There are many timeless debates in sports, none more popular than who is the true GOAT of basketball. LeBron James or Michael Jordan? It’s a broad question that involves many variables used when arguing for or against the two. Who has better stats? Who was better in the NBA Playoffs or the NBA Finals? Who has more accolades? 

It’s easy to go into this debate with a stern grasp on one point of view. Understanding the big picture can give you the facts needed to make your own decision, and everyone’s will be different. 

The addition of another variable (Hall of Fame player) to measure LeBron and Jordan’s resume against is also important, and will be another helpful talking point in this widely debated sports topic. 

LeBron vs. Jordan: Comparison

There are many similarities between LeBron and Jordan, which is why the basketball GOAT debate is a popular topic. Both players have multiple MVP awards, have reached many NBA Finals (while also winning Final MVPs), have won numerous championships, and have been named to countless All-NBA and NBA All-Star teams. 

(Per Game)PointsReboundsAssistsSteals

The stats are also similar on the court, with both scoring 27 or more points per game with over six rebounds and five assists. They both hover around the 50% field goal range and shoot about 33% from beyond the arc. 


Long story short, they are both heavily leaned upon superstars with great accolades and statistical data to make a case as being basketball’s greatest. 

However, LeBron is only one of three players in the NBA’s history to win the NBA Finals MVP award with more than one franchise. The other two players are Kawhi Leonard (Toronto Raptors 2019, San Antonio Spurs 2014) and Kareem Abdul-Jabar (Los Angeles Lakers 1985, Milwaukee Bucks 1971). 

This is a key arguing point when comparing players, as LeBron has won the Finals MVP with three different franchises, more than any other player. However, Jordan has earned six NBA Finals MVP awards which are more than any other player. 

AP Photo/John Swart, File

LeBron vs. Jordan NBA Finals MVP Comparison

Jordan (6) – 1991 (Chicago), 1992 (Chicago), 1993 (Chicago), 1996 (Chicago), 1997 (Chicago), 1998 (Chicago) 

LeBron (4) – 2012 (Miami), 2013 (Miami), 2016 (Cleveland), 2020 (L.A Lakers)

LeBron vs. Jordan: Stats

As mentioned, the stats for these players are very similar. During the regular season, Jordan averaged a remarkable 30.1 points per game while LeBron is currently at 27.2. Jordan also averages more steals than LeBron, but James does average more rebounds and assists per game. They both average just under a block a game at 0.8.

Despite Jordan having better-scoring stats, and nine times more scoring titles than LeBron, James has a slightly better field goal percentage and three-point percentage than Jordan. Jordan does have a slightly better free throw percentage, but all of these numbers and you’re just splitting hairs. 


The real difference comes when looking at totals, in which LeBron easily passes Jordan. He has 5,000 more points than Jordan to go along with roughly 4,000 more rebounds and 5,000 assists. Despite Jordan being a better ball stealer, James is only down about 400 steals before passing Jordan as well. 

(Playoff Totals)PointsReboundsAssistsSteals

LeBron has already passed Jordan in playoff steals with 454, and already has more playoff points, rebounds, assists, and blocks than Jordan. Yes, LeBron has played in nearly 300 more games than Jordan but that is also an achievement in longevity and availability. 

Consistency and consecutiveness are celebrated achievements in sports, and LeBron’s longevity has given him the edge when comparing stat totals between him and Jordan. 

AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File

LeBron vs. Jordan: Accolades

Despite LeBron’s durability over his career, Jordan has notched a few more accolades than LeBron in a shorter career span. MJ has won more championships, Finals MVPs, regular season MVPs, and scoring titles, and has been named to more All-Defensive teams. 

NBA TitlesNBA MVPsNBA Finals MVPsAll-NBA TeamsAll-Defensive TeamsAll-Star TeamsScoring Titles

LeBron has earned more NBA All-Star appearances along with being named to more All-NBA teams. So although LeBron might have the edge in stats, Jordan has the edge in accolades. This could be said for marketing as well, as Jordan has his own shoe brand and starred in a timeless basketball movie. 

LeBron vs. Jordan: Conclusion

So the real arguing points come down to this, do you feel LeBron’s ability to lead more than one franchise to a championship is better than Jordan’s consistency with just one team? Also, do Jordan’s scoring and defense outweigh LeBron’s scoring, passing, rebounding, and defense? Finally, does LeBron’s longevity and stat dominance overshadow Jordan’s accolades? 

They’re not easy questions, but what about adding a variable? 

Abdul-Jabbar still holds the NBA record for most points at 38,387 and has more total rebounds than either Jordan or LeBron. Kareem also has more career assists than Jordan, more regular season MVP awards, and the same amount of NBA Championships (6). He is also a 19-time NBA All-Star, which is the most among the three players. 

Don’t forget he is also one of the three players to win an NBA Finals MVP award with more than one franchise. It’s fair to add Abdul-Jabbar to the mix when comparing GOATs in basketball and is a key measuring tool when arguing for or against LeBron or Jordan. 

StatsPlayoffTitlesLongevityAccoladesLegionBest Movie
Jordan32T1323‘Space Jam’

Using these six categories above (stats, playoff stats, titles, longevity, accolades, legion) we ranked each player, then tallied the number with the lowest scores being the highest ranking player. 

LeBron vs. Jordan: Results

  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabar (10)
  2. LeBron James (11)
  3. Michael Jordan (14)

The longevity of both LeBron and Kareem has allowed both players to accumulate more than enough statistical data and game achievements to warrant an honest ranking above the great MJ. The ability of both players to lead multiple franchises to championships and win the MVPs in the process is also something that helped them rank higher than Jordan.

General FAQs

How to make a sports pool?

Starting a sports pool is easy with RunYourPool! We have fully customizable settings, dedicated customer support, and we make it easy to invite friends so you can compete against them.

What is a sports pool?

Sports pools are games to play with family and friends. With RunYourPool, all you need to do is pick your sport, pick one of our game types, set up your pool, and compete!

How do I invite people to my pool?

Inviting friends to your pool is easy with RYP! We provide you with a custom link that you can send out to anyone you would like. We also have a connections feature to allow you to easily invite members to join your pool.

Who can play in a sports pool?

Anyone can play in a pool on RunYourPool! With our array of game types throughout multiple sports, there's an option for everyone.

How much does RunYourPool cost?

Our pricing tiers are determined by how many members you have in your pool. We have three tiers; Amateur, Pro, and Front Office. Our pricing page provides a breakdown of all three options!

Is RunYourPool legal?

RunYourPool is 100% legal. We do not allow any illegal entry fees or gambling on our website.


Who Has USC Football Played the Most?


Golden Globes Preview

Run a Major Championship Golf Pool

Golf Pick'em


Basketball Tournament Survivor Pools for 2024

Basketball Pick'em


UEFA Euro Soccer Pool

Soccer Pick'em


UEFA Euro Soccer Pool

Soccer Pick'em


NFL Football Survivor Pools

NFL Pick'em


NHL Survivor Pools

NHL Pick'em


Check Also