Throughout much of his career, LeBron James has had seen his name thrown in the conversation alongside Michael Jordan for the GOAT conversation. James has also openly voiced over the years that he has continued to chase Jordan for that mantel as it has been one of his greatest motivations in his career. However, the discussion has shifted a bit with James recently stating that he would have fit well playing alongside the former Chicago Bulls great. It begs the question if the pairing of James and Jordan would have been the best duo in league history.
LeBron James believes would have fit well next to Michael Jordan
The further along that James moves in his career, the more that he has been linked to his idol.
With ESPN’s The Last Dance documentary just finishing it’s 10-part series, the Los Angeles Lakers forward took the conversation in another direction by stating during a recent Uninterrupted video that he would have fit “perfectly” alongside Jordan. (H/T ESPN)
“Me personally, the way I play the game — team first — I feel like my best assets work perfectly with Mike,” James said in a video released Monday on Uninterrupted’s YouTube channel. “Mike is an assassin. When it comes to playing the game of basketball, scoring the way he scored the ball, [then] my ability to pass, my ability to read the game plays and plays and plays in advance.”
Beyond James’ strong statement, it has quickly sparked up chatter around the “what-if” scenario around whether the two players would have worked well playing with each other.
Would Michael Jordan and LeBron James flourished together?
James has sparked an entirely new conversation around his skill set, being able to fit next to Jordan.
There is undoubtedly much credence to what James voiced as arguably his best asset has been his passing ability. He has been one of the best passers in league history and has had a keen skill to find the open teammate. James could take that aspect of the role Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen had and possibly take it to another level.
Jordan would stay in the spot as the team’s primary scorer while James could find his places to score. That would come with more ease given that both he and Jordan demand double teams. However, the most significant area of transition will have to be playing off-the-ball for both players.
They are both used to having the ball in their hands, which is something neither of them had to play any other way. That alone would create a significant transition period necessary for them to maximize their success on the floor.
What would also come into question would be their respective legacies as they would be forever intertwined. The conversation that one can’t win without the other could have driven them apart, given their tremendous talent on the floor as two of the greatest players in league history. All of that said, it would have been quite entertaining to see as they could have been squarely in the conversation as arguably the greatest 1-2 punch with the likes of Magic Johnson/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal/Kobe Bryant, and John Stockton/Karl Malone.
Michael Jordan and LeBron James forever linked in GOAT debate
There is no doubt that it would have been quite exciting to see two of the game’s greatest players play next to each other.
However, the two are already forever linked through the GOAT discussion as Jordan still sits atop in that regard. James still has an opportunity to add to his career and achieve things that his idol never did, such as winning an NBA title with three different teams and become the league’s all-time leading scorer.
It may be a hill that he can’t truly get over the top, but the fact that he’s in the conversation says plenty about his talent and career.