LeBron James was drafted as the number one overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The hype surrounding him before his NBA draft was unreal. He has fully lived up to that hype and had a stellar NBA career so far.
During the course of his illustrious career, he has always seen comparisons between him and Michael Jordan. He has also not shied away from these comparisons and recently stated himself to be the "GOAT" because of his involvement in the historic 2016 NBA championship final comeback against the greatest regular season team in NBA history.
Let's have a look at some of the reasons why LeBron James is the GOAT:
#3 King James becomes a different beast when it comes to the playoffs
James has reached 9 NBA finals and 8 straight from 2011-2018. Jordan reached 6 NBA finals and could not deliver victories in playoff series without Pippen. Jordan was 1-9 in playoff series without Pippen.
Michael Jordan's best playoff year was arguably the 1992-93 season when he averaged 35 points, 6 assists and 6.7 rebounds per game for the entire playoffs on 47.5% shooting from the floor. This unbelievable effort from Jordan falls short of what James did in the 2017-18 playoffs. He averaged 34 points, 9.1 rebounds and 9 assists per game for the entire playoffs on an outrageous 54% shooting from the floor. That was arguably the best individual post-season in NBA history. He single-handedly took a very poor Cavs side to the NBA finals.
In the 2015 and 2016 NBA finals against the Golden State Warriors, James became the first player to lead both teams in all five major statistical categories of - Points, assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks. James becomes a different player come playoffs.
#2 James is a better All-Round player
LeBron James recently became the first player in NBA history to reach 30000 career points, 8000 career assists, and 8000 career rebounds. He has the potential to reach 38000 points, 10000 assists, and 10000 rebounds by the end of his career. No other player can dream of reaching these numbers.
Michael Jordan finished his career with 32292 points, 5633 assists, and 6672 rebounds. His numbers fall way short of LeBron's numbers. James carried a heavy load for his team and that too for a longer duration.
James also had more defensive potential than Michael Jordan. These days, James can be seen mostly pacing himself on the defensive end but in his prime days, he had the capability to legitimately guard all five positions for his team. Jordan was the best defender for his position but he wouldn't have been able to guard all positions.
Jordan is a better overall scorer than James. But James is a more efficient scorer, better playmaker, and a better rebounder than Jordan.
#1. James makes the biggest impact of any player
There is no player who is capable of making the kind of impact that James is capable of making.
Before the Cavs drafted James in the 2003 NBA draft, they were a no team on the NBA map. Since his draft, Cavs became perennial contenders for the title. They even reached the NBA finals in 2007 before losing to a far stronger San Antonio Spurs side.
In the last year of his first tenure with the Cavs, he reached the Eastern Conference semis. The Cavs made 4 straight years to the lottery in the years after his departure. In fact, they were the worst team in the NBA and got 3 number 1 picks in four years.
James made four straight finals with the Heat. He rejoined Cavs and then again made four straight NBA finals appearances between 2014-18 while the Heat are now struggling to even make the playoffs. In 2018, he again left the Cavs for the LA Lakers. The Cavs have been one of the worst teams in the NBA in the 2018-19 season despite coming off a finals trip.
Jordan left Bulls after his third ring. Bulls didn't win but at least reached the Eastern Conference semis in his absence and had an incredible 55-27 record in the regular season.
The impact that LeBron James has on his teams is just unprecedented.