Phil Jackson once made his clear choice between his former player Michael Jordan, and now Lakers superstar LeBron James
As the Lakers superstar’s career has gone on the up and up, this debate has only gotten more and more fierce. It has gotten to the point where some fans have actually started blasphemously underrate one player to boost the other. And frankly, doing that is a disrespect to both players.
Back in 2013 though, when this debate really started gaining some steam, fans and analysts alike were a lot more reasonable in their arguments. Still, everybody had an opinion on the matter, and Phil Jackson was no exception.
In 2013, the legendary head coach got on the Dan Patrick Show, where he was asked about his thoughts on who the better player is. And in response, let’s just say he delivered a statement many wouldn’t exactly like.
Let’s get into it.
Phil Jackson put Michael Jordan above LeBron James purely because of rings in 2013
Yes, today that would seem like a completely asinine statement. But back in 2013, frankly it was completely valid.
At the time, LeBron James had only won one ring. While winning a championship at all is incredible, can you really compare 1 to 6? Going off this drift, here is what Phil Jackson said on the matter during the interview.
“I think a lot of people think he’s right there,” Jackson said. “I think better is only about championships. That’s the only measurement that’s left for LeBron that will say that he’s a better ballplayer than Michael or that people can argue it. It’s the number of championships that you win, and that’s proof in the pudding right there.
His game is incredible. I think it’s incredible that he can play without fouling a lot of the time. He can play defense on almost everybody that is on the floor. He’s an unselfish ballplayer. He doesn’t lust to score as Kobe or Michael did, but when the need is there he definitely finds a way to score. His game has continued to improve the last four or five years, and we don’t see what the limitations are going to be.”
This was said 8 years ago. Since then, LeBron James has won three more titles and three more Finals MVP as well. And with the Lakers looking pretty scary ahead of next season, the King could win himself yet another ring.
At the end of the day, the fact of the matter is the King is already at the level of His Airness. And the way things are looking right now, it won’t be long before he surpasses him completely.