It’s difficult to truly compare these two champions at the end of the day. Michael Jordan wasn’t near as much of a powerhouse player as LeBron is. He let his agility do more of the talking. Whereas LeBron lets his weight do a lot of the talking. They have very different styles of play.
Let’s take a look at the difference in generations. LeBron is probably the best NBA player in the present whereas Jordan was in the 90’s. There is no way at all to judge two different players from completely different generations. Be satisfied with the fact that both players have been the best in the NBA at one point in their careers.
However, if we were to compare, let’s take a look at one of the biggest deciding factors. Jordan never lost in the Finals. Let that sink in for a little bit. He was clutch when push came to shove. He didn’t choke. Now, take a look at LeBron. In 2007, he had a loss to the Spurs, and then again in 2011 when he was with the Heat. That shows a huge difference in attitude toward the game.
Everyone talks about how Jordan played whole game with the flu, and LeBron bowed out because of cramps. Let’s face it Jordan was hungrier than LeBron. A lot of people say, “Jordan is hell bent on winning.” That may be true, but it makes him the better player mentally because of that attitude. In an interview Jordan was asked whom he would like to play one on one if he were in his prime. He rattled off a few of the greats including LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Kobe Bryant. He believes he could beat all of them one on one except Kobe because Kobe steals his moves. That’s the confidence at its finest. Who could lose with an attitude like that?
We cannot debate who would be better in their prime. That’s the bottom line, but can we answer who the better player was mentally? Absolutely. Jordan hands down. They’re obviously very close in skill, athleticism, experience, but there is no comparison as far as their mental game. Jordan would have shut LeBron down no question. I think we’d all enjoy the look on LeBron’s face if we could watch the two of them play one on one in their prime. Considering how well Jordan keeps it together when the pressure is on, he would shut LeBron down before the game even started.