Who has been a more Impactful Player on and off the Court Michael Jordan or LeBron James
Who has been a more impactful player on and off the court, Michael Jordan or LeBron James?Sports has become an activity that brings many different people from all over the world together. It is a way to bond, enjoy company with each other, and cheer on specific teams in the sport. The NBA is one of the most popular sport leagues due to the increase in views of basketball games. With 30 teams, the NBA offers fans to choose their favorite team and their favorite player from a team. The NBA has been around for 72 years, since 1946, and have offered many different players a national platform to showcase their talent and their skills. There are many arguments as to who is the best basketball player of all time, whether it be Oscar Robinson, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and more, but there is a constant comparison between the legacy of LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
This is an argument that will last forever due to different opinions. In this paper, we’ll look at the important thing, which are the facts. We will be looking at the impact that each player had on and off the basketball player which all contribute to their legacy.Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born on February 17th 1963. He attended the University of North Carolina and was drafted by the Chicago Bulls as the third overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. Jordan was such an immediate impactful player that he won Rookie of the Year which is only awarded to one player in the entire league. Throughout his 15 year career, Jordan went to the NBA Finals 6 times and won all 6. He won the Most Valuable Player award in each Finals series leading him to have 6 Finals MVP awards. He won the MVP award 5 times, was inducted into the All Defensive 1st Team 9 times, won Defensive Player of the Year once and lead the league in scoring 10 times.LeBron James was born on December 30th, 1984. He was drafted in the 2003 NBA Draft as the first pick, straight out of high school, where he attended St. Vincent-St. Mary’s. He won the Rookie of the Year award that year and started building a name for himself. James has been to 8 NBA Finals, but has only won 3 out of those 8.
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Each Final he has won, he was awarded the Finals MVP award. He has won 4 Regular Season MVP awards, 5 All Defensive 1st Team and has lead the league in scoring once.The comparison that people like to make are the accomplishments of the players, but not too many people take into consideration the factors that affected the results that player has. The game of basketball has changed through each era it has gone through. Michael Jordan played in a much more competitive league, one where players would get hit in the throat, punched in the face and pushed in the hips which affected their movement with the ball. LeBron James plays in a league that calls a foul on almost every body contact. Jordan stood at about 6 foot 6 and went up against players that had a weight advantage of 80+ pounds and were 4+ inches taller than him. LeBron stands at about 6 foot 8 and competes against people within his body range. Jordan had more obstacles against him yet succeeded in the art of winning, shown by his 6 out of 6 NBA Finals Championships.Just as much as a player has an impact on the basketball court, their reach goes much further than a game where you shoot a ball through a hoop.
Each one of these players have impacted the image of athletes, especially African American male athletes. Michael Jordan is the athlete that caused the phenomenon of urban culture being affected by the sport of basketball, which really gave him a platform to reach out to different aspects of society. Patrick Miller, the author of Sports and the Color Line, says it best. “In addition to being perhaps the greatest basketball player of all time, Jordan isone of the most successfully managed idols and icons of media culture. Parlaying his athletic triumphs into commercial product endorsements, Jordan became the highest-paid celebrity-advertising figure ever.” Jordan was the first African American basketball player to become the face of a successful shoe, cologne and clothing brand amongst many celebrities. He also starred in the movie Space Jam which was a first for any kind of athlete at the time.LeBron James had always had major interest from investors and sponsorships due to the fact that he was receiving national recognition since the 10th grade. He signed with Nike brand and became an icon immediately. The icon that he formed was a different image that any African American athlete portrayed.
In a 2002 interview, James said “A lot of players know how to play the game but they really don’t know how to play the game, if you know what I mean. They can put the ball in the hoop, but I see things before they even happen. You know how a guy can make his team so much better? That’s one thing I learned from watching Jordan.” This is important because it portrays LeBron James as using his mental capabilities rather than physical, which is how most aspects of athletes are viewed by. Another importance in this is that LeBron credits Michael Jordan for this ability. This shows how impactful Michael Jordan really was due to the fact that he influenced his competitor in the argument of the greatest player ever.In conclusion, Michael Jordan and LeBron James are both a different breed of basketball players. This argument will go down for the rest of time itself, but the facts do show that Michael Jordan was the better competitor. He has more accomplishments than LeBron James does in the same amount of time and he has a better winning record, which is what sports really comes down to.