors) in 1995, the same time of MJ’s
return, and he produced yet another championship three-peat. Conveniently, two of the three years ('95-96, '96-97)
of that second triple-championship run took place when the league introduced a shortened 3-point line. From 1994-
97, the NBA shortened the range of the 3-pointers from 23 feet 9 inches (22 in the corners) to 22 feet from anywhere
around the arc. The change was implemented as a means to increase scoring. His 3-point shooting
percentageincreased from 35.2% in the year leading up to the change to 50%, 42.7% and 37.4% in the three years
with the shortened line. There’s no denying that this change certainly aided Michael Jordan’s success in two of the
six championship years, which would soon thereafter define his career.

LeBron’s Era of Heightened Competition With Super Teams and Player Movement

As much as Michael’s biggest fanatics might tell you the opposite, Michael never had to face the talent and
athleticism that LeBron is faced with today. While LeBron is about to go into Round 4 with this Warriors'
superteam, headlined by four All-Stars, Michael never faced a team in the finals with more than two All-Stars. In
fact, half of his championships were against one-man teams like Drexler’s '92 Trailblazers or Malone’s '98 Jazz.
LeBron’s opponents in the finals have included two or more All-Stars in seven out of his nine appearances with the
Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Going into tonight’s matchup, LeBron’s best teammates are All-Star Kevin Love, who is coming off his second
concussion in the past three months, and 37-year-old Kyle Korver, who is known for his 3-point ability and not
much else. This Warriors team is unlike anything we have ever seen before, headlined by four All-Stars, including
two-time league MVP Stephen Curry, often considered the greatest shooter of all-time; MVP Kevin Durant;
Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green; and Klay Thompson, who is also considered a top-five all-time 3-
point shooter and a defensive anchor. Not to mention this Warriors squad has loads of depth, with former NBA
Finals MVP and All-Star Andre Iguodala, the young and raw athleticism of Jordan Bell and the veteran leadership of
Shaun Livingston and David West.

He Case for LeBron in the 2017-18 NBA Season

No one in the 15th season of their careers, at age 33, has accomplished what LeBron has done at such a consistent,
dominating and efficient rate. He has averaged the most rebounds and assists of his career this season. Like a fine
wine, he has only gotten better with age, with no signs of slowing down. He started and played in all 82 regular-
season games and 18 playoff games, playing the most minutes in the NBA. This past Sunday against the Boston
Celtics, James played 48 minutes in his 100th game of the 2017-18 season, posting a magnificent 35-15-9
performance, breaking the hearts of Boston fans and silencing his critics in Game 7 at TD Garden.

LeBron has willed his way to yet another NBA Finals appearance, his eighth straight, with what is often considered
a mediocre supporting cast that is perhaps his worst team since the 2006-07 squad, which was swept by the San
Antonio Spurs in the Finals.

On the journey to his eighth straight


Finalsappearance, LeBron has accomplished some never-before-seen feats. Against the Pacers in the first round,
LeBron averaged at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. No other player in NBA history has done that more
than once. He also improved his career first-round record to 13-0. In the conference semifinals against Toronto,
James became the NBA's all-time leader in postseason steals; his total prior to Game 1 of this Finals series sits at
414. Not to mention, he passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and MJ for the most points in NBA playoff history with 6,775
prior to Game 1.
Synthesis
LeBron James continues to build his legacy as one of the greatest NBA athletes ever...but is he
the greatest player of all time? It's a debate that has raged between NBA fans for years. Jordan is
revered as the greatest because of his killer instinct and championship pedigree. James has
accomplished more statistically at this point in his career and may be the more imposing
athlete. Jordan stans will take their blind love with them to the grave.

They don't realize James has already surpassed Jordan in every aspect of the game. He is more
physically dominating, he makes the team around him better and he makes the right play every
single possession. He carried a team with no one to the NBA Finals on two occasions. There is
no way Jordan is better than James. James fans like to point out the statistical differences
between Jordan and James.

Yes, James is on track to eclipse Jordan in most categories, but it's not always about the
numbers. Jordan had something that makes the greatest players the greatest: a killer instinct.
Whenever his team needed him, Jordan showed up in the biggest moments to dominate a game
with clutch shots and impenetrable defense.

As good as James is at getting numbers, he can disappear at the end of games. Jordan would
rather be dead than be called gun shy with the game on the line. That's why Jordan is 6-0 in his
finals appearances while James is only 3-6. The former Bulls guard had an unshakeable will to
win, and the talent to come through. James just doesn't have it.

Jordan never made it to eight NBA Finals—James did. Jordan never became a consistent threat
from beyond the three-point line—James did. Anything Jordan did statistically, James is on pace
to surpass it. James may not have the killer instinct Jordan had, but he has learned to perform
well in clutch situations and make choice decisions. His pinpoint passing has been a staple of his
career, and Jordan simply did not have the court vision James has.

James is also a better leader than Jordan. While Jordan was playing, he led by example. James
leads by example, but is also a consistent communicator, getting his teammates in the right
positions on offense and defense. Jordan had his time in the sun as the greatest player of all time.
However, James' efficiency and destructive frame give him the advantage over Jordan.

https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/basketball/basketball-michael-jordan-not-lebron-james-is-
the-greatest-of-all-time-says-poll-of

https://www.sportscasting.com/no-lebron-james-isnt-the-best-of-all-time-and-hes-not-even-
close/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/leighsteinberg/2018/05/31/5-reasons-why-lebron-is-the-greatest-of-all-
time/#45c02b8522bf
https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nba/who-is-the-greatest-of-all-time-kobe-bryant-says-its-not-
lebron-james-michael-jordan/ar-BBVj9a8

Anti-Thesis

LeBron James has had a nice career. Heck, he may be one of the greatest
to ever playin the NBA. One of the greatest—not THE greatest. That
title still belongs to Michael Jordan, now and forever. The debate rages
on. Many consider either LeBron James or Michael Jordan the greatest
player in NBA history—the GOAT, as the title is widely abbreviated in
sports circles. Some want to put Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the
conversation, while others seem determined to include Bill Russell and
Wilt Chamberlain.

The Lakers ‘legend faced a tough question Tuesday night while


appearing on the "Late Late Show with James Corden." The show
features a recurring segment called “Spill Your Guts,” which gives the
celebrity guests the option to answer questions honestly or eat something
gross.

Corden asked Bryant to rank himself, LeBron James and Michael Jordan
from best to worst, and if he didn't, he would be forced to eat a cow's
tongue.

Bryant initially said he wasn't going to answer and would instead eat the
cow's tongue. Corden, however, eventually persuaded Bryant into
sharing how he would rank the three all-time greats.

Bryant's answer? "Alright fine. I'm the best. Michael's second best,
LeBron's third best." The crowd immediately erupted into MVP chants.
Bryant won the MVP once during his 20-year career, all spent with the
Lakers. He earned five Finals victories, which is ahead of James' three
titles but one behind Jordan's six championships. Bryant is third on the
NBA's all-time scoring list, one spot ahead of James and two in front of
Jordan.

Before Bryant's retirement in April 2016, Bryant became an 18-


time All-Star. In comparison, James is a 15-time All-Star and four-
time MVP, while Jordan made 14 All-Star appearances and holds
five MVPs.

There is no one GOAT, only several GOATs in the NBA, and quality
arguments can be made for many players: Bill Russell, Wilt
Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Take your pick.
In today’s era of social media and screaming sports radio and TV talk
shows, everything must be black and white, this or that, right or wrong.
When in truth, it’s not black and white, it’s gray. It can be thisand that
and you can be right without being wrong.
If championships are your defining qualification, Russell is your guy
with 11 titles and five MVPs. Russell is such a champion, the NBA
Finals MVP award is named after him. He is the ultimate team player
who cared about one thing above points, rebounds, assists and blocked
shots: winning. He is an original Roll With The Winners member.

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