James belongs in class by himself

Amidst LeBron James’ recent dominance in year 15 of his career, the Michael Jordan vs. James argument has ramped up to an all-time high.

Jordan was obviously a great player, but, regardless of how the current Eastern Conference finals against Boston turns out, James has surpassed or will surpass Jordan in nearly every single statistical category, excluding championships.

People still make the case that Jordan is better based solely on the fact that he has won six NBA titles to James’ three, but what evidence is there aside from that?

Jordan has multiple first-round exits in the playoffs while LeBron does not. James has made seven straight NBA Finals and could be there again this year.

Jordan also never won an NBA championship without Scottie Pippen. Although the same argument can be made for James, it isn’t even a close comparison.

Before James returned to Cleveland, the Kyrie Irving-led Cavs were near the bottom of the league, so it was James who gave them the lift whereas Pippen was able to lead a team to above .500 without Jordan.

James also plays a higher level of competition, which strengthens his case. Over the past three years, James has played a team in the Finals with at least three NBA all-stars.

Jordan never played against competition as skilled and athletic as James.

Even though the game has evolved since Jordan’s era, James would still have thrived in the 1980s and ’90s due to his athleticism and basketball knowledge.

Jordan’s would be left as as an average player in today’s fast-paced NBA, sealing my case for why LeBron James is the greatest player to ever step foot on a basketball court.

Ben McCloskey, Altoona