LeBron James respects his elders among the NBA’s greatest players of all time. Right now, he just doesn’t agree with two of them: Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.

In a week dominated by league-wide debate and comparisons between James and Jordan (who will turn 50 on Sunday), James fired back again regarding Jordan’s claim he’d pick Kobe Bryant as the NBA’s best player according to ESPN.

“(Jordan) said he would take Kobe over me because … five rings are better than one, and the last time he checked, five is better than one. At the end of the day, rings don’t always define someone’s career. If that’s the case, then I’d sit up here and say I would take (Bill) Russell over Jordan. But I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t take Russell over Jordan. Russell has 11 rings. Jordan has six. I wouldn’t do that.

“(Jordan) said he would take Kobe over me because … five rings are better than one, and the last time he checked, five is better than one,” James said. “At the end of the day, rings don’t always define someone’s career. If that’s the case, then I’d sit up here and say I would take (Bill) Russell over Jordan. But I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t take Russell over Jordan. Russell has 11 rings, Jordan has six. I wouldn’t do that.”

James won his first championship with the Heat last season while Bryant has won five with the Los Angeles Lakers. Friday’s response from James came after Jordan initially said during an interview with NBA TV that he’d have a tough time deciding between Kobe and James.

“Five beats one every time I look at it,” Jordan told the league network of how he ultimately broke down the James-Bryant debate. “And not that (James) won’t get five. He may get more than that, but five is bigger than one.”

Earlier in the week, Johnson issued some statements on his Twitter account in which he sided with Jordan in comparisons with James as the better individual player.

“Easy answer MJ all day, every day!”

he tweeted.

In a follow-up post, Johnson tweeted:

“If MJ and LeBron played 1-on-1 10 times, MJ would win all 10. MJ is the ultimate 1-on-1 player!”

James has been peppered with questions all week about comments made by two of the players he idolized growing up.

At first, James lightly dismissed the criticism and tried to change the conversation with his play on the court during one of the most productive stretches of his career. James guided the Heat on a seven-game winning streak leading into the All-Star break, which featured an NBA record six consecutive games when he scored at least 30 points and shot at least 60 percent from the field.

But when he again faced questions about Jordan’s comments during Friday’s media session in advance of Sunday’s All-Star game, James seemed annoyed at times.

“I don’t play the game and try to define who I am over what guys say or how they feel about me,” James said. “It doesn’t matter to me. I play for my family, for my teammates, for my coaching staff and I play for our fans, and that’s it. What I need bulletin board material for? My inspiration is the game I love. I don’t need nobody to pick me or not.”

Taking Jordan’s notion to task a bit further, James then rattled off a list of mostly role players on championships teams who ended up with more ti*les than marquee stars who never won at the highest level.

“Jud Buechler has multiple rings. Charles Barkley doesn’t have one ring. He’s not better than Charles Barkely,” James said of Buechler, who won ti*les alongside Jordan with the Bulls in the late 1990s. “Patrick Ewing is one of the greatest of all time. Reggie Miller is one of the greatest of all time. Sometimes, it’s the situation you’re in, the team you’re (on) and the timing as well.”


    LeBron is a great player and im a die hard Lakers fan, but i can see why the GOAT would choose Kobe, it took LeBron to win by moving from a Cleveland team to a fully loaded Heat team and even with the Heat team it wasn’t easy, Lakers are learning about that right but lets be honest Kobe’s got 5 for a reason too, LeBron can take all the regular season MVP’s…Kobe gonna get 1 more when its all set a done…..

  • Pose

    He does have a point. Rings alone doesn’t define a player. 5 is better than 1 of course. If you break down those 5 rings, the first 3 was Shaq more than Kobe.

  • BullnBearHP

    I’m rollin with Lebron on this one. Lebron is doing things never seen in the NBA. 47% from 3pt land and over 59-60% from the field?? Thats ridiculous!!! Can’t go by rings MJ….. its a flawed argument. LJ is a walking triple double. Without Shaq or Gasol, Kobe would be ringless. Let LJ play with Shaq in his prime…. oh my…

    • MoorFedayeen

      With out Shaq? Where the hell you been? Gasol could get lost or replaced too and Kobe still have his rings. Kobe put the team on his back.

      Queen James had to move!

      • keys

        U cant be serious. I take it u missed the part where Kobe begged to be traded live on the radio….Give LeBron Shaq (in his prime) Phil Jackson and a owner who wasnt afraid of a salry cap and I guarantee he would’ve won multiple chips. He took a team of scrubs to the finals bro. Kobe is a great player no doubt but the dont overlook the truth to big him up. Gasol is out right now and where is his team ranked?

      • Daaaamm!! This cat @moorfed ACTUALLY said some sh!t that’s actually spot on!!

        Kobe is the best player in the league right now. Bron Bron’s argument is weak as hell here. Barkley was the star of his team, but never got championship because he never MADE THE PLAYERS AROUND HIM BETTER, yet he wants to compare him to a role player Jud Buechler ?

        Ewing had his chance against the Rockets but he shyed away in the big moment so Starks had to try and step up and blew it.

        Bron Bron is the second best player in the league, and had to run to miami to play with the 4th best player in the league (Wade). You never going to see Kobe doing that BS. Can you imagine Jordan leaving the Bulls to go to Portland to play with Drexler? Never would have happened, and James will always be a second rate superstar for that decision to play in Miami.

        Durant will be the 2nd best player in the league soon, and they would have beat Miami last year if Harden wouldn’t have choked, and that coach had a brain and knew how to call zone plays.

        • Murder

          I need some if what your smoking your foolish and biased if you think Kobe is better then lebron right now Kobe is not better then Durant right now LA isn’t making the playoffs and he’s never shot 50% at all in his career

          • Ok in case you didn’t know this topic is about these two careers (OVER ALL) not just 1 season you dam fool.

    • E-Dub

      Those are nice stats for Lebron but at the end of the day it is about winning and that is it. It’s a lot of good/great player that have and done thing the NBA haven’t seen but again at the end of the day it’s about wins that equal titles.

  • Simba

    Kobe > LJ

    but ‘Bron has time on his side

    • #Bullsepitomizedynasty

      What time? Lebron is breaking down faster than MJ or Kobe. He admitted that his knees are damaged and may end his career, thats one reason why he moved to get HELP from Dwade.

      • Murder

        Stop lying that’s some dumb s**t you just wrote just say you don’t like the n***a

  • Southwestern

    Teams win championships. MJ wouldn’t know that because his Bobcats teams are always mud. I seem to remeber Phil Jackson on the sideline and Scottie Pippen always guarding the other teams most dominant scorer. GTFOH with that sh@t. LeBron has played all 5 positions on the court. Greatest talent ever easily. Mike was the man, don’t get me wrong, but people to way overboard with him as if he won all by himself. He took Kwame Brown with the first pick. Not exactly the guy to ask to evaluate and compare talent.

    • too_funny


      Magic played all 5 positions when there were REAL CENTERS in the league. Plus MJ elevated everyones game around him……can you say the same for LBJ? HELL NO

      • For Serious

        He doesn’t? Dude u need to watch more NBA games. The Bulls won 55 games the next year after jordan retire. Hell the cavs wont win 40 until……..Hell I dont know win they will win 40 again. The best players in the league at LJ position are Carmelo (top 5), KD(top 2), Paul Pierce(top 10), Andre Iguodala, Luol Deng, Danny Granger, Rudy Gay, Josh Smith, Gerald Wallace,u can even put Artest in there froma few years ago, all young studs that aveage around 20 and plays SERIOUS defense with exception to Carmelo. Please and i mean please name 5 top 10 or even top 20 shooting guard in the leaugue when Jordan was winning championships. Ur comp does matter.

    • Teams do win chips. MJ is the greatest ever in my opinion but man I’ve been saying the same thing about him picking Kwame Brown for years. As far as the Bobcats are concerned, he hasn’t had anything to work with. Too bad he couldn’t get the NBA to load the lottery for him like they did for New Orleans.

    • @south. Teams do win championships, but there needs to be a leader who can keep his team focused, and demand they play at another level. Jordan did it, and Kobe did it.

      Talking about Jordan’s Bobcats, and or who he drafted has nothing to do with this discussion.

  • damnshame

    I would choose Kobe ovr Bron cause Kobe is just more consistent to me but that should hav neva been mention by MJ in the public scene. Why try to discredit 1’s man game who is damn good-why hate when yall got luv for the same sport. Let this MAN SHINE!!! wow ninjas b actin like beyotches now…..FOH

  • presto 2.5

    great breakdown by forehead James…

    but through the whole argument we forget about “clutchness… an attribute Kobe is most comparable to 23…being able to score at will…and as Kobe said in the past…

    “I can put up 30 with my eyes closed…”

    this is the same dude that scored 80+ in MSG right?…hit multiple game winners…and looks unstoppable on the offensive end many times?

    the better question…”Game on the line…last possesion…down by 1…who ya got?”

    Black Mamba. < period jus me doe

  • too_funny

    Rings define the GREATNESS of the GREAT ONES.

    Jordan set the bar high in the modern era, so ppl need to stop trying to lower the bar for LeBron bc of what he does during the regular season.

    • presto 2.5

      Barkley,Ewing,Miller,Nique,Drexler,Malone,Stockton,Iceman Gervin,Pistol Pete,Elgin Baylor…and the list goes on

      jus like your a great player for TeamChocolate…but you have no Championships…and when you retire from ANS @2bummy will be added to that list…lol

      • F.B.I. (female body inspector)

        @ PRESTO 2.5 (inches, according to B! LOL)………………Team Chocolate is the Dynasty of ANS.

      • too_funny

        @presto…but non of the names u mention are considered the Greatest player overall just Great players.

        but u wont be on any list not even the list for worst player in the league bc ur not even in my league

        • presto 2.5

          Stopit @2Bummy…you’re making my head hurt trying to understand your elementary logic…lol

          and no i’m not in your league my stinky friend…

          **Announcer Voice**…”And starting at point guard for the YMCA 50 and over league…2Bummmmmyyy!!!”

          **Crowd Boos emphaticly**

  • too_funny

    i see LeBron is cracking under the pressure of being given the title “King James” and the “next Greatest” since high school.

    even Kobe understands to be considered the “greatest” on or above the level of MJ he needed as many or more rings.

  • Mister Mister

    LeBron has a point though, because I think even Robert Horry has more rings than MJ now but he’s nowhere near better than MJ.

    At this point, LeBron is really damn near becoming unstoppable & he’s not even 30 yet! There aren’t too many players that were unstoppable in their prime. MJ & Shaq are too I can name off the top.

  • Tim

    I think Jordan made his decision base on who’s a uncle tom just like him!

    Neither one of them will speak on any black issues or try to relate to black people other then shoe sales and the fact they are both black men.


  • Truth

    why is it unfair? He has already had a chance to have 3 titles at this point

  • Freaky Tails

    I never understood in sporting debates why a TEAM accomplishment plays such a huge role in these discussions. The guy riding the bench through an season entire season gets a ring. It’s a team effort, the team doesn’t win if a they can’t all play together and have the right pieces. Nobody in their right mind is gonna say that Barkley or Marino are lesser players than Gasol or Dilfer.

  • Nupe_Life

    Wtf is he suppose to say when niggas like you and the media consistently ask him those questions?

    Obviously the nigga is annoyed because its not him comparing himself to Jordan

    It’s you niggas…

    Let that dude live, he made his own lane…

    He didn’t have to walk and talk and copy his game after Jordan

    Like the dude said he don’t play ball for your approval

    • this bron is full of shit

      if he doesnt play ball for approval than why answer the question just say next question please or no comment but he didnt because he does care born is sensitive as fuck like the hof say that nigga care to much dude is bitter right now kobe 5 rings => one ring with two top alstar players lebron needed a big 3 in his prime kobe didnt need a big 3 hes just needed one player to help pau wasnt no shaq and still isnt pau was beast but wasnt even a alstar yet til he got to play with kobe

  • Cease

    If I had to be honest, after a certain level, I don’t think there is a “best player”.

    What you have are supremely talented players who play the game a certain way based on natural inclinations, and circumstances.

    That’s just my opinion, tho’.

    I think we compare certain players because, intuitively, we can see that they’re comparable, even if they play nothing alike.

    Lebron may not be better than Jordan, but do you think we’d even be having these discussions if these discussions if dude didn’t exhibit GOAT level ability?

    There is a reason why you never see Ray Allen vs Michael Jordan threads, or Joe Johnson vs Michael Jordan threads.

    Our gut tells us those comparisons don’t make sense, and no one is even going to take those comparisons seriously even for a debate to even get heated.

  • acb87

    since LJ been in the league kobe has taken 500+ more shots and LJ has 100+ more points . lol @ kobe being better then LJ, he needs shaq and gasol and crazy tacked teams to win all 5 rings , he could never do it by himself.LJ brought Cleveland to the finals basically by himself, kobe could never do that with that team

    • this born is full of shit

      and ace you sound dumb kobe did with out shaq. pau wasnt even alstar when he join the lakers look it up kobe put them niggas on his back through spurs series and suns series and celtics series don front like you dont know this. this is why shaq karl malone mj picked kobe over born it aint only about rings it also how he did it niggas bron left his team to join two top alstar players to win a ring so if rings dont define his career why leave the cars to join the heat ? this nigga is talking bulshit right now straight fuckery don’t go to the heat and say not 1 not 2 not 3 not 4 not 5 not 6 but 7 chips and than get mad at mj for picking kobe over him and now wants to say chips dont mean shit now foh niggas dont look at stats alone they look at the chips too karl malon and charles were beast but in other niggas eyes they were losers with great stats!

  • this born is full of shit

    if rings dont define your career than why the fuck did he make it such a big deal to leave the cavs to get a ring FOH this nigga bron is full of shit and is mad at most of the hof that picked kobe over him they know the deal kobe is that nigga

  • jamar

    debating opinions is endless….they need to add one on ones to the all star break…let kobe play lebron one on one.