Isiah Thomas Proved Why Michael Jordan Fans Hate Him With This Bold LeBron James Take

Published 10/20/2021, 9:40 PM EDT
Jun 1, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns fans sitting courtside wear face masks due to COVID-19 restrictions as Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball during game five in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


There are very few NBA players who can claim that they’ve closely competed against the names in the GOAT conversation. One such name is former Detroit Pistons legend Isiah Thomas. His resume is such that he is one of those very credible personalities whose vote on the greatest ever matters and he has picked LeBron James over everyone.

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Now, this can feel demeaning to Michael Jordan fans who do not see LeBron as effective and dominant. But Isiah, who rivaled against MJ in the late 80s, thinks otherwise. So what makes this Hall of Famer pick LBJ over MJ?

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Isiah Thomas with a final vote on the GOAT conversation

In an interview, 12x All-Star Isiah Thomas discussed his days against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan. And then, he added LeBron James to the mix and expressed how analysing the King’s game made him clear with his choice.

Zeke expressed, “What I’m seeing in LeBron James is a complete basketball player dominating this period of time. I haven’t seen anyone else do that in our league, with the exception of two people. That’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell… when you talk about a complete basketball player, LeBron James is a much better basketball player than Michael Jordan.”

Michael Johnson #23, shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls prepares to make a shot during a Central Division game in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA) 1988 – 1989 season at Chicago Stadium, Chicago, United States. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Allsport/Getty Images)

This can sound outrageous for the MJ fans because this meant Isiah counts MJ out of his Top Three. But one can not sideline Isiah’s comments because this is the same man who outscored everyone in the 1989 ECF in three games (2nd, 4th, 6th) and helped the Pistons fold the Bulls 4-2.

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What makes LeBron James better than Michael Jordan?

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As subjective as an answer to this question can be, Isiah had a clear thought. He added, “Michael Jordan was a great scorer and he dominated and did some things that LeBron has been criticised for not doing. But when you look at what he does on the basketball floor, rebounding, assisting, and scoring. And what he did last night in the game, from a leadership standpoint, nursing his tram back to health…” 

In his career, Air Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebs, and 5.3 assists while LeBron James is currently at a 27 / 7.4 / 7.4 breakage. So yes, Bron has always proved himself as a better playmaker. But as far as leadership goes, MJ’s way of handling his men was polar opposite to how Bron handles. So it’s tough to compare.

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So where do you stand, with Isiah or against his thoughts? Help us know in the comments sections below.

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Sourabh Singh

1739 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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