On Sunday, basketball aficionados got a rare treat. His Airness himself, Michael Jordan, graced the airwaves of millions of Americans during Sunday Night Football. He appeared in a short commercial spoof addressing the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) debate. Jordan shocked the sports world by simply acknowledging that there was a debate. Fans were in awe when he stated that the debate involved two players who wore the same the numbers. Jaws dropped when he suggested that the players face each other to settle the debate.
True basketball fans immediately gushed at Jordan seemingly addressing the GOAT debate between him and LeBron James, who both donned the number 23. Not only did he address it, he seemingly suggested that the two compete to determine who was the best. For a brief second, avid basketball fans alike were overwhelmed with excitement at the mere thought of His Airness squaring off against King James. Then reality hit when the commercial revealed its true purpose, the promotion of this seasons biggest Sunday Night Football game. The showdown between the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady and the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rogers who both wear the number 12 will take place this Sunday. While the GOAT debate between Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers is a worthy one, the focus here is on the greatest showdown basketball fans will never get to see.
LeBron James or Michael Jordan
LeBron James emerged on the NBA scene in 2003 at only 18 years old. He immediately became a dominant force in the NBA. Many have speculated where he would fall in the line of NBA greatness. Would LeBron James overthrow Michael Jordan as the Greatest Player of All Time? The jury is still out on this issue, namely because James is still playing and has given no indication that he intends to stop anytime soon. In fact, James signed a 4-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers to start his 16th season in the NBA.
However, the fact that James is still writing his NBA story does not stop basketball fans from debating who is better between him and Jordan. How do the two compare? This is a simple, quick comparison that is sufficient for fantasizing about a game between King James and His Airness, not a full detailed stat for stat comparison.
In one corner, there is LeBron James who opted out of college and went straight to the NBA draft. James was the number one pick in the first round of the draft. In the other corner, there is Michael Jordan an NCAA Champion and number three draft pick in the first round. King James has been to the last eight NBA finals and has won three. His Airness made six NBA Finals appearances and won all six times. James has three NBA Finals MVP awards to Jordans six. Additionally, James has four league MVP awards to Jordan’s five. However, a showdown between two of the greatest to ever touch a basketball would put all of these stats comparisons to rest.
What would a Game Between King James and His Airness Look Like?
Although King James replied via Twitter that he was ready for a face-off, basketball fans will unfortunately never get to see such a show.
However, that unfortunate reality does not stop one from dreaming about what such a showdown would look like. Would the LeBron James who scored 51 points in the 2018 NBA finals show up to face the Michael Jordan who scored 63 points in a playoff game against the Boston Celtics? A game between James and Jordan would certainly be one for the record books. The game would be riddled with first place slam dunk contest quality dunks. It may even resemble some components of an NBA All-Star Weekend three-point contest (although Jordan may have a slight advantage from that aspect). The game would surely be a close one, with both players putting on a clinic riddled with crossovers and other spectacular moves that would be discussed for generations.
However, the looming question is who would emerge as the victor? The outcome of the game would likely come down to the last play. Would His Airness pull up and clinch the game-winning shot as he did in game six against the Utah Jazz? Or would King James come from behind with the block as he did in game seven against the Golden State Warriors? Unfortunately, the basketball world will never know, but what fun it is to imagine.