Michael Jordan and LeBron James are two of the greatest athletes of all-time. Both players were talented in other sports as well. Jordan went on to play baseball for a year during his career, and James was a standout football player in high school.
If James played football after high school, he would have had a much better career than Jordan’s baseball career.
Looking at Jordan and James’ NBA career
It’s no surprise that these two are in many conversations about the greatest NBA players of all-time. Jordan and James have accomplished a lot during their NBA career, and James is not showing any signs of walking away from the game anytime soon. Jordan is a player that James looked up to and for a good reason. When Jordan came into the league as a rookie in 1984, he took the NBA by storm. During the 1984-85 season, he averaged 28.2 points per game and was named the NBA Rookie of the Year.
After that, his career took off as he went on to win six NBA titles with the Bulls and led the league in scoring 10 times. There was a stretch where he led the league in scoring for seven consecutive seasons. Jordan helped turn the Bulls franchise into an NBA powerhouse. He finished his career averaging 30.1 points, an NBA record, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists.
Like Jordan, James has become a dominant player ever since he came into the league. Coming out of high school, a lot of pressure was put on James to perform at a high level. During his rookie season, he did not disappoint. James averaged 20.9 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game as a rookie, and he was named Rookie of the Year in 2004. James continued to elevate his game, and it wasn’t long until he would become one of the league’s best players. During the 2007-08 season, he led the league in scoring averaging 30 points per game. Like Jordan, James has multiple NBA titles, three to be exact. He won two with the Miami Heat and one with the Cleveland Cavaliers. James is on a quest to win a title with the Los Angeles Lakers when the NBA season resumes.
Every time that Jordan and James have won an NBA title, they both have won the Finals MVP award. When you think of the word dominance, that’s only one word that describes the two. In the next 10-15 years, these two names will continue to be relevant in basketball and sports in general. That’s how much of an impact they have made.
Jordan and James weren’t only basketball players
These two NBA legends also played other sports. Jordan and his father loved baseball, and when Jordan first retired from basketball, he went to play in the Chicago White Sox’s minor league system. James was a standout football player in high school and was one of the top players in the state and country.
During his first retirement, Jordan spent a season playing for the Birmingham Barons, a minor league affiliate of the White Sox. He played in 127 games and finished with a .202 batting average. Though he only played one season of professional baseball, he got to live out his childhood dream. James decided to take the basketball route out of high school. But if he went to college, he could have been a standout on the court and the field. In high school, James played two full seasons of varsity football and finished with 27 career touchdowns and 99 receptions. He was also all-state in both seasons. There’s no question that James could have went on to have success playing football.
If James played football beyond high school, his football career tops Jordan’s baseball career without a doubt
James would have gone on to have a way better football career than Jordan’s baseball career. If James even entertained the thought of going to college and playing football, that would have been remarkable. Since the NBA and NFL schedules occur around the same time, it wouldn’t have been likely for James to play both sports.
But let’s just say he did end up choosing football. With his size, he would have impacted the league as a wide receiver or a tight end. His athleticism and leaping abilities would have been a plus. But at the end of the day, both Jordan and James will always be remembered as two of the greatest athletes of all-time.