Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James

Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James
LeBron James with Michael Jordan during 2022 NBA All-Star Game

LeBron James was declared the chosen one at the age of 16. He was the one who was supposed to take over from Michael Jordan and hence was given the nickname "King James". From being the cover athlete of Sports Illustrated while still in high school to becoming a 4 time NBA Champion and then going on to lead with his voice on topics of social justice. He is the greatest success story in the league's history.

Michael Jordan was the pioneer who led the NBA to the global stage back in the 90s. The heights of global fame and stardom that he achieved put him in such rare air that he is still to this day considered the greatest athlete of all time. He relentlessly pursued greatness and won 6 championships with the Chicago Bulls. After retiring he went on to become a business tycoon amassing a huge amount of wealth. A few years later he bought the Charlotte Hornets and became the first-ever American athlete to do so.

LeBron James vs Michael Jordan Regular-Season Stats

Michael Jordan was all about taking over the game and single-handedly outplaying his opponents with his dominant game. LeBron is a more balanced player who scores when challenged to score but his game is more about getting his teammates involved, grabbing rebounds doing those little things that help a team get a victory.

Career (Averages)LeBron JamesMichael Jordan
Field goal %50.549.7
3-point %34.532.7
Free throw %73.583.5

Career (Totals)LeBron JamesMichael Jordan

LeBron James vs Michael Jordan Regular-Season Advanced Stats

When one is comparing two different eras, it’s not ideal to just look at the major stats. Sometimes, advanced stats give us an insight into the playing style and a real nitty-gritty way of evaluating two different aspects of the same attribute.

Advanced Career StatsLeBron JamesMichael Jordan
Player Efficiency Rating (PER)27.227.9
Value Over Replacement Player (VORP)146.5116.1
Box Plus/Minus (BPM)8.769.2
Win Shares (WS)255.14214.0
True Shooting % (TS%)58.8%56.9%
Usage Rate (USG%)31.6%33.3%

LeBron James vs Michael Jordan Playoff Stats

Playoffs are where LeBron James' talents are really unleashed. Every year during the playoffs, he proves to everyone watching why he is one of the greatest to play the game. While on the other hand, Jordan's 6 in 6 should speak for itself.

2020 NBA Finals - Game Six

Playoff (Career Averages)LeBron JamesMichael Jordan
Field goal %49.5%48.7%
3-point %33.1%33.2%
Free throw %74.1%82.8%

Playoffs (Career Totals)LeBron JamesMichael Jordan
Rebounds2,549 1,152

LeBron James vs Michael Jordan Playoff Advanced Stats

While the MJ vs LeBron debate rages on, both have shone tremendously in the regular season for their respective teams, and the playoffs have brought about similarly strong performances from the pair repeatedly. Overall, both players rank high not only in the regular season but in the postseason as well, and once again deciding the better player between the two in the postseason is still as tough as ever. In the following table, we pit LeBron James with Michael Jordan and take a look at the advanced stats of the two in the playoffs.

Advanced Career Stats (Playoffs)LeBron JamesMichael Jordan
Player Efficiency Rating (PER)28.228.6
Value Over Replacement Player (VORP)33.924.7
Box Plus/Minus (BPM)10.211.1
Win Shares (WS)55.739.8
True Shooting % (TS%)58.356.8
Usage Rate (USG%)3235.6


LeBron James vs Michael Jordan NBA Finals Stats

LeBron James has been to the finals 10 times, winning the championship on four occasions. Jordan went to the finals 6 times and astoundingly won all 6 of them without ever needing to go to Game 7. The table below illustrates lebron james records vs michael jordan in their respective NBA Finals appearances.

NBA Finals (Career Averages)LeBron JamesMichael Jordan
Field Goal %48.4%48.1%
3-point %35.2%36.8%
Free Throw %73.1%80.6%
NBA Finals (Career Totals)LeBron JamesMichael Jordan

Michael Jordan vs LeBron James Awards and Accolades

Michael Jordan Trophy

Both Michael Jordan and LeBron James have given so much to the game of basketball that there is no doubt both players have earned a plethora of awards and accolades during their respective careers. While Jordan does lead in most of the important categories here, James is not too far behind and can still catch up before his career is over. Therefore deciding whether MJ or LeBron is better falls short in this category as well.

AchievementsLeBron JamesMichael Jordan
NBA Finals appearances106
Regular season MVP45
Defensive Player of the Year01
Finals MVP46
Rookie of the Year11
Scoring titles110
Assist leader10
Steals leader03
All-Star selections1914
All NBA selections1911
All-Defensive selections69

Michael Jordan vs LeBron James Net Worth

LeBron James over his career and through other business ventures has amassed a fortune of over $1 billion. Obviously, basketball is the driving force behind LeBron’s wealth; when you’ve been a top player for almost 20 years, the game checks simply add up. According to Spotrac’s financial data, James has earned an impressive total of over $430 million in salary during his time in the NBA.

King James’ income isn’t limited to basketball, though. Other than his massive Nike contract and game checks, the Lakers star is also quite the entrepreneur. Thanks to investments in Blaze Pizza, Beats, and Liverpool FC, among other brands.

While LeBron James’ net worth is nothing to look down on, he’s still nowhere near His Airness. According to Forbes, Michael Jordan’s net worth has now reached a staggering $3 billion.

Michael Jordan didn’t make that much in the NBA. He only commanded truly massive salaries during his last two seasons in Chicago. Jordan earned $94 million in game checks, with roughly $63 million coming in just 1996-97 and 1997-98.

However, his superstar status paid dividends. Apart from his massive contract with Nike, he endorsed everything from underwear to Gatorade and also McDonald's; those deals kept the cash flowing. In retirement, he also managed to get into an elite group by becoming an owner of an NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets.

Also Read: LeBron James Net Worth

Has LeBron James ever played against Michael Jordan?

LeBron James and Michael Jordan never got the chance to play each other on the NBA court. Unfortunately for both superstars, their careers could not overlap as Jordan had made his way out of the league just a few months before LeBron stepped foot on the NBA court.

While Jordan's last game in the NBA came on April 16, 2003, LeBron's first career NBA game was on Oct. 29, 2003. For die-hard fans of the NBA, a matchup between these two legends would have been something surreal, however it may not have accounted for much as Jordan was already past his prime having turned 40 years old while LeBron on the other hand was just a rookie in 2003.

Who is the GOAT of the NBA?

Michael Jordan is often considered the GOAT of the NBA. At present, Jordan is the forerunner in all accolades other than All-Star appearances, All-NBA Team, and the Hall of Fame. He has a better NBA Finals record. Furthermore, he has two rings more than LeBron James. He also has three more All-Defense selections and an additional MVP award. He also holds a Defensive Player of the Year award, an accomplishment that has eluded James. LeBron's commitment to amassing his fourth ring has brought him closer to his goal - winning six or more rings.

However, Jordan was not the complete player that James is. LeBron James is the only player in NBA history with 10K points, rebounds, and assists. He is in the top 10-15 of virtually every list in the league and has also become the NBA's all-time leading scorer. James also leads the league in almost every playoff statistic, having been to the NBA Finals 10 times. He is also a much better playmaker than Jordan ever was, leading the league in assists once. He has all the stats and longevity arguments in his favor over Jordan, who was mainly valued as a scorer on the offensive end.

While most people would say Michael Jordan is the Greatest player of all time. Few people like Detroit Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham believe LeBron James is the greatest player.

Who is a better player between LeBron and Jordan?

Image source: CBS Sports

LeBron James' statistics stipulate that he is the better overall basketball player. LeBron is a more efficient player, a much better passer, and a rebounder than Jordan was. Jordan, on the flip side, has a much better free throw percentage, which sustains the points-per-game statistic. The two are relatively equivalent in efficiency ratings, with Jordan being first overall in NBA history and LeBron trailing close behind at second.

Michael averaged more steals per game, but both players are exactly even in blocks per game. Having played so many fewer games than James, Jordan's defensive capabilities do outshine the current Lakers forward. With more All-Defensive Team selections as well as an NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, the edge on that side of the ball favors the former Bulls guard. LeBron has also turned the ball over more per game as well.

The one thing James has in his favor are all the longevity stats and these stats will continue to stack up until he calls it a day in the NBA. Till then the gap between both players will continue to increase but then again, Jordan has already achieved so much in less time. Having said that, one of the most important records that James now possesses is leading the entire NBA in the most points ever scored.

After going through everything the game has to offer, the choice between the GOAT of the NBA really does come down to personal taste. Both are legends of the game who have given it their all on the court, and their statistics and records are also comparable. It is difficult to really pick out any one player as the GOAT since the eras are different, the rules are different, and players play in different positions, so comparing a guard with a forward is not an ideal way of arguing who is better.

Also read: All about Michael Jordan’s net worth


Q. How many Championships do Jordan and LeBron each have?

A. Michael Jordan has 6 NBA Championships as against the 4 of LeBron James.

Q. How many NBA Finals has Michael Jordan been to?

A. Michael Jordan has been to 6 NBA Finals winning all of them.

Q. How many NBA Finals has LeBron James been to?

A. LeBron James has been to 10 NBA Finals winning 4 of them.

Q. How many MVPs has Michael Jordan won?

A. Michael Jordan has won a total of 5 MVPs in the regular season.

Q. How many MVPs has LeBron James won?

A. LeBron James has won 4 NBA regular season MVPs.

Q. How many games has LeBron James played vs Michael Jordan?

A. Unfortunately for the NBA fans, LeBron James never got the opportunity to play in the NBA against Michael Jordan.