Michael Jeffrey Jordan, LeBron Raymone James, two different animals, same basketball ambition. This is not the first time you’ve heard about these two great players and probably won’t be the last. The debate has tarnished friendships and even started some fights. But who is the greatest of all time? Is it “His Airness”? Is it “The King”? Or is it somebody else who is lurking in the background.

Honestly, it is hard to compare each player as they have played in a different era. There are a lot of things to consider, especially the rules and the pace of the game. However, there’s only one way to differentiate the two and that is by looking at their numbers.

We would have included the heart, the hunger and assassin-like mentality, but clearly, Jordan has the edge of that part. As multiple NBA Hall of Famers and NBA Legends state, Michael Jordan is there to kill and embarrass you. His tenacity and mental toughness do not waver. Regardless if it is a meaningless game during the summer or even in a practice game, all he wants is to win.

LeBron is on a pace in destroying each and every statistical category in the NBA. Fans should remember that he is bigger, more athletic and probably stronger than Michael Jordan. But let us check on why the majority of former and current NBA players still thinks that Michael Jordan is still the GOAT regardless of LeBron James eclipsing some of his accolades.

All about the rings

“His Airness” has an unblemished record in the finals with 6-0 as his stat line.

That is unprecedented considering that he played in an era where if a player tackles you, it is still considered as normal foul instead of flagrant. He is the main reason why the various NBA Hall of Famers and Legends doesn’t have any ring right now. Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, John Stockton and even Shaquille O'Neal are just a few names that MJ and the Bulls denied. The only time O'Neal, Payton, Olajuwon and Drexler received their championship is when Jordan retired.

On the other hand, LeBron James has a 3-5 record. Most of the analysts only consider it as 3-2 since he was the only one who showed up on his very first NBA finals and the first duel with Golden State Warriors. But history will always remember those numbers. LeBron is a beast and a more complete player than Jordan as other NBA fans believe. But we couldn’t imagine Michael Jordan losing in the finals against the Dallas Mavericks where Jason Terry and Jason Kidd was the prime defenders of LeBron James.

Better supporting cast

A couple of weeks ago, there was a heated debate between Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe about the luxury of Michael Jordan having great teammates.

Sharpe is adamant that Jordan had more help than LeBron. Basing on the numbers, LeBron had more All Star teammates than Jordan. James had former finals MVP, Dwyane Wade, regular season MVP Derrick Rose, perennial All Star Chris Bosh, versatile forward Kevin Love, “Uncle Drew” Kyrie Irving and even had the big man Shaquille O'Neal in one season.

Jordan only had Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman as the only All Stars who joined him in his NBA journey. Sharpe stated that Wade got injured in the 2011 finals and it shouldn’t be included in LeBron’s resume. But Scottie Pippen was also injured in the 1998 finals, but Jordan refused to lose.

Individual Stats

Jordan is ahead of LeBron when it comes to regular season MVP and finals MVP. LeBron, on the other hand, has been part of NBA first team two more than MJ. MJ also was named DPOY at one time and was selected 9x as a member of the NBA All-defensive team. Scoring wise, LeBron led the NBA once and MJ led the league 10x. Also, Jordan was a 3x steals leader and LeBron doesn’t have one. How about playoff stats? LeBron has the edge on every category against “His Airness” but we have to consider the discrepancy on the games played. Michael only played a total of 179 games while LeBron is already on its 232 games. So who is the real GOAT of the NBA? The numbers clearly say it’s MJ.