Throughout much of his career, Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James has been compared to Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, who is well regarded as being arguably the best player of all-time. That has become the standard James is held to regarding his legacy, with Jordan sitting firmly atop the conversation. However, Hall of Famer Magic Johnson has voiced that he believes there is one way that James could potentially become greater than Jordan.
LeBron James’ illustrious career
James entered the NBA with some extremely high expectations, which has more than surpassed those lofty marks as he has put together a career that will place him among the all-time greats in league history.
He has earned three NBA titles with a Finals MVP in each instance, four MVP awards, 15 All-Star selections, 12 All-NBA First Team nods, and five All-Defensive First Team selections, among others. Along the way, James has racked up numerous NBA records that have only further cemented his legacy as one of the all-time best players.
He has racked up records such as being the only player to record 33,000 points, 9,000 assists, and 9,000 rebounds. James is also the only player to put up a triple-double against every NBA team while being the only one to average at least 25.0 points per game for 15 consecutive years. On top of that, he’s the only player to be in the top five all-time in points and top 10 in assists.
James has the potential opportunity to work his way up towards being the all-time leading scorer while setting several more all-time marks along the way. However, Jordan has continued to hold the edge over him, but another Hall of Famer believes there is one way he could pass him.
Magic Johnson believes there is one way
The one part of the conversation that Jordan continues to hold over James is his success in the NBA Finals, with six championships in six appearances.
That is one the area that Johnson believes James can gain ground on the Hall of Famer to be held in higher regard than him, according to Meredith Cash of the Business Insider.
“For him to really catch Michael, it’s that next two or three championships,” Johnson said. “If he could get a couple more championships, then he’ll be probably the greatest that’s ever played.”
If James were to reach that mark of tying Jordan, it would not only boost his legacy but also speak great volumes to his ability about his ability at this stage of his career. That would put up at 12 NBA Finals appearances, which would tie Hall of Famer Bill Russell for the all-time mark.
That would certainly shake up the conversation a bit, but would it be enough to give him the edge over Jordan finally?
Could LeBron James still catch Michael Jordan?
There is no doubting that James has put together an illustrious career that has cemented his status as being one of the all-time greats. But, the conversation about being the greatest to play the game is one that he has a huge hurdle to climb.
Jordan is held firmly in that mantel by many, and it would be quite difficult to move those off that viewpoint. He was a different kind of player that could do it all, while he changed the entire landscape of the league during his time and after that.
It’s not to diminish James’ legacy by any means, but it may come down to his lack of significant success in the Finals holding a 3-5 record in eight trips. Regardless if he finishes tied with Jordan in championships, that will always be something carried over his head, which is something that Johnson pointed out in his own career in comparison to the former Bulls’ great.
“For me on my books right now, I would say Michael [Jordan] was the freakiest player in the game,” Johnson said. “He was the greatest to play on the floor because I couldn’t jump as high… But Michael going 6-0 in the NBA finals, oh man. That’s awesome.”
“I went to the finals nine times in 12 years, but we only won five,” he added. “But I’ll take those five, trust me. As long as it was two more than Larry [Bird], that’s all I care about.”
However, it’s something that won’t be known unless he were to reach that mark in this chapter of his career. Until then, Jordan reigns supreme in the conversation.