Thanks to Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday, ESPN’s obsession with MJ, and an 11-letter tweet from LeBron James, people are once again asking, “is LeBron as good as Jordan?” But if we take an objective moment to look at their careers side-by-side, and ignore the disparity in championship rings (I know, I know), LeBron’s is on the same level as Jordan and threatening to surpass him.
After LeBron’s first two seasons in South Beach saw his production decline, this season he is on pace for 19.9 Win Shares (WS), a statistic that measures the all-around performance of a player. Jordan only had one season after the age of 27 with at least 19 WS. And while we have no idea how he would have performed in the years he was “retired,” one can argue his success after returning was helped by the time off as his numbers were in steady decline from age 24-29.
If LeBron can maintain a 19-20 WS performance over the next 4-5 seasons (and add a few more rings), it might be Jordan that will be “1A” to LeBron’s “1”…
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