LeBron James Would Need Hakeem Olajuwon’s Career to Match Michael Jordan’s Accolades

Published 09/19/2021, 4:00 PM EDT
Jun 3, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts in the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns during game six in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


When LeBron James won his fourth NBA title with the Lakers last year, the GOAT debate sprung out on all platforms once again. From the time LeBron entered the league, his legacy has not been cherished as much as it should be. He got caught up in comparisons to Michael Jordan and it seems like this is a curse that comes with greatness. Even Kobe Bryant had to bear with it. But it looks like it keeps getting more intense and now the new talk of the town is LeBron and Hakeem Olajuwon’s combined career equals that of MJ.

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Looks like LeBron James still has a lot to do

There have been many reasons to dismiss LeBron James as a player as good as Michael Jordan. From accusations of running after super teams, his career failures like the one in the 2011 NBA Finals to not having as many NBA champions as MJ being the biggest one, and so on.

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However, it’s crazy how fans keep coming up with new reasons and ways to show that he can never match up to Jordan. Just recently, it has come to everyone’s attention that in terms of four particular accolades, LeBron will have to combine his career with Hakeem Olajuwon’s to surpass Jordan, or even come at par with him.

The four achievements being MVP, FMVP, DPOY, and ROTY. Jordan has 5 MVPs, 6 FMVPs, 1 DPOY, and 1 ROTY. Whereas, LeBron has 4 MVPs, 4 FMVPs, 0 DPOYs, and 1 ROTY. So, if only if he adds Hakeem’s 1 MVP, 2FMVPS, and 2 DPOYs, will he ever be able to match Jordan’s record.

DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 12: LeBron James (23) of the Los Angeles Lakers licks his chops as the Lakers cruise to the finish line against the Denver Nuggets during overtime quarter of Los Angeles’ 120-116 win on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Just imagine that Jordan was able to bag all these awards in just a 15 season career. But Bron and Hakeem combined would have a 36 season career and would still barely reach this point.

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Will it ever be enough to match up to Michael Jordan?

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More than a fair comparison, this discussion seems to have reached a point where fans are grasping at straws. Although this analogy is great, it seems like Jordan fans would go to any extent to prove that he can never be as great.

At first LeBron had to get as many championships as much as MJ to come anywhere near the GOAT stature, but the bar has clearly been raised. And considering LeBron is 36 years of age, it’s near impossible to be able to surpass MJ in these categories.

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NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 26: Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan watches as Roger Federer of Switzerland plays against Marinko Matosevic of Australia at their men’s singles first round tennis match on second day of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 26, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Unless the new Lakers‘ star-studded team will pull off a miracle and win titles, but it’ll still be up to LeBron to perform will individually to bag these. Can he do it?

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Yashima Bhatia

1556 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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