Gilbert Arenas implied that Michael Jordan, far from making the Finals, wouldn’t even make the playoffs with the team LeBron James had in 2007.
In his third season with the Cavaliers, James led an average squad to the Eastern Conference semifinals. He surpassed himself next year, carrying them to the NBA Finals in 2006-07. The supporting cast for James early in his career consisted of guys like Mo Williams, Daniel Gibson, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao.
LeBron has missed the playoffs 3 times through 17 seasons in the league. Jordan missed them in the final 2 seasons of his 15 in the NBA. MJ did not record a .500 record without Scottie Pippen. He even made the playoffs with a 30-52 record in 1985-86.
The Lakers this year will be redoubtable challengers for a repeat title. They’re leading the league with a 10-3 record, and they have a deep group with great chemistry already.
Gilbert Arenas suggests Michael Jordan couldn’t have won with the team LeBron James had
Going on Players’ Breakdown with Whistle Sports, Gilbert Arenas backed LeBron James as his GOAT. He insisted that Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant would not have had LeBron’s level of success with the 2003-10 Cavs:
“They wouldn’t have made the playoffs. Wouldn’t have made it to the championship. Jordan would’ve just averaged 60 & said the hell with it.”
“They wouldn’t have made the playoffs. Wouldn’t have made it to the championship, Jordan would’ve just averaged 60 & said the hell with it”
— Whistle (@WhistleSports) January 13, 2021
There are a number of oppositions to this argument. First of all, Jordan led even worse teammates than James to the playoffs in his first 3 years in the league. He lost to the Bucks in his first season, who finished with the third-best record in the league that year. He then lost to all-time great Celtics teams the following years.
In addition, James has one all-time great regular season team performance to his credit – the 2012-13 Miami Heat. Jordan won 141 regular season games from 1995-1997 – a level of success James has never sniffed. Overachieving is important, but so is the significance of leading a team to an 88-13 record through the course of one campaign.